Finally, a useful farm planning tool!
Farmers! CSA Farmers! Market Gardeners! FINALLY, a farm calculator that helps you make the best use of your land AND know how much it is capable of producing! At Fantastic Farm Enterprises we saw a need and delivered!
If you’ve ever attempted to plan a farm in order to produce high yields and a variety of crops at specific times throughout the season you may have an idea of how daunting and overwhelming such a task can be.
The Farm Calculator will help you to determine:
- How much space you need to achieve retail or wholesale goals
- How many people or CSA members you can provide for given the amount of space you have
- How much space you need for the number of people or CSA members you wish to provide for
- The amount of space to plant for the season for each crop you grow
- The amount of space to plant each week for crop succession planting
- The crop sowing and harvest dates given your production goals
- The amount of seed required for your production goals
- Potential yields for a wide range of vegetables and herbs
- Projected weekly and annual income for each crop given your retail sales goals
Crop yield estimates
Using a proprietary system of formulas to generate crop yield estimates, the Fantastic Farm Calculator was created to make this process as quick and painless as possible so that you can enjoy the cultivation experience and concentrate your time and energy on actually growing and marketing your crops. With a good farm plan in hand you can keep as much of your land under cultivation as possible during the growing season and produce the varieties you want and the quantities you need when you need them. Click Screenshot to see what the Calculator looks like, or click Demo to give it a try.
Input your goals
The Fantastic Farm Calculator is far more than just a farm size calculator. After you input information on you production goals the Calculator will generate the information you need to proceed with on-the-ground implementation of your farm. Calculator users can print their plans for use throughout the season. Depending on whether you are growing for market or a CSA, the inputs you will need to provide include:
- The size of your cultivatable rows
- The frost date for you area
- The date you want to end your garden or farm
- The amount of each crop you want to sell each week
- The number of people you are attempting to feed
- The amount of each crop you want to provide to each person you are feeding each week
- The number of weeks you want to harvest each crop
- The harvest interval (do you want to harvest a specific crop weekly or bi-weekly?)
- The average number of days to harvest for each crop variety you want to cultivate.
From your inputs the Fantastic Farm Calculator will calculate:
- Plant spacing for each crop
- Total row feet of each crop to plant per week and per season
- Total number of plants you will sow per week and per season
- Annual yield of each crop you will grow in lbs
- Planting dates for each crop
- First harvest and final harvest dates for each crop
- Number of days to harvest for each crop
- Amount of seed needed for the season
- And, for market gardeners and market farmers, the potential income per week and for the season.
This information is generated to assist users in basic planting and in orchestrating space-saving, crop succession planting. To help users translate their plan to on-the-ground implementation the calculator comes with a protocol and templates to map out crop rotations, a planting overview, crop planting and harvest guides, and crop varieties. To see the protocol click Template Protocol. Or, click Video Tutorial to watch a video about using the calculator.
Variables and accuracy
It should be remembered that growing produce is not a hard science but is dependent on many, many variables. Variables that will cause divergences from information generated by this calculator include, but are not limited to, soil conditions, sun exposure and other weather variables, growing methods, seed age or seedling health, and experience level of the grower. While the formulas are based on extensive yield and maturation time averages from all over the world, the Fantastic Farm Calculator should only be used as a guide to help you plan your garden or farm, and the calculations generated should not be seen as certainties but as approximations. Using the calculator is not a guarantee of success.
The Fantastic Farm Calculator was designed using intensive cultivation methods originating from biodynamic, French intensive and biointensive systems, but the Beginner skill level versions of the calculator can be used for traditional growing methods as well. To learn about and begin to use intensive growing methods please check out our General Resources page.
You will need Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader to use our tools and instructions.