Create a Cottage Industry

This entrepreneur grew a successful farm business by deftly maneuvering through the ever-changing and challenging market.


Do you dream of turning your farming passion or kitchen expertise into a viable, sustainable income source?

You aren’t alone. Each year, many of us turn the rural-lifestyle dream into reality. Sometimes, a food business even finds you. And if you’re like Kathy Hanson of Pasco, Washington, that business finds you at the perfect time.

Kathy never expected to be a business owner, yet she has creatively turned her small farm into a self-supporting enterprise. Along the way, she’s learned when to persevere, when to abandon a working model, and when to pivot to a different arrangement.

A Nimble Navigator

Twenty years ago, Kathy’s life suddenly changed when her husband died after a brief illness. She was in her 40s, her children were grown, and her home belonged to her husband’s employer, so she had to find a new place to live. Friends who happened to be relocating at that time reached out, and she was quickly the new owner of their small ranch.

To assuage her grief, Kathy became a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, wandering the acreage and pushing seeds and saplings into the ground, subconsciously turning the property into a farmstead. “Planting forces you to think of the future,” she says. Today, she lovingly refers to the farm as “Therapy Acres.”

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