502: Allie Borovik about Networking Small Yard Farms.
Building a community of farms, one yard at a time.
In This Podcast:
How do you farm in a city without a large plot of land? Allie Borovik, the creator of Neighborfood, is learning how to do just that in Austin, TX. Using Fleet Farming and Curtis Stone for inspiration, she has devised a business model that allows her to produce and harvest food for local chefs and restaurants without purchasing her own land. Listen in to learn her method of yard farming, the benefit to her landowners, and how she builds her inventory of yards and produce.
Allie was born in Houston, TX and raised in Memphis, TN – not on farms, but always around food. She spent her college years in New York City playing volleyball and studying politics, food, and public health. In 2017, she fell in love with farming at the Farmer Training Program in Burlington, VT. A year later she was growing vegetables and some animals at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture outside of NYC. Just this past spring, Allie moved to Austin, TX to start Neighborfood, a neighborhood-based network of small yard farms. Currently, she has three yards in production and is selling her produce to restaurants and markets around the city. Allie started Neighborfood as a way to feed people, build communities, and combat climate change.
Listen in and learn about:
- How Lyme disease shifted her focus to farming
- The farming and restaurant culture in Austin, TX
- Using Fleet Farming and Curtis Stone as inspiration for her business model
- How she selects her plots, farms using other people’s land, and prepares the yard for planting
- Her two biggest challenges in yard farming
- How she sells her produce outside of the farmers markets
- The benefits for landowners who host a farm plot
- Farming while starting a family
As well as:
Her failure – Not following her instincts, taking on a yard that wasn’t ideal, and needing to build a strong initial relationship with the landowners.
Her success – Growing food for people and doing what she loves.
Her drive – Feeding and nourishing herself and others in the community.
Her advice – Choose something you love to eat and learn everything about it and how to grow it.
Allie’s Book recommendations*:
“Farming While Black” by Leah Penniman
Allie’s Post On Our Blog:
How to reach Allie: