After ditching Wix to create a much better farm website, these awesome farmers began mastering farm marketing
Rachel and Matthew Palma are the can-do farmers behind Virginia’s Restoration Acres, a farm with the tagline “Food that Restores.” Their passion through our regenerative farming practices is to see restoration happen to our earth and ecology, to the health and well being of those who consume their products, to the animals they raise, and ultimately in our community and their food and farming systems. They may be farmers now. But like many of us, they didn’t grow up that way.
“We were both raised in the city with no family history of farming,” Rachel says. “Matt has always had a love for the outdoors but was told as a teenager that he was “too smart to farm” after expressing a mild interest in it. Two years into our marriage we came across a documentary about regenerative farming called “Fresh.” We were instantly hooked and immediately delved into all things farming. Almost one year later we began an 8-month apprenticeship at a well-established farm in Virginia where we got the vital hands-on experience we desperately needed. We have now been farming for a total of seven years, 6 of those being with our own farm business.”
Restoration Acres produces and sells pastured chicken and pastured pork. Customers can buy it in their slick online store, and choose one of many dropsite/pick-up locations in the Lynchburg/Roanoke area.
Rachel explains why they engaged with Small Farm Nation.
“Our big challenge was digital marketing. We thankfully established a good customer base from the get go by utilizing a year-round farmers market in our area. We’ve shown up nearly every Saturday for the past six years and have been able to build relationships with our customers that way. However, our website, which was done by us through a free version of Wix, was in desperate need of help for many years. We were so focused on the farming side of things and although we knew the importance of digital marketing we never made it a priority. It was challenging to rationalize making time for marketing when we were so enveloped in day-to-day farm chores and trying to grow our business the way we knew how.”
But, after finding the Small Farm Nation podcast, a fire was lit. Rachel and Matthew realized they had to give farm marketing the attention it needed.
“Small Farm Nation really helped us prioritize our marketing strategies,” Rachel explained. “Not only were we able to build a professional, user-friendly website for our farm using Small Farm Nation, we also learned the value in email marketing. Until listening to Tim’s podcasts and becoming members of the Small Farm Nation Academy, we never knew how important email list building and email marketing were. Thanks to the videos and resources in the Academy we have successfully streamlined all of our digital marketing avenues to point to our website which then points people to signup to our email list. This has made communication to our hundreds of customers much more efficient, ultimately turning them into raving fans and loyal customers.”
When asked what they see as the most challenging part of running a profitable farm business, and what she wishes they would have focused on earlier, Rachel had this to say:
“If we could start over, I would build a professional website from the start to make finding us, ordering product, and staying connected easier for our customers. As the marketing manager of our farm, I found it very challenging to constantly receive emails, texts, and phone calls from customers who had very basic questions that would have been easily answered had we been clearly communicating via our website and regular farm emails. Since we have streamlined all of our communication and marketing channels into a simple and efficient system, I have found myself having time to do the more important work of creating relevant content for our customers, filling and delivering orders, and the hundreds of other tasks our farm business requires of me.”
Small Farm Nation designs and
hosts custom websites with online stores
for farmers. Our web designs meet the needs of each individual farm.