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Tending the Roots of Our Local Food Dreams

seedlings smTo all you local food dreamers, good news: long time efforts to strengthen the local food system and increase access to fresh, locally produced food are showing tangible results. New commercial kitchens are popping up around the state. Culinary entrepreneurship opportunities for young people are expanding. New food trucks, breweries, cideries, distilleries and growers markets have found fertile ground to launch. All signs point to a New Mexico local food system that is deepening its roots. It is encouraging to witness this ongoing transformation. And, now’s a great time for new entrepreneurial foodies to jump in. If you are one of those on the sidelines, here are a couple of tips and resources to help ensure that your local food dreams—be they small farm, food truck, or canned product—get seeded, watered, and continue to thrive for years to come.

Have a plan.

Some small business owners jump in without a business plan. Though things might be booming initially, without a plan, it’s difficult to keep perspective and know when you’re on track to meet your projected goals or when you’re in over your head. Take advantage of the many organizations available to help you through this worthwhile process.  

Keep records.

Budgets, inventories, planting journals, expense logs… Set yourself up for success and know when you’re operating at a loss, just breaking even or really raking it in. Plus, those records help you build on all the knowledge you gain year to year.

Market your business.

Getting the word out about your business can be affordable and pretty simple with a little strategy and effort. There are free and low cost social media options plus organizations that help small businesses reach more customers.

Join the Agriculture Collaborative.

Coming together once a month with peers can be exceedingly helpful for an entrepreneur who is working by him or herself.  In addition to great programming, the Agriculture Collaborative can help forge contacts, connect to resources and answer questions. 
These are just a few foundational steps to help sustain your local food dream. Fortunately, there are more resources available to assist you than we can list in this article! But here are just a couple to get you on your way:

Happy dreaming!


View this and other ag news in the March 2015 edition of Local Food Connections >>




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