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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by chris 77, Feb 14, 2004.
anybody got any fresh ideas for self employment or farm income
If you have a tiller. Why not try tilling peoples gardens for the spring. That's what I'll be doing. I put a flyer up at the feed stores. Don't need the extra money, but just wanting something to do this spring.
Chris, I've been peapatching on a small farm since 1976. I've tried a lot of different ways to have a cash income but the best was growing a market garden. If you live within 10 miles of a town or busy highway, you'll be surprised at how people will come to your place to buy good quality vegetables. The secret is building a loyal customer base, this means making friends with your customers. I had a lot of elderly customers who loved to come to the farm, this was a real enjoyable experience for them. I tried growing a lot of different vegetables but the money is in tomatoes, grow a good tasting backyard varity and sell under supermarket prices and they will go like hotcakes once people know where you are. I sold to some fruit stands and supermarkets during my biggest years and could easily make from $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 a year, the majority of the wholesale tomatoes sold for about .40 cents a pound and retail was .65 cents a pound with small and cull selling for .30 cents a pound. This is an easy way to make a living, you need at least two people to make it work (one selling tomatoes and the other picking), you can average from 2.00 to 20.00 total sales per plant depending on a lot of variables. If you pay attention to detail and spend the time with this that you would with a regular joy, the income can be substantial. Let me know if I can help you.
I have been thinking along the lines of some kind of heavy machinery. A small dump truck with a trailer to haul a bobcat, backhoe or mini excavator. Focus on septic systems and foundations. From the nubers I've seen a septic aroud here cost $2000 to $2500 while the cost in installing the system runs about $1000 for everthing. A good two man crew can install one in a day or two. after paying the laboror $200 you have over eight hundred in profits. The truck could also be used for hauling away junk and delivering fill dirt. Another thought would be going into the towtruck business. If you area is not well served it could have a fairly reliable income with room for expansion. Both of these ideas require a considerable outlay for the equipment but once going theyyy seem to pay quite well.
The farm market works pretty well. We currently sell at a farmers market but have also run a roadside stand. At the farmers market we sell cut flowers, potted herbs and perennials. At the roadside stand it was mostly tomatoes, cukes, sweet corn and winter squash as the biggest sellers. Beans, carrots eggplant,beets or whatever sort of rounded things out. To make a go of it you have to have a personality for people. There are plenty of books on small farm income with quite a few good ideas. Remember, it's not what you want to do . It's what will sell in your area.
Thanks for the ideas on the market garden. We did that last year with a neighbor one day a week. We live about 17 miles from town on a back road. We have plans for a larger garden this year. Okra sold like hotcakes here last year. What other things would you suggest? We have seeds from many different vegies this year. Carrots were too hard last year as it took too long to harvest and no one wanted to buy them. Squash was a big seller with beans(all kinds). Melons were slow and what do you do with all the ones you picked? We also will have pigs this year so excess produce can go to them.
How about a "produce broker" geared towards smaller producers in your area? Get yourself a little piece of custom software, growers login and enter their stock, buyers login and purchase it... and of coarse you get your cut of the pie.
I'm not a farmer, but I'd assume that smaller producers have a hard time getting rid of extra produce and expend alot of energy trying to market it.
Ahhh maybe its just me... I like the country but I don't want to grow anything... except OLD!
A few of you are relatively new so I'll mention that Ken Scharabok (that's his name, that's the name he uses here too) will provide an electronic version of a book on earning money at home, for free. He's about the most prolific contributor Countryside Magazine has. It's an MS-word document, although there's a possibility you can read it with Word-Pad.
PM or email him with a polite request for his e-book on earning money from home, give him your email address, and he'll be happy to send it to you. Note that Hotmail won't do. Hotmail won't allow attachments as big as this book which is (from memory) something around one and a half megabytes.
I'll second that! Ken was kind enough to send me a copy and it is chock full of really good ideas!
E-mail requests only please to firstname.lastname@example.org - no private mail. Books is about 1M. I know free hotmail.com and webtv.com can't handle the attachment. There may be more. It is still free for the asking. In paper form book would be about 212 pages. Probably 500-600 possibilities of supplemental income, including market gardening.
