***Updated 9 December 2011***
- Business Planning for Small-Scale Community Farming Enterprises. Published by FarmFolkCityFolk and The Land Conservancy. This is an accessible, step-by-step guide to business planning for small-scale farms. Excellent for use as a workbook, although the end business plan may need some refining, based on a more professional business planning template. http://ffcf.bc.ca/programs/farm/cf/business-plan.html
- Guide to Starting a New Farm Enterprise. The Province of BC’s business planning guide for small- and medium-sized farms. A very good guide for understanding the components of a successful small- to medium-size farm enterprise http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/regional/NewFarm/NewFarm.htm
- Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook An excellent resource for researching and writing a business plan. Written for urban farms, this document has detailed worksheets to help guide users through the process of developing a useful business plan. http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/urbanag/resources.htm#handbook
- SmartFarm: A centralized site by the Province of BC's Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, providing information about programs, events and resources for farms. http://www.smartfarmbc.ca/
- BC’s Ministry of Agriculture and Lands maintains this resources site with links to information on all aspects of business management for agricultural enterprises. http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/busmgmt/
- Business Canada http://www.canadabusiness.ca The Federal Government’s resource for businesses. Information on everything from business planning to insurance, legal issues, taxes and much more. Some specific resources of note:
- Farm Financial Records: A Guide to Managing for Success. Published by the Canadian Farm Business Management Council. A comprehensive guide to managing your financial records. Available through www.farmcentre.com (along with a variety of other publications that might be of use).
- Whole Farm Plan Guide. Published by FarmFolkCityFolk and The Land Conservancy. When purchasing a property and/or establishing a farming project a whole farm plan helps develop an assessment of the farm’s capacity, resources and opportunities. It also helps to benchmark ecological indicators and, ultimately, develop shared vision and goals for those involved in managing the land. http://ffcf.bc.ca/programs/farm/cf/planGuide.html
- A Guide to Farmland Access Agreements Leases, Profits à Prendre, Licences and Memoranda of Understanding. Published by FarmFolkCityFolk and The Land Conservancy. Comprehensive guide to types of land access agreements, benefits and drawbacks of each and sample agreements. http://ffcf.bc.ca/programs/farm/cf/laa.html
- BC’s Farming and Food Future: A Local Government Toolkit for Sustainable Food Production. Published by FarmFolkCityFolk and The Land Conservancy. At times, the best plans for sustainable agriculture run up against local government regulations. This guide offers a toolkit for advocating change to municipal regulations around agriculture. http://ffcf.bc.ca/programs/farm/cf/toolKit.html
- Small Farm Canada. www.smallfarmcanada.ca The perfect resource for Canadian small-scale farmers. Covers a variety of agricultural and business-related topics for fruit, veggie, livestock and agritourism plus much more.
- Growing For Market. www.growingformarket.com An American resource, written specifically for farmers who market primarily through farmers markets and CSAs. Great info on growing practices, marketing and tools. One of the best publications for small farmers operating a farm enterprise for profit.
- Stewards of Irreplaceable Land. http://www.soilapprenticeships.org/ A BC-based apprenticeship program, linking farmers and apprentices from across Canada.
- WorkSafeBC. Once you find your employees, you’ll have to enroll in WorkSafeBC so your workers are covered by the provincial workers compensation program. www.worksafebc.com
Coleman, Eliot. (1995) The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tool and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener. Chelsea Green Publishing.
- Not a business planning resource, per se, but an essential introduction to organic growing. Excellent demonstration of how to merge thinking about crop planning, marketing and deciding what to grow based on what sells. Crucial if only for one piece of advice: don’t try to farm without taking a day off each week!
- An essential resource for starting a CSA. Includes everything from crop planning through to alternative means of engaging under-serviced communities. Based on work by North America’s original CSAs.
- A business planning handbook written specifically for organic farmers. More suited to the scale and focus of small-scale vegetable farms. Includes a disc with planning and efficiency tools.
- Canada Revenue Agency. New Business Guide: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/sm/menu-eng.html Links to the various services available and overview of obligations for a new business in Canada.
- Canada Revenue Agency. Guide For Canadian Small Businesses: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4070/README.html Overview of different types of business structures, taxes, payroll, audits and various services available.
- AgiInvest: http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-
AAC/display-afficher.do?id= 1291828779399&lang=eng One of the Federal/Provincial Income Stabilization programs for farms. AgriInvest helps cover fluctuations in income up to 15% through a dollar-for-dollar matching savings account. Application is done through your income tax return.
- Production Insurance: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/production_insurance/ British Columbia’s crop insurance program.
Profitability on a small farm, Paul and Sandy Arnold. The best summary article of how to approach the management of a small-scale farm. http://www.cog.ca/documents/Winter04Arnold.pdf