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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What could you do with this? Income potential? It's near a farmers market where organic is hard to find and very expensive. Demographically speaking, middle to upper middle class neighborhoods common in the area.
 

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Pumpkins usually sell well everywhere. Gourds do well too. Strawberries and bramble fruits are hot sellers here. Garlic would have sold well if I would have had it at the last sale I did. My peonies all sold out, but those would be a long-term thing because of how slowly they grow. Watermelon and muskmelon are always good sellers for Pop. Unusual tomatoes are good items.
 

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When I lived in Colorado Springs, I used to sell my soap/candles to a lady that did the farmers markets in the springs, and up in Denver.
She made 40K plus a year doing nothing but that!
She sold small bundles of every kind of herb you can imagine for $3-$6.
Garlic, tomatos, peaches, cherries, squash, berries, new potatos, corn, egggplant, etc.
I know she grew most of the herbs herself, not sure about everything else.
She also had small index cards printed up with different recipes for the veggies.
The "shi-shi" crowd went nuts for that kind of stuff.
 

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How much time you want to put into it is a good question. I grow on about 2 1/2 acres. It is all my husband and I have time for. When we were both working full time, we just wholesaled cucumbers. We were happy because they paid our property and school taxes with something left over for Christmas. Now I have left my job and we are free to make a bit more money.
At the beginning of each planting season , I decide how much money I want to make on each crop and plant accordingly.
Linda
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was thinking a combination of market gardening and animals (fiber and/or dairy) plus chickens would be nice. A few sheep, a few goats, a flock of chickens, a roo, and possibly some rabbits. I can't see myself having time for more than an acre of garden. I work part time, and my husband works full time. Commutes would be longer because this is more remote than our current locale.

The important thing is, it's work we both love to do, which makes it easy. It's like a vacation that earns a living - heh - a living vacation.

:cool:

I think the best way to split up the farmed 4 is 2 acres for animals, 1 for market gardening, and 1 for orchard.
 

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I can't see myself having time for more than an acre of garden.

I think the best way to split up the farmed 4 is 2 acres for animals, 1 for market gardening, and 1 for orchard.
If you can mechanize so as to roto-till (or work the ground alternatively), plant, and cultivate with a tractor you can save in immense amount of work. Cultivating a 200' row is quick work with a tractor versus with a hoe. Of course that means rather bare ground without mulch which could be added after the soil has warmed thoroughly and the first few rounds of sprouted weed have been destroyed. That still leaves harvesting and handling though which can take a lot of time.

As for orchard I don't know what you will do with the crops but you can fit a lot of trees onto an acre which is 43,560 square feet. Even if you plant them on a 20 foot by 20 foot grid there is enough room for 109 trees. I once toyed with the idea of planting a fair sized orchard of apples only to learn that the time required for picking them was beyond my capability in a reasonable amount of time.

Personally I'd opt for a smaller orchard of semi-dwarf or dwarf trees spaced closer together and use the rest of the acre to grow some livestock grain and feed. It all depends upon what you want from an orchard, i.e. juice from grapes and apples, etc.

Whatever you decide it sounds like fun and I give you my best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you can mechanize so as to roto-till (or work the ground alternatively), plant, and cultivate with a tractor you can save in immense amount of work. Cultivating a 200' row is quick work with a tractor versus with a hoe. Of course that means rather bare ground without mulch which could be added after the soil has warmed thoroughly and the first few rounds of sprouted weed have been destroyed. That still leaves harvesting and handling though which can take a lot of time.

As for orchard I don't know what you will do with the crops but you can fit a lot of trees onto an acre which is 43,560 square feet. Even if you plant them on a 20 foot by 20 foot grid there is enough room for 109 trees. I once toyed with the idea of planting a fair sized orchard of apples only to learn that the time required for picking them was beyond my capability in a reasonable amount of time.

Personally I'd opt for a smaller orchard of semi-dwarf or dwarf trees spaced closer together and use the rest of the acre to grow some livestock grain and feed. It all depends upon what you want from an orchard, i.e. juice from grapes and apples, etc.

Whatever you decide it sounds like fun and I give you my best wishes.
Those sound like viable options. Semi-dwarf all the way. I'd also plant it using plant guilds to hypothetically enhance the health and productivity of the fruit trees and balance the pest populations.

I don't even know if we can qualify for this place or not. But we're going to give it the old college try and see what happens.
 

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One of the farmers in my cooperative makes about $40k a year in a 2000 square foot greenhouse growing nothing but gourmet lettuce and spinach. I find that working more than about an acre of garden (unless it's monoculture) by hand to be a real chore. Tractors make life easier, but I won't farm with one on principle.

