An increasing number of seasoned farmers have taken to YouTube posting instructional farm videos, and beginning growers stand to benefit. Although many of these farmers also have books or online classes that explore some of the same ideas in greater depth, their YouTube content provides other farmers a great way to access free, educational videos on a regular basis.
Here are four of the best educational YouTube channels where beginning farmers can find farm videos.
1. Nature’s Always Right
Sometimes the most helpful aide in a farm project is a tutorial that guides you through the process. This is where Nature’s Always Right, a YouTube channel by Steven Cornett, excels. Cornett is a young market-gardener from San Diego. He uses a variety of regenerative practices, including minimizing tillage and incorporating elements of permaculture design.
Although the channel includes a wide range of farm videos, most of its content focuses on infrastructure tutorials. These how-to videos cover topics such as erecting a hoop house, building a wash table or setting up a cool-bot system. Some of these videos focus on putting together purchased kits, but many are original DIY designs from Cornett. For young market-gardeners still in the process of building out farm infrastructure, such content is indispensable.
2. Rough Draft Farmstead
For new or experienced growers interested in learning more about no-till market-gardening via farm videos, Rough Draft Farmstead is among the most informative channels on YouTube. The channel is hosted by Jesse Frost, a market-gardener (and Hobby Farms contributor) in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, experimenting with a variety of no-till growing strategies.
Rather than structuring his videos like tutorials, Jesse is conversational and frequently examines no-till strategies or experiments under way on his farm. Are you interested in using compost as deep mulch? Are you considering using silage tarps to open up new growing areas on your farm? Jesse has numerous videos examining the costs and benefits of no-till strategies such as these. For what it’s worth, Jesse is passionate about exploring no-till techniques, yet he avoids dogma and is honest about their results. In a recent video titled “The Downsides of Our No-Till System,” for instance, Jesse explores the various drawbacks associated with his style of no-till growing.
3. Richard Perkins
For growers interested in building a permaculture farm or homestead, subscribing to Richard Perkins’ YouTube channel is a good first step. Perkins is a permaculture designer and author, currently growing at Ridgedale Farm in Varmland, Sweden. The farm encompasses a wide variety of enterprises, including agroforestry, cattle, chickens, sheep and “no-dig” (or no-till) market-garden style vegetable production.
In addition to exploring the details of each of these topics, Perkins’ videos also explain the interconnectivity of the farm’s enterprises. Much like in biodynamic farming, Perkins’ permaculture-based vision is to create a farm ecosystem in which the various enterprises support and strengthen one another. For those interested in learning more about what permaculture design looks like on a large scale, Perkins’ channel can be an important tool.
4. Neversink Farm
You might already know about Neversink Farm in Neversink, New York. Conor Crickmore’s market-garden has become widely known in recent years for grossing $350,000 on 1.5 acres. Crickmore has assembled a series of online courses you can purchase for $2,000 detailing his farming methods, many of which are about promoting efficiency.
For those unwilling or unable to spend $2,000, Neversink’s YouTube channel provides a wealth of information on organizing your small farm to promote efficiency. Although many of the videos are short overviews of a topic designed to tease the full course, they still provide useful information. Recent videos, for instance, cover topics including optimizing plant spacing, organizing tool racks and developing a checklist for daily farm tasks. For somewhat seasoned farmers looking to fine-tune farm systems, the Neversink YouTube channel is a valuable resource.