Spin Farming: with Urban Gardener Linda Borghi
This week let's investigate a new farming phenomenon called Spin Farming and Spin Gardening. People in urban or rural areas are turning small plots of land into a farm for themselves and for others on as little as 1/3 acre, sometimes making a pretty good profit. We thought it was pretty exciting!
What is Spin Farming?
SPIN stands for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive, and it is a production system that makes it possible to earn significant income from land bases under an acre in size by growing common vegetables. SPIN provides everything you’d expect from a good franchise: a business concept, marketing advice, financial benchmarks and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process it really isn’t any different from McDonalds. By offering a non-technical, easy-to-understand and inexpensive-to-implement farming system, it allows many more people to farm commercially wherever they live, as long as there are nearby markets to support them.
Who is Spin Farming?
There is no one profile of a SPIN farmer. Some have been educated in other professions or have had other careers.Some have home or community gardening experience while others have never had dirt under their fingernails. Some come from traditional farm families, but most do not. Some are young and just starting out, while others are older and on their third or fourth careers. What unites them all is an ability to view and practice farming in a new way.Whether you are new to farming or want to farm in a new way, SPIN-Farming will put you on the path to success!
About our Guest: Spin Farmer - Linda Borghi
“Linda Borghi is an outspoken advocate for local food and biodynamic farming. She speaks with passion about the relationship between our health and the health of the land. And she readily connects people with what they can do to change the course of their own lives and to promote the viability of local and healthy food. Blunt but entertaining, Linda does not mince words as she informs and motivates her audience. She literally provides a taste of what we should all expect of our food supply.”
-Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Studies at Ramapo College and President of Orange Environment, Inc.
Linda is the owner/operator of Abundant Life Farm in Walker Valley, NY. Her recipe for this half-acre farm is equal parts SPIN-Farming, biodynamics and terraced beds. Carved out of a wooded hillside, the farm was up and operational in 6 months. Though records are not yet kept on how quickly farms can be created, this must be some sort of record. It is also the third location for her farm and proves just how portable the farming profession can be. Linda’s sales channels include restaurants, a 15 member CSA and mobile farm stand.
Linda has worked both sides of the fence, as a vendor and producer. She began her career in 1977, managing 4-star restaurants on the upper east side of New York, including La Grenouille, Bruno’s, Toscana and Piccolo Mondo. She began farming in 1988 on Block Island, RI where she first established Abundant Life Farm. There she invented a 5-gallon pasteurization machine and was the only farm in the country with a “herd” of one cow to be licensed to sell cheese to the public. In 1996, she returned to the mainland to manage the cut flower operation of 26 Costco wholesale locations, from Norfolk, VA to Hole Brook, LI. In 1998, she was the first intern at the Pfeiffer Center Garden in Chestnut Ridge NY, which pioneered the practices of Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic agriculture.
In 2004, she re-established Abundant Life Farm in Middletown, NY. In 2006. she began practicing SPIN-Farming®. In 2007, Orange Magazine named her “Who’s Who of Manure”, and she opened the Eat Local Virtual Farm stand which created a direct distribution channel from farmer to eater. In 2008, she moved Abundant Life Farm to Walker Valley, NY. In 2009, Linda spoke at the United Nations at a conference entitled “Food, Famine and the Future of Food Technology.
Check out these guides to SPIN Farming and Gardening!
- Kat Jones