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Man in Overalls - Woo hoo! $100K in revenue! Thank you

Thank you! Team Overalls just grew past $100k in annual revenue! We're on track to 2x the highest top-line # we've ever made! It's not all about the money, but it's worth taking a pause to celebrate and to offer thanks in recognition of this threshold of success because it notes a potential that, in all honesty, I never considered these humble Overalls held. Here’s to a great cloud of supporters & encouragers, co-workers, customers, & collaborators. First up a word of thanks to my team: Valerie Herrmann & Don Justice who have joined me in the work of helping others grow their groceries; also here's to Cecil DiChiara, who has been my right-hand-apprentice growing the seeds of our Overalls Farm in my own backyard. These 3 have had my back, shoveled my shovel, & brought their sharp minds to the Overalls table. If you haven't already, you'll likely meet them in the months to come. We are also indebted, gratefully, to our customers. From our tur…
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Man in Overalls - Last night, 10 years ago

10 years ago, last night - as recorded in my journal ... - "I couldn't sleep all night long because I was up thinking about this food gardening business idea. I settled on a few things: a name and a branded persona ("Man in Overalls") as well as a few ideas on how to use such a persona and business as a food movement platform and how to make food gardening demand viral." - A few months before, once I had decided to focus my efforts on launching a food gardening biz, I concluded that of the three pillars necessary for successful biz (product, books, and marketing), I was comfortable with the first two, but how to market? How to arrange for customers to come a calling? I had not a clue. Thus it was in this all-nighter idea-storm 10 years ago that I was suddenly released like water finding a crack in a dam. - It all started with the idea about a cardboard sign. (Well, it really started with my grandfather who lived everyday of his life in overalls, who, ultimatel…

Man in Overalls - Let's Grow Everywhere!

I just read a little book about a big deal: No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg. It's helping me make some sense out of my entire adventure in Overalls.

[For context, Greta is a 16-year-old Swede who has been on a school strike to draw attention to the climate crises because we've got until 2030 to cut our emissions by 50% or suffer a positive feedback loop where warming leads to more emissions which leads to more warming leading to unprecedented climate disruption. (Even in my short life, I've seen the agricultural zones noticeable shift north - even moreso from the stories of my grandmother, so this worries me). Greta calls on us to assess all endeavors not just by financial ability but by asking, "Have we got enough of the carbon budget to spare to go through with this?" She speaks "on behalf of future generations" in simple, challenging words inciting us to confront what needs changing in order to address the crises before us …

Man in Overalls - You Don't Need a Farm to Grow Your Groceries

I've been rolling my #GrowCart through Jacksonville's streets to highlight the fact you don't need a lot of space to grow your groceries. In other words, you don't need a farm to have a garden - which is worth celebrating!
If you're like me, you'd love be able to pick something from your garden, more or less, everyday - something to base dinner on or something to give it that extra touch of flavor and the health that only fresh can provide. Growing your groceries gives you the freshest food money can't buy as I like saying. Unfortunately there's a deep seated myth in the American psyche about having a food garden.

I can't count the number of folks I've met at workshops, calls and emails I've received, and Facebook comments I've gotten over the years from folks saying something akin to: "I'd love to have you out to help us start a garden once... we've got a bigger place" - or - "we move to the country." The as…

Man in Overalls - Thanks to my Grocery Growing Gurus

I'm grateful because...
Well, it started with my mother: when I was 8, she taught me how to turn over the soil with a shovel, how to sow seeds, how to break a little branch off a shrub and stake it over newly transplanted starts to lessen the brunt of the sun, how to thin carrots, stake tomatoes, dig potatoes, and crop collard greens. By and large, the basics, I learned from her. Without the fertile soil of those fundamentals nurturing my journey as a gardener and these days as an itinerant urban farmer I wouldn't have had those early seasons of (relative) success. I wouldn't have hung up my sign as they say, and I surely wouldn't have made these how-to videos with the FL Department of Agriculture in order to freely share those basic gardening skills with the state's children.

I am Man in Overalls in no small part due to the many agricultural teachers I've had through the years. I am able to support folks like yourself in growing food for self and neighbor onl…

Man in Overalls - An Ode to Collards (Now with my recipes)

I love growing my groceries in the fall - watching the miracle of growth, having ready-access to the freshest produce money-can't buy, the many flavors, getting to try new varieties - all while the temperature drops to more and more pleasant levels. I enjoy growing most anything in the fall, but, if I had to choose just one thing to grow every fall for the rest of my life, it would be collard greens, hands down. 
It's a health thing and an effort-to-yield calculation, but in the beginning, the roots of my collard green passion were seeded by family.
When I was a kid about 9 or 10, just a couple years into gardening in the front yard, my aunt, the family documentarian showed me a clipping of my late grandfather from the Graceville New (or was it the Jackson County Times?) beneath his 9ft collard greens that he had kept alive multiple years, growing them into small trees. Seizing the moment, my mother suggested that I grow some collard greens too. "But I don't like col…

Man in Overalls - Summer Garden Blues & What To Do

Welcome to mid summer in the Deep South! If you're anything like me, you're actively looking for excuses to avoid going outside this time of year. The heat doesn't so much radiate down from the sun as it seems to rise from the side walk. Rain helps- for about ten minutes- and then simply adds to the humidity as it vaporizes on the payment, so that it feels like you need a snorkel to make it from the house to the car, but of course, it only gets worse when you turn on the AC, and that first puff of hot air feels as though someone just wrapped your face in a plastic bag - not to mention that if you cut your grass yesterday, you're going to have to do it again... tomorrow. And, lets not even talk about how fast the weeds grow this time of year! Or the insects seem to multiply! Oh, home... :)

Here's the good news: If your garden looks a little worse for wear, it's okay. Really. Mine does too. As much as I aim for- and largely achieve- a productive & beautifull…