Bo Dennis has been involved in farming since the day she graduated from high school. During her time in college, she went to school in the winter but spent her summers working on vegetable and animal farms. After working on these farms for four years, she came into the New Entry Farm Business Planning Course hoping to build up a plan for her own sheep farm, but took a different route after her graduation in 2012.
She has been farming vegetables ever since, and has just completed her first year of independent farming on a ½ acre piece of land on a family-owned meat farm in Harpswell, Maine. She started a CSA with 10 summer members and 7 fall members, sells her crops at farmer’s market and at her farm store, and has a farm-to-school account with Harpswell Coastal Academy.
Though Bo decided not to pursue the sheep farm she intended to when she was in the New Entry course, she still uses the valuable skills that she learned in the course to run her vegetable farm. She says the most important takeaway she had from the course was her exposure to the business language, as well as learning how to write a farm business plan. She continues to sell her hand-spun wool and has improved her record-keeping to keep track of sales and spending to successfully manage both her wool and her vegetable business.
This year, Bo plans to expand her farm to one acre, double the number of members in her CSA, and to increase her output of storage crops for her farm-to-school account. She also plans to increase her favorite crops; garlic, arugula, pumpkin and winter squash; and those in-demand with her CSA; lettuce, fennel and broccoli rabe. In the end, Bo plans to continue doing what she loves about farming, feeding people and herself!