The Sustainable Decisions Tool for Western North Carolina Farmers

DIY Guide

Author(s): Laura Lengnick and Susan Kask

Organization: Warren Wilson College

Planning Step: Your Climate Resilience Plan

The Sustainable Decisions Tool for Western North Carolina Farmers is a resource developed by farmers, researchers and technical assistance specialists working to increase small farm prosperity in a region threatened by high development pressure. Drawing on the principles of sustainable agriculture, whole farm planning, and sustainable choice theory, this resource guides farmer selection of sustainability indicators to evaluate farm performance. Farmers using whole farm planning believe that good decisions do not just happen – they are the result of thinking through goals, clarifying relationships on the farm, collecting and organizing information, evaluating alternatives to find the best fit for farm and family, along with regular monitoring of the plan to be sure it is working well. This resource introduces 26 on-farm indicators of family, community, and environmental well-being used by small-scale diversified farmers based in Western North Carolina and provides directions and worksheets to monitor each of these indicators on your farm. Farmers can use this resource to learn more about whole farm planning and on-farm monitoring, and select some key performance indicators for their climate resilience plan.

Relevant Region(s): All | Farm Scale: Small | Farm Type: Diversified | Markets: Wholesale/Retail