If you want the land to start paying for itself short term then plant regular garden crops. You won't make much money, but it will start right away. What I've done with my not-so-fertile 5 acres is mix short term and long term crops and provide a lot of room for grazing livestock. I suggest you go short term for the first 2 years, simply to let your body adjust to the workload and to get a better understanding of the natural cycles of that piece of land. You don't know where the sun falls yet or where the shade is, or where water pools up after a big rain. Like myself, you were probably just itching to do everything all at once, but if you wait a little time and ease into it you'll have better results with less cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One of the farmers in my cooperative makes about $40k a year in a 2000 square foot greenhouse growing nothing but gourmet lettuce and spinach. I find that working more than about an acre of garden (unless it's monoculture) by hand to be a real chore. Tractors make life easier, but I won't farm with one on principle.

If you want the land to start paying for itself short term then plant regular garden crops. You won't make much money, but it will start right away. What I've done with my not-so-fertile 5 acres is mix short term and long term crops and provide a lot of room for grazing livestock. I suggest you go short term for the first 2 years, simply to let your body adjust to the workload and to get a better understanding of the natural cycles of that piece of land. You don't know where the sun falls yet or where the shade is, or where water pools up after a big rain. Like myself, you were probably just itching to do everything all at once, but if you wait a little time and ease into it you'll have better results with less cost.
Boy, you got that right. Great advice.
 

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Boy I don't know where you live but I'd be happy to make that money by farming only this small greehouse here. :goodjob:
He spent years setting up a name for himself and getting out to the right restaurants and distributors. Plus he's got about 3 interns working that same 2000 square foot with him. I guess if you devote all your attention to one thing, in a controlled environment, and allow no pests or weeds whatsoever, you can really ramp up your profit.
 

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He spent years setting up a name for himself and getting out to the right restaurants and distributors.
Well I was sure that it was not his first year in this business.

Plus he's got about 3 interns working that same 2000 square foot with him.
That is a really crowed greenhouse

I guess if you devote all your attention to one thing, in a controlled environment, and allow no pests or weeds whatsoever, you can really ramp up your profit.
You are ---- right, people are generally amazed by the quantity of food that can be produce in a small garden plot when it is well cared for !!! They could not believe it
 

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I don't know that there's room in my region for more like him, but I'm putting in a greenhouse and working on a few different things of my own. I'd love to find a niche like that ... I hear about them all the time but I'm always 4 years away from being able to produce at the proper level. Ah well. Someday.
 

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I don't know that there's room in my region for more like him, but I'm putting in a greenhouse and working on a few different things of my own. I'd love to find a niche like that ... I hear about them all the time but I'm always 4 years away from being able to produce at the proper level. Ah well. Someday.
good luck
 

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I was thinking a combination of market gardening and animals (fiber and/or dairy) plus chickens would be nice. A few sheep, a few goats, a flock of chickens, a roo, and possibly some rabbits. I can't see myself having time for more than an acre of garden. I work part time, and my husband works full time. Commutes would be longer because this is more remote than our current locale.
If you want to make a true profit with the livestock I suggest running firm numbers first. It's hard to make a true profit with a few animals. I'm not saying don't have animals - get them if you can afford to keep them for your own use. I do things on my farm that don't turn a profit. They do reduce our grocery bill and that matters.

The important thing is, it's work we both love to do, which makes it easy. It's like a vacation that earns a living - heh - a living vacation.
When it's disgustingly hot and the tomatoes have a blight and the lettuce bolts and and and...it's not a vacation but there's only one other thing I'd consider doing for a living. This is a nice life.

One of the farmers in my cooperative makes about $40k a year in a 2000 square foot greenhouse growing nothing but gourmet lettuce and spinach. I find that working more than about an acre of garden (unless it's monoculture) by hand to be a real chore. Tractors make life easier, but I won't farm with one on principle.
Is that $40,000 gross or net? $40,000 gross minus expenses might not show much profit. It's a nice number but don't forget to look at what it costs him to make that number.

I don't know that there's room in my region for more like him, but I'm putting in a greenhouse and working on a few different things of my own. I'd love to find a niche like that ... I hear about them all the time but I'm always 4 years away from being able to produce at the proper level. Ah well. Someday.
When you can't find a niche, create one.

If there are restaurants, health food stores, a retail following - there's room. 2,000 sq ft isn't much when you're supplying regular customers. It's worth exploring when the time comes.
 
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