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Old 01-14-2015, 09:29 AM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,036 times
Reputation: 1458

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Sorry, I just can't resist - more armchair research. You post a random link on this forum, I followed it and it is basically someone's opinion. Most of those are not even farming really. Bonsai trees? Come on.

Lavender? Actually I live in an area that supports lavender growth very well. Do you know how many lavender farms are around? 4, maybe 5 in a 150 mile radius. Why? 'Cause an acre of land goes for $20K....
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,206 times
Reputation: 217
Small is beautiful...and profitable
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 11,057,060 times
Reputation: 20569
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Sorry, I just can't resist - more armchair research. You post a random link on this forum, I followed it and it is basically someone's opinion. Most of those are not even farming really. Bonsai trees? Come on.
If it was as easy as that article makes it sound, farmers would be rolling in dough. Very few are! Most are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

And who ever heard of bonsai tree farming? In my area, tree growers and those who grow landscaping plants and sell them are a dime a dozen. You can't drive a few miles without hitting one. Would I say they're raking in the big bucks? Heck no! And they have major competition from places like Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, grocery stores, etc. The person who wrote that article was smoking something he was growing or is just plain nuts!
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:39 AM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,206 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
If it was as easy as that article makes it sound, farmers would be rolling in dough. Very few are! Most are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

And who ever heard of bonsai tree farming? In my area, tree growers and those who grow landscaping plants and sell them are a dime a dozen. You can't drive a few miles without hitting one. Would I say they're raking in the big bucks? Heck no! And they have major competition from places like Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, grocery stores, etc. The person who wrote that article was smoking something he was growing or is just plain nuts!
In my area, bonzai go for a insane price. landscaping stuff and general trees are pretty cheap sure, but like a ginsing ficus or a juniper start around $300
and im sorry but i have never seen a chain store like lowes, white trash mart or home depot sell any decent bonsai. actually i dont think i have ever seen bonsai at all at lowes or walmart.

And, bonsai are not generally landscaping plants. There are some exceptions, but comparing something like the "Goshin" to a home depot fern is like comparing a "Dalmore 62" to a bottle of "old smuggler".

And sure, it might not be a typical farmstead with cows or corn, but hey, if there is a market someone has to grow them right? Think of it as a nursery where the trees are under a foot tall and sell for 20 times the price of a cherry tree.

Last I checked the title of this was 'whats the most profitable type of small-scale farming?".
Care to weigh in on that? If you think bonsai are terrible examples, please, explain why and/or offer your own opinion. The more data and people involved the more this post offers to readers. So dont be shy, your voice enriches all of us.
Besides, you dont want to be like Lordy, he has yet to offer any worth while ideas, just whines a lot..
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,784 posts, read 11,269,350 times
Reputation: 19767
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
In my area, bonzai go for a insane price. landscaping stuff and general trees are pretty cheap sure, but like a ginsing ficus or a juniper start around $300
and im sorry but i have never seen a chain store like lowes, white trash mart or home depot sell any decent bonsai. actually i dont think i have ever seen bonsai at all at lowes or walmart.

And, bonsai are not generally landscaping plants. There are some exceptions, but comparing something like the "Goshin" to a home depot fern is like comparing a "Dalmore 62" to a bottle of "old smuggler".

And sure, it might not be a typical farmstead with cows or corn, but hey, if there is a market someone has to grow them right? Think of it as a nursery where the trees are under a foot tall and sell for 20 times the price of a cherry tree.

Last I checked the title of this was 'whats the most profitable type of small-scale farming?".
Care to weigh in on that? If you think bonsai are terrible examples, please, explain why and/or offer your own opinion. The more data and people involved the more this post offers to readers. So dont be shy, your voice enriches all of us.
Besides, you dont want to be like Lordy, he has yet to offer any worth while ideas, just whines a lot..
I know what you need to do. Buy some Bonsai here and sell them where you live. There are more sellers; the price is about the Amazon average.

Amazon.com : Brussel's CT9005CE Chinese Elm Bonsai : Bonsai Trees For Sale : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Here's a bonsai nursery's offering of a Ginseng Ficus. Not quite $300.00. But it's only a seven year old plant.

