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Ansel Ploog manages Flywheel Farm in Woodbury, VT with Justin Cote where she grows organically certified vegetables and markets the produce wholesale and at their farmstand.
Ansel Ploog, Flywheel Farm Photo credit: Suzy Hodgson
When Ansel started the farm in 2013, she had little farm management experience but a lot of ideas. Ansel says, “I quickly realized, with farming and dealing with living systems that you cannot get too attached to a plan.”
For many new farmers, there’s a temptation to diversify and do everything from specialty greens to on-farm animals. Keeping purchasing and sales records can help with decision-making. As Ansel says, “We liked the idea of a diversified farm with animals, so we had chickens for two years even though after the first winter we were thinking this isn’t a great idea. When we compared the amount of money going into feed, when the hens weren’t producing eggs, it became obvious that this was not going to work.”