Business Profile: Christine and Tony Brown
Christine and Tony Brown knew they wanted to improve and add value to their small, high quality farm in Randolph. They just weren’t sure how, as Christine put it, “to get from point A to point B.” The expertise they needed came through the Intervale Center, partnering with NOFA-Vermont, with funding from the Farm & Forest Viability Program. With about 40 Jerseys and just 26 acres (they rent an additional 110 acres nearby), the Browns were in the midst of transitioning to organic production. Christine was growing vegetables and ornamental plants in a modest-sized greenhouse on the farm.
“Our goal was to increase the value of our product, without enlarging our farm or our number of animals. In the first year with the Intervale process, one of our goals was to expand my markets in the greenhouse business.”
Working with the Intervale and NOFA, the Browns created a business plan and a marketing plan, coupled with production and financial analysis. The plans called for a second greenhouse, so that Christine could expand her ornamental business and take advantage of a local demand for early season vegetables. A year later the couple was awarded an implementation grant from the Viability Program. The grant helped install raised beds in the greenhouse, insulated glass, and a drip irrigation system.