Small farms are becoming big business. One reason is an innovation called food hubs.
Food hubs aren’t exactly new: a few have been around for 20 years. But lately, they’ve been growing like zucchini in August: two-thirds have been in business less than five years, one-third less than two years. Not only are there more of them. They’re getting bigger, and doing more, and becoming more important to agriculture, in the Midwest and around the country.
My guess is that they contribute to a phenomenon that we noted in a recent posting on this blog – that the number of mid-size farms, defined as farms with sales of $100,000 to $500,000 per year, is growing. These are the so-called family farms that had been vanishing, as U.S. agriculture became big business and the so-called mega-farmers bought up smaller farms and put them out of business.
That’s changing, and food hubs may be one reason.