Ginseng Ficus Bonsai Tree - Small(Ficus Retusa)

Want Juniperus? You're in luck; you can sell a small one after three years.

Juniper Bonsai Tree-Small(Juniper Procumbens "nana")

I've never raised bonsai, but I have raised various ornamentals for my own pleasure. They take care; they take time. Multiply that care and time 5x for bonsai. But you know more than any of us do. Just buy some for $30 each and sell them at the farmers' market for three hundred.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:50 AM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,036 times
Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
And, bonsai are not generally landscaping plants. There are some exceptions, but comparing something like the "Goshin" to a home depot fern is like comparing a "Dalmore 62" to a bottle of "old smuggler".
Given that I am somewhat of a bonsai afficionado, I have to say it again - you have NO CLUE what you are talking about. If they were so easy to grow and there was a big-enough market for them, everyone would have been all over that yesterday... We are talking about TREES here. What are you going to do for a living/mortgage/healthcare in the first few years it takes to produce the tree (it takes more than a few years to produce a nice bonsai tree)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Last I checked the title of this was 'whats the most profitable type of small-scale farming?".
Care to weigh in on that? If you think bonsai are terrible examples, please, explain why and/or offer your own opinion. The more data and people involved the more this post offers to readers. So dont be shy, your voice enriches all of us.
Besides, you dont want to be like Lordy, he has yet to offer any worth while ideas, just whines a lot..
Yeah thanks for that. It is called being realistic. Besides you are not offering YOUR experiences and YOUR opinions - you are re-posting someone else's WITHOUT ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT; since you have never actually grown a bonsai tree, you have no way of figuring out whether what the link is saying is true or false. Japanese maples? Lavender? Have you actually EVER grown anything in your life? Esp. these niche products? Any "armchair expert" can post someone else's opinions, agendas etc. - that's the problem - they all SOUND reasonable, however, do you actually understand what you are posting though?

Here is a worthwhile idea: look for a cheap foreclosure on a few acres outside of a city. Pay cash for it so you have no mortgage. Come up with a financial plan for the next 3 years. Make sure you have enough in the bank to cover the basics of decent living for you and your family. DO NOT quit your day job or if you do, make sure spouse keeps theirs. Research local market, find produce that is expensive or not the best quality or lacking in your area. Plant diverse selection of veggies including the products you identified and keep chipping away at it. Maybe in 3 years you break even. Plan on working your a** off, not only on the farm but also marketing, talking to people, going around local restaurants offering to supply them. Be ready that there will be many people JUST LIKE YOU, offering the same stuff... So on and so on. JUST LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS.

Oh yes, don't pay attention to the Google armchair experts, most of them get paid for writing what they write - you just don't know it. They make a comfy living writing while you try to do what they say and put your skin on the line...

Last edited by LordyLordy; 01-15-2015 at 08:00 AM..
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 11,057,060 times
Reputation: 20569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
In my area, bonzai go for a insane price. landscaping stuff and general trees are pretty cheap sure, but like a ginsing ficus or a juniper start around $300
and im sorry but i have never seen a chain store like lowes, white trash mart or home depot sell any decent bonsai. actually i dont think i have ever seen bonsai at all at lowes or walmart.

And, bonsai are not generally landscaping plants. There are some exceptions, but comparing something like the "Goshin" to a home depot fern is like comparing a "Dalmore 62" to a bottle of "old smuggler".

And sure, it might not be a typical farmstead with cows or corn, but hey, if there is a market someone has to grow them right? Think of it as a nursery where the trees are under a foot tall and sell for 20 times the price of a cherry tree.

Last I checked the title of this was 'whats the most profitable type of small-scale farming?".
Care to weigh in on that? If you think bonsai are terrible examples, please, explain why and/or offer your own opinion. The more data and people involved the more this post offers to readers. So dont be shy, your voice enriches all of us.
Besides, you dont want to be like Lordy, he has yet to offer any worth while ideas, just whines a lot..
I have seen bonsai trees in Home Depot in various parts of the east coast. Were they the greatest specimens to have ever lived? Probably not. But the average person doesn't care! They want CHEAP. Why do you think they're at Home Depot and not Bob's Bonsai Tree's?

