News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 4/20/2016 9:23am by Clayton Smith.

Happy Spring friends! EarthSmith Farm is entering into our fourth operating season and second season of our Pastured Meats CSA. Our meat CSA offers members an affordable alternative to conventional, store bought meat. Our animals are raised on pasture, rotated regularly, born and bred on the farm, and minimally supplemented with local NON-GMO grains that we buy from other farmers. We do not use any pharmaceuticals or chemical dewormers on any of our market animals. We raise heritage breeds for up to 9-12 months, thus producing an exceptional product in flavor and apperance.Since our animals are raised on pasture there are many added health benefits such as; healthy omega 3 to 6 ratios, healthy fat from grass, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and higher amino acid levels. Plus amazing flavor!

  So far we have had one litter of piglets born in 2016 and are expecting 4-6 more throughout the year! In addition to all of that, some of our other main focuses for this year include building a perimeter fence around the entire farm, burying a livestock and irrigation waterline 3/4 of a mile out to our pastures, finishing construction of two hoop-houses, and building a 30 ft long log bridge so that we can access our woods!

Sign up for the 2016 CSA is now open and ready to go at www.earthsmithfarm.com under the “CSA” Tab. In an attempt to grow our CSA and gaining members and community awareness we are also offering a 5% discount to any member that refers a friend/friends (5% for each referral). Just ask your friends to mention your name in an email or message at the time they sign up! Members get an overall discount on products compared to our retail prices at markets, plus additional perks such as; personal farm tours, invitations to special farm events (pig roast, pot lucks, field days, etc.), a connection  to your food and your farmers and knowing that you are doing your part in supporting a young local farm. 

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you in 2016 for a wonderful season of ecological and sustainably farmed foods! Thanks for your continued support of local agriculture, food, and business. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

Your Farmers, Clay & Colette

Posted 4/5/2016 10:47am by Clayton Smith.

Happy Spring friends! We hope everyone is enjoying their pork shares and using up the last of the chickens. We have our first batch of 2016 meat birds arriving very soon! So far we have had one litter of piglets born in 2016 and are expecting 4-6 more throughout the year! In addition to all of that, some of our other main focuses for this year include building a perimeter fence around the entire farm, burying a livestock and irrigation waterline 3/4 of a mile out to our pastures, and continuing to develop our bank of perennial trees!

Sign up for the 2016 CSA is now open and ready to go at www.earthsmithfarm.com under the “CSA” Tab. In an attempt to grow our CSA and gaining members and community awareness we are also offering a 5% discount to any member that refers a friend/friends (5% for each referral). Just ask your friends to mention your name in an email or message at the time they sign up!

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you in 2016 for a wonderful season of ecological and sustainably farmed foods! Thanks for your continued support of local agriculture, food, and business. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

Your Farmers, Clay & Colette

Posted 12/12/2012 7:39pm by Clayton Smith.

Its been a busy time on the farm, with trying to wrap up fall projects and start thinking about spring ones already! This is also the time of year that must be spent planning many things for the coming season. After spending a week in Louisville, KY for the Acres USA eco-farming conference I am filled with plans and ideas to implement on the farm. I plan on implementing long term perennial agriculture practices in order to build biological diversity and soils, such as alley cropping with woody tree and fruit crops, long term pasture management with various types of livestock, and deep subsoiling. These practices along with water catchment and retainment techniques such as contoured swale and berms, pocket ponds, and keyline design and plowing. 

All of this planning along with spinach growing, hoop house interior detailing, cement floor to pour and chestnut tree seeds to plant it is an exciting, busy and warm december! Plus we have our very first product offering every! 

Posted 11/5/2012 9:20pm by Clayton Smith.

Greetings, this is the new website for EarthSmith Food & Forest Products! We look forward to using it as means of communication and transparency into our farming operation in the future. Please bear with us while we learn the ropes of the website and check back often because it will be rapidly evolving! Thanks!

Posted 10/30/2012 10:19am by Clayton Smith.
Small farms today are direct marketers and as such are in the business of relationship marketing with each customer that buys products from the farm. The customer is not at the CSA pickup, farmer's market,  or on-farm market because it is easiest or cheapest food source -- they are there because they respect the farmer, want to support the local economy, and feel that their dollars are spent on a worthwhile endeavor. Every chance you get as a farm to interact with your customers should reinforce the connection to the land and make the customer feel like they are doing a good thing by patronizing your business. This is a very difficult task for a busy farmer. I challenge you to take your relationship marketing into the 21st century and start a blog on your farm website.

I'm sure some of you are unclear on the meaning of the term "blog". It is a rather fluid term that is a shortened version of "weblog." In my mind, it signifies a webpage that displays content of varying lengths in chronological order and invites readers to interact in the form of comments. Often, blog postings are categorized or tagged by topic so that users can navigate through related blog entries by the tags, such as "farming challenges" or "farmer's market." Blogs take many different forms from personal, public diaries to political commentary to blogs that are published by businesses themselves. This is the most popular form of content generation and information retrieval on the Internet today and the very website you are looking at right now, Small Farm Central, is a blog-style site. If you have heard of the term "Web 2.0", blogs are big part of the Web 2.0 movement.

Your farm should blog because it is an easy and time-effective way for you to get your story out to customers. Repeat customers come to you because of the relationship that they have with you and a blog is a perfect way for you to start and augment the real-world interaction that you have with the customer. Granted it does take some time, energy, and thought to produce effective blog posts that communicate the farm experience, but that post will easily be read 100s or 1000s of times over the life of your blog. That works out to be an extremely time-efficient way to build a consistent and faithful customer base. Customers that read your blog will be more understanding of blemishes or crop shortages because you can explain the exact cause of the problems. This becomes a story that they can take home with their produce and they will feel more connected to the farm and the food if they know some of the challenges that went into growing it.

The complaint I hear the most is that farmers don't have time to be writers as well as producers. Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo dedicates one afternoon every two weeks to writing six blog articles. He then releases one each Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There are other techniques of course too: get a trusted intern to write an article each week, find a very enthusiastic and involved customer who will volunteer to write a blog article every once and a while, or just commit to posting a short update once each week. There is no right way to write or schedule your blog, but post on a regular schedule and write with passion because passion is infectious.

At this point, if you are considering a farm blog, start reading a few established farm blogs and get some general advice on how to write blogs. I have discussed some aspects of blogging at Small Farm Central in Farm blogging isn't always literature, but this is and What I learned during an interview with Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo. Blogging will be a topic that I come back to over the next few months because I believe it is the core of any modern farm web marketing strategy.

Some farm blogs to get you started:
  • Eat Well Farm Blog : recently discussing problems with the Med Fly and how they are certifying their packing shed as Med Fly-free.
  • Life of Farm Blog : this blog is sponsored by the Mahindra tractor company. Perhaps the writer got a free tractor for writing the blog?
  • Tiny Farm Blog : wonderful photos and at least a post a day.
  • Rancho Gordo Blog : this popular blog receives 300-500 unique visitors a day (which is impressive for a farm website) and even helped the author secure a book deal.

Read about the process of writing a blog and more:

Spend the next few weeks reading farm blogs and exploring some of the resources listed above. Then when you think you know enough about blogging to start, you will probably want to go back to Hosting Options to get your blog online. Not coincidentally, the Small Farm Central software contains all the features you need to get your blog (and farm website) up and running within a few days. I know that not very many farms are taking blogging seriously as a marketing tool, but I have a strong feeling that every serious farm will have a blog in five years.
Posted 10/30/2012 10:19am by Clayton Smith.
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