HOW TO MAKE A SMALL FARM INTO A MONEY MAKER!
to tell he's loaded? The BIG BARN!
WRITTEN BY A SAVVY FARMER "Farmers always need cash for something, be it mortgage, taxes, food, clothing, replacement parts, raw materials, animal feed, tools, or whatever. To me, who controls your income (and what hoops you have to jump through to get it) shows how independent you truly are. The Amish have a saying "The barn will build the house, but the house will never build the barn"...meaning look to your livelihood first; it is the source of everything else. We will always need to pay property taxes for the privilege of having our farms located in this country, and they won't take eggs and milk down at the town hall. my big worry.
We didn't jump into this feet first, hoping to be instantly self-sufficient. Every year we add a few more animals, plant more fruit and nut trees, and widen our crop area and selection. Every year we find more things to do with our land. This year we rented the back field (fixed up with fire circle, woodstove, latrine, and solar showers) to various groups who wanted to do camping retreats, and it paid for 2 goats and half the mortar for our new outbuilding, the sauna/hot tub/greenhouse, which we're still plugging away at. (We broke even on the herb sales this year, our first in business.) Still, this isn't enough cash for taxes and mortgage. Until it's paid, we work outside. For that matter, My wife doesn't want to stop working outside. She's getting her master's degree so she can get licensed as a LICSW and hang out a shingle. She enjoys her career, she enjoys the farm too. I don't intend to stop writing, either, although that can be done from the farm.
Every year, we get a little better at this. This year, most of the grain failed - we had a solid month of summer rain and our rye crop came down with ergot. Yup, ergot, the stuff that caused the Salem witch trials. and in Europe, St. Vitus's dance. ERGOT makes LSD by the way. No, we didn't eat it. Or refine it to sell at the local college. We’re not that eager for profits. But the rain helped some vegies. The tomatoes did marvelously. I figure in 5 more years we'll have got it all down, and be finished building our infrastructure. Small moves, small moves."
As a researcher into FRUGAL LIVING, creating COTTAGE INDUSTRIES, where you find articles on COMMUNAL Biz ventures, GUERILLA CAPITALISM, and NEW AGE MONEY MATTERS , I would suggest the obvious farm product, FRUIT JAMS. My girlfriend Edythe, here in L.A. works the open air Farmers’ Markets selling small jars of jam for 8$ each. She does Palisades, Malibu, The Valley, Beverly Hills on different days. She expanded to Ebay antique finds in the ‘related’ area of vintage tablecloths, napkins. At close up time Sunday, on weekends, she goes to the many fruit vendors and gets crates of things for nearly nothing. You can bet she’s making jam on Monday!
Those growing it can sell every clove they produce. Elephant garlic, for example, retails for $6 a pound and produces up to 15,000 pounds per acre." Garlic is an ideal crop for the small grower, as it's labor intensive
and almost foolproof. Because it tolerates a wide variety of soils and weather, it's very hard to lose a crop. For decades, growers have nicknamed garlic "the mortgage lifter" for that very reason.
Two years ago, when owners Jeff Goldberg and Tanner Haigwood had a good idea and very little money. Now the two are celebrating the success and expansion of their bamboo fence company. Their old warehouse is empty because they’re moving into a new facility twice the size. They need the space to keep up with demand for the
bamboo they sell. 250,000 pounds of bamboo every month. Goldberg and Haigwood estimate their company’s worth at more than $10 million. So just how did two unemployed surfers end up with a multi-million-dollar company in two years? The entrepreneurs also know, if a retail giant like Home Depot enters the bamboo market, it could put them out of business. LOOK HOW MANY BAMBOO GROWERS THERE ARE.
Bamboo is a real business
opportunity! Bob Gow has grown the superb Dendrocalamus
strictus bamboos on his 1000 acre hacienda deep on the Yucatan
peninsula. He and his mayan workers have created fences and furniture. They are
looking for bamboo businesses Stateside which will market their poles and
products and use their skills and facilities to develop their own designs and
ideas. Yuca bamboo's ability to produce poles is unlimited. Land is plentiful.
Start your bamboo business on the shoulders of Yucabamboo.
Note that a 12 foot fence from YUCA Bamboo fencing is about 200$. His labor is Indians down in Mexico. But how hard can it be to wire together a lot of pieces. If you can underprice the people currently in this line of manufacturing, supply the landscapers in the city near you, there's money to be made. OR DO FURNITURE out of BAMBOO. Get your own website. A total tyro can do that, I did, and I write about it. WEBSITE DESIGN Put your business on the map with your site. Go to Craigs list to place ads daily, to advertise your offerings.
GAMBIT, GROW VEGETABLES. You and a few friends get a ONE ACRE FARM GARDEN
one gas tank away from the city. An acre is highly productive for
its size.. Make the pathways narrow rather than increasing the size of
the BEDS just create more planting beds per acre.
(You can only lean in so far to till the soil when on your knees.) BUILD
A CABIN there for your group. Then WORKER VILLAS.
Salad is a good farmer’s market item, an every Sunday money crop. You and your group might need a rural helper to water 7 times a week, more if it's super hot there. Inexpensive labor from a teenage boy? The watering is the key upkeep. The rest you can do on Saturdays. It’s easy to harvest so your own kids can do it. They pick every weekend. You'll need a van and a lot of ice. Some farmers pick SUNDAY MORNING. Depends on how far your farm is.
TILTH NOT TILLING- If you want lazy gardening, read the online writings of RUTH STOUT. Her books are available used, online, at ABEBOOKS. Good old Ruthie a senior, never tilled. She mulched, just added fertility on top, knowing what worms know, that tilth sinks downward and if it doesn't, the worm moves upward and eats the mulch, and poops downward, giving superb, black worm castings at all levels beneath your tossed-on leaf salad. Nature has many miracles & little tricks and not all are visible above ground. Except as vibrant, healthy plants!
Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Mother of 4 and career Astrologer. Catch up with her websites TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! & HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also HOW TO LIVE on A NICKLE, The FRUGAL PAGE.* Anita is at firstname.lastname@example.org ). Get a free natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horos cope as a Gif file graphic!
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