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Old 08-13-2013, 09:50 AM
 
8 posts, read 33,414 times
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Hi Sizzly Frizzle,

I live in Colorado, and the state just made pot legal to grow and with a license, sell.

It will be interesting to see how that lowers the value of that crop. We are starting a new farm, but with very little capitol. We will be starting by selling microgreens to restaurants and will be starting a CSA.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,148 posts, read 50,323,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notacad View Post
... We are starting a new farm, but with very little capitol. We will be starting by selling microgreens to restaurants and will be starting a CSA.
Congratulations



I see a lot of food-producers who start with little to no capital.



The normal business model for business start-up in America today is to first require capital, ideally via debt-load.

I sit on the Board of Directors for our county Co-Operative Extension Office, one of the bureaucrats that works there put together a 10 session series on how to startup a farm. She has been promoting this series all around the state, and a lot of people have sat through it. It covers how to make estimates of how much cash you will need to carry you for the first five years [your operation, yourself and your employees], how to get sponsors to buy-in to the idea, which government offices you will need to coordinate this with, and how to present your loan request to the bank. She is very proud of her project and how many prospective new farmers she has 'trained'.

At the same time, in the same meetings, there are programs that focus on helping local Farmer's Markets and encouraging networking between local farms and schools. We live in a region that sees at least a dozen new farms starting up every year. Statewide we have been seeing 6 to 8 new Farmer's Markets open each year. In this area, this is a growing sub-culture. I am not aware of any of those new farms that carry any debt. As far as I am aware nearly all of them start with little to no front capital.

I sell produce, and I do so among many other farmer/vendors. I do not know of any of them personally who started by borrowing money. But that is not the 'normal business model' today for business start-ups. Folks who put together classes on how to startup a farm, have never started up a farm. So they do not know.



I wish you lots of luck with your CSA.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Rivendell
1,387 posts, read 2,189,270 times
Reputation: 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by notacad View Post
Hi Sizzly Frizzle,

I live in Colorado, and the state just made pot legal to grow and with a license, sell.

It will be interesting to see how that lowers the value of that crop. We are starting a new farm, but with very little capitol. We will be starting by selling microgreens to restaurants and will be starting a CSA.
We sure would like to see pot legalized around here. Although our local economy would take a big hit, we surely will not miss the crime and environmental damage.

Good luck with your CSA. I belonged to one for a couple of years, but I dropped them. They were selling the best quality and variety at the Farmer's Market and giving us the seconds.

Have you considered selling fresh herbs in addition to microgreens?
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:09 AM
 
8 posts, read 33,414 times
Reputation: 17
Default Thank you Submariner!

Thank you for your input. I have started many businesses without borrowing money. Like you said, I am not "Normal". I guess it comes from spending time on a farm growing up and on a Submarine in the Navy. We take what we have and make the best of it. Growing and improving as we can afford to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
Congratulations



I see a lot of food-producers who start with little to no capital.



The normal business model for business start-up in America today is to first require capital, ideally via debt-load.

I sit on the Board of Directors for our county Co-Operative Extension Office, one of the bureaucrats that works there put together a 10 session series on how to startup a farm. She has been promoting this series all around the state, and a lot of people have sat through it. It covers how to make estimates of how much cash you will need to carry you for the first five years [your operation, yourself and your employees], how to get sponsors to buy-in to the idea, which government offices you will need to coordinate this with, and how to present your loan request to the bank. She is very proud of her project and how many prospective new farmers she has 'trained'.

At the same time, in the same meetings, there are programs that focus on helping local Farmer's Markets and encouraging networking between local farms and schools. We live in a region that sees at least a dozen new farms starting up every year. Statewide we have been seeing 6 to 8 new Farmer's Markets open each year. In this area, this is a growing sub-culture. I am not aware of any of those new farms that carry any debt. As far as I am aware nearly all of them start with little to no front capital.

I sell produce, and I do so among many other farmer/vendors. I do not know of any of them personally who started by borrowing money. But that is not the 'normal business model' today for business start-ups. Folks who put together classes on how to startup a farm, have never started up a farm. So they do not know.



I wish you lots of luck with your CSA.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:39 AM
 
8 posts, read 33,414 times
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Yes, We will be growing fresh herbs!!!
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:14 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,526 times
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Default Re

Making a living on small-scale farming is possible.

1. Rent a small farm
2. Have minimal to no personal debt.
3. Buy a used trailer to live in.
4. Put the rest of your cash into cash generating activity. Its going to look ****ty - but who cares. Put your cash into things that make money. A fancy home doesn't make you jack.
5. Pick a center piece and then add value to that center piece (i.e. - free range chicken, then turkeys, eggs, etc.). Would recommend a apprenticeship in this area.
6. Sell directly to the consumer at local markets. Forget wholesale.Have some sense in marketing and branding - this makes a big deal to city slickers.
7. Work 14-16hrs a day easy. 6-7 days a week.
8. Rest in the off season.
9. Love the lifestyle. Be happy.

See: foundationfarm.com. 50K Gross - 40K+ Net. a year. Less than 1 acre cultivated area. No till. Organic veggies. Its being done all without a tractor.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:20 AM
 
8 posts, read 33,414 times
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Great Advice! But as you said, if you use the no-till method, you do not have to spend as much money for equipment and you do not have to work as many hours.

Enjoy the Journey also, each and every day. Last week while I was working digging the water line ditch, I had quite a few birds (Magpie Crows) stop and say hello. Probably looking to see what kind of food would "show up"

We have wild donkeys, horses as well as antelopes that come by from time to time also. The view is great, and the neighbors are wonderful. They are all wild.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,148 posts, read 50,323,277 times
Reputation: 19856
Quote:
Originally Posted by notacad View Post
Great Advice! But as you said, if you use the no-till method, you do not have to spend as much money for equipment and you do not have to work as many hours.

Enjoy the Journey also, each and every day. Last week while I was working digging the water line ditch, I had quite a few birds (Magpie Crows) stop and say hello. Probably looking to see what kind of food would "show up"

We have wild donkeys, horses as well as antelopes that come by from time to time also. The view is great, and the neighbors are wonderful. They are all wild.
A lot of organic operations are no-till.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,148 posts, read 50,323,277 times
Reputation: 19856
I attend potluck suppers hosted by a group of State Uni Ag students, last winter I talked-up the regional Apprenticeship program. I was amazed that in a four year college program, there is no awareness of the regional farmers network.

Two of those students followed-up and did apprenticeships this summer.

This past weekend, I attended the annual fair that our Regional Organic Certifying Agency puts on. There I met both of those Ag majors, and had a chance to speak with them briefly. It seems that by working apprenticeships over the summer on farms, both of them had lots of fun. One of them has decided to continue as a farm-hand and see if next spring she can start her own farm. Rather than continue in college.

Attending classes while accumulating debt is one thing, actual farming is another.

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Old 09-25-2013, 09:05 AM
 
3,438 posts, read 4,837,457 times
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I have a question about farmers' markets and roadside stands selling directly to the public.

Many people will presume selling price x yield is what the farmer will have for income.

That would be true if ......ALL..........of his product was able to sell at every farmers market or at his roadside stand.

A former neighbor of mine picked fresh sweet corn and had a daily roadside stand.
You paid for it on the "honor system"

Usually 3/4 got sold every day at his price and the remaining 1/4 got fed to pigs every night.

Not everything grown gets sold at optimum prices.
People already in the business know that.
Many " newbies" do not.
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