And I never claimed bonsai were general landscaping plants. Bonsai are less than popular where I live. You'd be bankrupt in a week trying to off load them here.

Nurseries, in general, don't sell plants and trees like you think they do. I drive by one every week and the same exact trees have been in the same area for sale for at least 3 years. They've been there as long as I've lived here. That means NO ONE is buying them. So they've got hundreds if not thousands of man hours, water, nutrition, planting, moving, replanting, mulching, etc wrapped up in these trees and they sit there because no one wants them. They also have a greenhouse full of cacti. Why? This is the northeast. How many cacti are you going to sell in a summer season? Not many!

I did weigh in what's the most profitable type of small-scale farming. i clearly stated what would not work in my area. I did say why bonsai are bad examples. You can buy them anywhere!

Where I live, there aren't any rich farmers. They work like dogs 7 days a week. Some are just scraping by and some are doing ok, but their house needs major repair like a new roof, but there's no money for that.

The wineries and vineyards, for the most part, do pretty well. Same with the breweries, distilleries, and cideries. You won't be able to grow most of those ingredients in many areas. European grapes don't grow everywhere in America. Certain species do well in my area. Some do not. Most of our apples were created by Cornell. There agriculture experiment station is in my town. We have apples here that they don't sell outside of the area. we also have apple wine. Hops are now grown in NY again. NY was once the largest grower of hops in America until a blight came in and wiped it all out.

Last year, there was a major issue with tomato blight so if you put all your eggs in the tomato basket, you would have been screwed. People don't think about blight or insect problems when they decide they want to become farmers. Most people have no idea what they're getting into. Looks fun on tv, but then reality sets in and it's back breaking work 7 days a week. There are no sick days. There are no weekends. There are no vacations. There are no holidays. The pay is extremely low and typically only once a year per crop. Even dairy farmers aren't paid weekly. There's no magic fairy handing out weekly paychecks.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 11,057,060 times
Reputation: 20569
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Yeah thanks for that. It is called being realistic. Besides you are not offering YOUR experiences and YOUR opinions - you are re-posting someone else's WITHOUT ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT; since you have never actually grown a bonsai tree, you have no way of figuring out whether what the link is saying is true or false. Japanese maples? Lavender? Have you actually EVER grown anything in your life? Esp. these niche products? Any "armchair expert" can post someone else's opinions, agendas etc. - that's the problem - they all SOUND reasonable, however, do you actually understand what you are posting though?

Here is a worthwhile idea: look for a cheap foreclosure on a few acres outside of a city. Pay cash for it so you have no mortgage. Come up with a financial plan for the next 3 years. Make sure you have enough in the bank to cover the basics of decent living for you and your family. DO NOT quit your day job or if you do, make sure spouse keeps theirs. Research local market, find produce that is expensive or not the best quality or lacking in your area. Plant diverse selection of veggies including the products you identified and keep chipping away at it. Maybe in 3 years you break even. Plan on working your a** off, not only on the farm but also marketing, talking to people, going around local restaurants offering to supply them. Be ready that there will be many people JUST LIKE YOU, offering the same stuff... So on and so on. JUST LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS.
Where I live, Japanese maples do grow very well. But again most people buy them at Lowe's or Home Depot. They tend to have more than our local nurseries. I mean how many do you need to plant of these on your property? They're not like annuals that people buy every year. You buy one Japanese Maple, you're usually set for life. I only have 2 neighbors who have them and they take care of their properties and are gardeners.

Lavender. Doesn't grow here. You can buy it in the summer, but by fall it's dead. If it even lives that long.

Good luck competing on price with the large produce vendors who've been established and reliable for decades. Chefs aren't only concerned about quality. They are concerned about price and supply. They need someone who is established and can readily supply them. They'll fire you if you can't deliver even once. They need their ingredients. Typically, they want the best and they want it cheap. Pretty much how every business is!

