Small farm, food expo offers tips on profitability

SPOKANE, Wash. — The keynote speakers at the upcoming Farm and Food Expo know how to make the most of their land.

Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser, owners of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastapol, Calif., operate a 3-acre farm that grosses more than $100,000 per acre each year, said Hilary Sepulveda, outreach coordinator for the Spokane Conservation District.

The expo is Oct. 25-26 at Spokane Community College and will offer more than 35 classes.

The Kaisers will discuss managing an intensive, no-till, hand-labor vegetable production system that is profitable while restoring soil health on their farm.

They have increased their soil organic matter by more than 400% while drastically reducing water use. Their farm has demonstrated that ecological sustainability can mean economic sustainability, with up to 10 times the sales per acre compared to similar farms, according to the conservation district.

The expo provides two days of education and resources to small-acreage farmers, those who have less than 5 acres, as well as gardeners and “foodies,” Sepulveda said.

Sepulveda expects 400 to 500 people to attend the conference.

Classes will also be of interest to large-scale farmers.

The event includes a tour of the new South Spokane Farm Corridor, which includes Casa Cano Farm, Snapdragon Flower Farm and Vets on the Farm. Space is limited for the $50 tour. The tour ends at the Moran Prairie Grange for the annual Vets on the Farm dinner and auction.

Cost of the expo is $100 for adults, $75 for seniors and students and $25 for youths.

Roughly 38 vendors will also be at the event. To just attend the vendor fair costs $10.

Contact Sepulveda at 509-535-7274, ext. 214 or hilary-sepulveda@sccd.org