SPIN-Farming Basics with Pedal-Powered Urban Farmer Curtis Stone

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Author: Sasha McNicoll

Posted: January 23, 2012

Categories: Food in the News

Interested in urban farming? Want to learn how to actually make money at it? Or just have the ultimate backyard garden?

At this workshop, you’ll learn how the SPIN (Small Plot Intensive) farming system, which is now being practiced by a growing corps of farmers across Canada and the U.S., can be used to create a high-income producing farm or improve your current operation. SPIN is the first organic-based production system for land bases under an acre in size, and it can be implemented by aspiring and practicing backyard, front lawn and neighbourhood lot farmers everywhere.  All you need is to equip yourself with the right gear and a radically new understanding of what it means to be a farmer.

The workshop will be held February 9th from 7:30pm to 9:15pm in Toronto at CSI in the Annex.

About the host, Curtis Stone

Curtis is the owner/operator of Green City Acres, a pedal powered urban SPIN farm based in Kelowna, BC. Farming under an acre on a collection of 8 different urban plots, he sells through the local farmers market, restaurants and a 30 member CSA veggie box program. All operations on his SPIN farm, including deliveries, moving compost, tools and a 400 lb. rear tine rototiller, are done with custom utility bicycles and custom built steel framed trailers.

See SPIN-Farming in action as Curtis Stone shows you how he assembled a multi-locational SPIN farm that grossed $20,000 in its first year and $55,000 in it’s second. He’ll describe the design of his farm, equipment used, planting plan and target markets. Though records are not yet kept on how quickly farms can get in and off the ground, Curtis got his farm up and running and generating income in 6 months, which has to be some sort of record. It certainly gives new meaning to the term “fast food”!

What is SPIN-Farming?

SPIN stands for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive, and it is a production system that makes it possible to earn significant income from land bases under an acre in size by growing common vegetables. SPIN provides everything you’d expect from a good franchise: a business concept, marketing advice, financial benchmarks and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process, it really isn’t any different from any other franchise. By offering a non-technical, easy-to-understand and inexpensive-to-implement farming system, it allows many more people to farm commercially, wherever they live, as long as there are nearby markets to support them.

Who is SPIN-Farming?

There is no one profile of a SPIN farmer. Some have been educated in other professions, or have had other careers.  Some have home or community gardening experience, while others have never had dirt under their fingernails. Some come from traditional farm families, but most do not. Some are young and just starting out, while others are older and on their third or fourth careers. What unites them all is an ability to view and practice farming in a new way. Whether you are new to farming or want to farm in a new way, SPIN-Farming will put you on the path to success!



  • Introduction + Green City Acres
  • Intro to SPIN
  • Basic Ideas
  • Land Base
  • Basic Investments
  • High Road/Low Road Concepts
  • Work Flow
  • Work Rate


  • Bed and Plot Preparation
  • Types of Beds
  • Planting
  • Harvesting
  • Work Station
  • Soil Issues/Fertility
  • Pest Control
  • Season Extension
  • Irrigation


  • Marketing Channels
  • Pricing
  • Farmers Markets
  • Marketing Weeks
  • Self Promotion

To register, click here.