Community Farmer Resources

The Community Farmer Application Form is basically a simplified farm business plan. Like any small business, a micro-farm business at Flemo Farm requires planning if it is going to be successful. The Flemo Farm Steering Committee will be looking to see that you have created a clear, realistic, and informed plan. The resources here are to help you complete your Application Form. Resources available for Community Farmer applicants include tip sheets, books, websites, and links to other small farms operating in Toronto.

Tip Sheets

Brief Tip Sheets have been written to help applicants to the Community Farmer program complete their Application Form. They are free for download here, or they can be sent in the mail.

The Application Form asks you to think through three aspects of your micro-farm:

  1. Labour: how much time will be spent growing and selling food?
  2. Marketing: how will the food be sold?
  3. Production: what is being grown? and how is it being grown?

These three pieces of the plan must fit together. For instance, you need to match labour with production; you need to make sure you have the labour required to successfully grow what you plan to grow. You also need to match production and marketing; you should plan to grow only what you can reasonably expect to sell, and you should plan to sell only what you can reasonably expect to grow. These Tip Sheets are designed to help you find your balance between labour, marketing, and production — and develop your own clear, realistic, and informed plan.

Developing a Labour Plan
Developing a Sales and Marketing Plan
Developing a Production and Growing Plan
Example of a Completed Application Form

Books

Applicants to the Community Farmer program can borrow books from our Community Farmer Resource Library. If you wish to borrow a book, please email flemofarm@gmail.com or call Carl at 416-363-6441 x211. Books are available for loan for one week or more, depending on if others want to borrow the book. 

Among the many books that might be useful to Community Farmer applicants, the books listed below were selected because they were either inspirational and/or practical. The emphasis is on stories and growing methods of small farm businesses. If you wish to recommend adding a book for the Library, please contact us.

The books available are:

The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-scale Organic Farming, by Jean-Martin Fortier.

The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming, by Natasha Bowens.

SPIN‑farming Basics: How to Grow Commercially on Under an Acre, by Roxanne Christensen and Wally Satzewich

Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier, by Michael Ableman

The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, by Eliot Coleman.

Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land, by Leah Penniman.

Lean Farm Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables: More In-Depth Lean Techniques for Efficient Organic Production, by Ben Hartman.

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, by Monica M. White.

The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff – and Making a Profit, by Richard Wiswall.

Oriental Vegetables: The Complete Guide for the Gardening Cook, by Joy Larkcom.

Whole-Farm Planning: Ecological Imperatives, Personal Values, and Economics, by Elizabeth Henderson and Karl North.

Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers, by Frederic Theriault and Daniel Brisebois.

Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture, by Gabe Brown.

Websites

These websites are a wealth of information. They have lots of information themselves, and also links to other resources. Please explore…

Guide to Growing and Selling Vegetables in Toronto
Toronto Urban Growers
Canadian Organic Growers – Toronto
Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario
Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Grower’s Library
Small Plot Intensive Farming (SPIN)

Other Small Farms in Toronto

Black Creek Community Farm
Ryerson Urban Farm
School Grown FoodShare Toronto
Sundance Harvest
Zawadi Farm