You wouldn't be able to compete for grocery stores either. One of stores here grows the vast majority of their own organic produce. They have their own organic farm. They also grow many of the non-organic items. They have contracts with large commercial farms for many items as well. They've had these contracts for decades. So how can you compete with that?

One could always grow mushrooms in their basement. There are kits you can purchase them and grow them. Will you making enough to earn a decent living? Nope. But it's something small you can try and get your feet wet. Hope you like eating mushrooms!
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,206 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
I know what you need to do. Buy some Bonsai here and sell them where you live. There are more sellers; the price is about the Amazon average.

Amazon.com : Brussel's CT9005CE Chinese Elm Bonsai : Bonsai Trees For Sale : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Here's a bonsai nursery's offering of a Ginseng Ficus. Not quite $300.00. But it's only a seven year old plant.

Ginseng Ficus Bonsai Tree - Small(Ficus Retusa)

Want Juniperus? You're in luck; you can sell a small one after three years.

Juniper Bonsai Tree-Small(Juniper Procumbens "nana")

I've never raised bonsai, but I have raised various ornamentals for my own pleasure. They take care; they take time. Multiply that care and time 5x for bonsai. But you know more than any of us do. Just buy some for $30 each and sell them at the farmers' market for three hundred.
Yes it is so impossible no one does it EVER thus ever bonsai magically falls out of the sky or they are farmed by starving gnomes who cannot afford shoes, just one left sock.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,206 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
I have seen bonsai trees in Home Depot in various parts of the east coast. Were they the greatest specimens to have ever lived? Probably not. But the average person doesn't care! They want CHEAP. Why do you think they're at Home Depot and not Bob's Bonsai Tree's?



Nurseries, in general, don't sell plants and trees like you think they do. I drive by one every week and the same exact trees have been in the same area for sale for at least 3 years. They've been there as long as I've lived here. That means NO ONE is buying them. So they've got hundreds if not thousands of man hours, water, nutrition, planting, moving, replanting, mulching, etc wrapped up in these trees and they sit there because no one wants them. They also have a greenhouse full of cacti. Why? This is the northeast. How many cacti are you going to sell in a summer season? Not many!
A lot of what you are talking about is area specific. Within 6 miles of my my home we have 2 navlet nurseries and a non chain nursery called Orchard (not to be confused with the hardware chain) as well as several home depots, a lowes, a few ace hardware stores and a couple orchard hardwares supplies. All of which have nurseries. Around here, plants and trees go fairly quickly.
Navlet?s Garden Centers || All Four of Our San Francisco East Bay Area Locations are Open 7 Days a Week
Welcome to Orchard Nursery

Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
I did weigh in what's the most profitable type of small-scale farming. i clearly stated what would not work in my area. I did say why bonsai are bad examples. You can buy them anywhere!



The wineries and vineyards, for the most part, do pretty well. Same with the breweries, distilleries, and cideries. You won't be able to grow most of those ingredients in many areas. European grapes don't grow everywhere in America. Certain species do well in my area. Some do not. Most of our apples were created by Cornell. There agriculture experiment station is in my town. We have apples here that they don't sell outside of the area. we also have apple wine. Hops are now grown in NY again. NY was once the largest grower of hops in America until a blight came in and wiped it all out.
I have seen what you suggest wouldnt make money , but I have not seen what you suggest would. Unless this post was your suggested answer that, via vineyards ect?
I agree that everything is area specific. Like a sno-cone stand in gnome AK in winter. Might not be a great idea. There are dozens and dozens of vineyards here. It is so crowded now and the market so full and a competitive, that you would have to have $$$$$$ to even start one out here.
But our farmers markets has seen a large increase in shiitake and oyster mushrooms (not grown in a basement :P) grown locally. There are two or three groups that move those something fierce. All organic and $7 or more a pound and those folks sell everything they bring!!!

Oh and a new hybrid orchard just started selling stuff recently too. Like pluots and plucots. Those guys are making money hand over fist it seems. They have a small roadside stand and U-pick. Its the only hybrid orchard that is doing that here.
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