Podcast Episode 18 – Interview with Joe Hurley of KettleRidge Farms and THE 529 Plan Maestro

Curtis Stone, of The Urban Farmer, is one of my hero’s in so many ways.

First of all, he is a PROFITABLE, organic farmer.
Secondly, he is 100% a capitalist and not ashamed of that.
Thirdly, his story is incredible and needs to be shared.

Curtis was a musician, touring the world in a band when he was a younger man. As most young men in bands, Curtis found himself partying, doing illicit activities and just hanging out with the wrong crowd.

But after a bunch of varying epiphanies, he cleaned himself up and bootstrapped his way to farming…without owning ANY land.

Oh, but even though he was clean, he still faced adversity and was nearly down and out in 2014. But he kept at it and now he is making money selling produce on 1/3 of an acre, managing a huge YouTube channel, writing a successful book and literally traveling the world bringing common sense business to farmers everywhere.

It’s a great story and one I can’t wait to share. I only wish I had another hour, or four, with him!

To get more of his backstory listen to this interview he did with Jack Spirko from The Survival Podcast. Enjoy!

Also, subscribe to Curtis’ Youtube Channel here.

And if you get a chance, visit Diego Footer’s page, Permaculture Voices.

Darby Simpson’s Grass Fed Life too.


In this episode, it is my pleasure to chat with Joe Hurley. Some of you probably know Joe Hurley from his amazing work in the 529 field.

Joe literally wrote the book on 529 plans. His is an amazing story actually of how he found something of interest, researched it, found very little on it and decided to write a book about it.

In the process of researching the book, Joe became the pre-eminent expert of 529 plans and then went on to start the SavingForCollege.com website.

Joe’s book “The Best Way to Save for College: A Complete Guide to 529 Plans” is STILL a must read for anyone interested in learning the rules of college savings plans.

Yet, Joe decided to leave all that behind and go into farming, full time. Here is an accountant by trade and later a successful entrepreneur. Well-known in the advisory space, certainly making decent money, leaving it all behind to farm maple syrup and honey on a 70 acre farm in Rochester, NY.

Tell me that’s a story you don’t want to hear!

You can find Joe’s farm here:
Definitely contact him for a tour of his operation.

Don’t forget, YOU can “adopt a maple” too. Go here for more info.

KettleRidge Farms is part of a CSA, as many smaller operations are.

A CSA is a Community-Supported Agriculture organization.  LocalHarvest.org explains:

Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

I’m a HUGE fan of CSAs. I’m also a huge fan of Farmer’s Markets too. And I highly encourage you to get involved in your local CSA or your farmers market or both.

Just go down one Saturday and it’s such a delight the people you meet.  Remember, these are BUSINESS PEOPLE, trying to run a business.  So, get to know them indeed. Chat them up.  Get on their mailing lists, etc. But don’t hog their booth.  They are trying to turn a profit.

On a side note, I mentioned in the interview how I’ve bought quarter and half cows.  These are the folks I purchase from here in Georgia. Indian Creek Farms.  Visit their website and give them a shot at earning some of your business. You won’t be disappointed.

When it comes to the “Beyond Organic” movement, you are not going to find a better operation than Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm out in Staunton, VA.  Joel has written a ton of books on his farming methods and serving humanity while serving God too.  Just a great operation.

I listen to Diego Footer’s Permaculture Voices Podcast quite a bit.  Ironically, and I just noticed this, Diego originally hails from Rochester, NY.  Interesting. Maybe something in the water up there that drives people to farming?

I’m also a HUGE fan of Darby Simpson with GrassFedLife.co  

One of these days I’m going to make the trek to his Indiana farm and take one of his classes.


Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast.  Probably the best podcast on the web.  5 days a week of insane education of so many topics I can’t begin to describe.

Whoa, I almost forgot!  The lady who edited my book, Nicole Sauce, of Living Free in Tennessee!  Check her out too!

So many people and groups just trying to better their communities all over the country.  If you want Maple syrup or honey, and live in Rochester, go see Joe Hurley.

If you living in Topeka, Kansas. Find your local producers.  They’re out there and they need you!

Hope you enjoy the podcast folks.  Thanks!

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