Kirk: Check out what insurance costs for a tow truck. That is why you see so few of them.
On a stand, check around for a place with a busy traffic flow who will let you set up in their parking lot plainly seen from the roadway. Either pay them a nominal daily fee or, better yet, a paper grocery bag of vegetables picked that morning. Be sure to emphasize home-grown in your signs. Locally a couple of guys go to a produce wholesaler and then just make it look like theirs.
Pick your own crops seem to be iffy. Folks just aren't willing to do it themselves anymore. However, you might take orders for pick up. My neighbor did and it wasn't unusual for someone to order 50 dozen at a time for the freezer.
Once you have a clientel check into possibly farm fresh eggs. If you have a milk cow you might not be able to sell raw milk for human consumption, but what about selling it for pet use only and then let the buyer do what they want? Homemade butter is another possibility.
If you are artsy-crafty, perhaps you can make items during the winter for spring and summer sale.
Perhaps Sherk can tell about his fireworks selling side-line.
(aka Ken S. in WC TN)
Ken was kind enough to send me his book a couple of years ago when my husband was laid off the first time. It is full of great ideas. Soon after my husband's lay off from the first mill that closed, he found work at another mill, which also has just closed. Time to pull up Ken's book again!
:worship: Thanks Ken!
Oh! I just happened to think of this. Whatever you decide to do, check with your state and town to see what permits and licenses might apply. Here in Maine you can go to the state's web site and if you're clever enough you can find out what you need on-line. I'm not sure, but I would imagine other states also have their own web sites?
I have recently discovered a comfortable way for me to add another income stream to our family's finances. It'd be perfect for extra retirement income, or just to put a few hundred dollars a month back into the budget.
How much can you plan on? Good question. Frankly many just put enough effort into this venture to get their own product free. Not free, really; since they make enough money to off-set the cost of their own-use. Many make $300-$400 (monthly), some make $3000-$4000. Yes; there ARE some that add ANOTHER ZERO to those figures. Monthly.
I urge you to call this toll-free number (any hour) 866-852-4832 and then listen to "Option #2". It is a two minute introduction, then a 5 minute description of Referral Marketing. Frankly, I was amazed, but see for yourself. Maybe this is not what you are looking for. But then... who knows?
If you need my Member ID# it is 1484301
Please also visit http://wealthmaster.originallimu.com
For those folks aready in the business, there is a very good site (generic) to help you learn what it takes beginners years to learn otherwise. Kindly visit:
Multi-level marketing. Snort!
In Arizona, it's apparently not legal to sell eggs to consumers without large amounts of paperwork that needs to be filed quarterly (along with a per-dozen fee to the state) and inspections on your eggs and permits on and on and on ... basically, not doable except under the table and it's a offense with jail time to sell eating eggs under the table. Oh, and eggs have to be kept at less than 40 degrees in a commercial fridge (food handling requirements) which means you can't just stick them in your kitchen fridge and then sell them at the farmer's market out of an ice chest ... it's not legal to sell food out of an ice chest in this state. (They nail the tamale sellers for this all the time.)
So I hatch those eggs and sell the babies. I've lately been getting up to $8 per started pullet and $5 for roosters. (Selling them at six to eight weeks.) I frankly can't hatch enough with the cheapo llittle incubator I have to keep up with demand.
Figure I make $1 on cockerals and $4 on pullets roughly when all my expenses are figured in. Gearing up to sell a lot more next year, figure if I can sell 40 a week that's quite a bit of extra income ... sure beats "egg money" ...
Can I please use this in my book?
Go right ahead.
Couple of things people should consider if they're hatching, though, is the cost of the startup, including pens & incubators -- I should clarify the money I'm figuring to make does not include the cost of pens and incubators, just sales price vs. feed cost. If I try to break it down by pen cost, it'll be years before I'm making a profit ...
Don't quote me on the AZ statutes, though -- after I posted this I tried to look them up to verify what I thought I knew and couldn't find the particulars. Grrr.
A couple of yrs ago we started making home made soy bean candles. We had hoped it would help with our S.S. in a couple of yrs. Well two yrs later, like now the wife has taken over my 4 stall garage, all of it. This has been an adventure that still has us amazed.
Wife has always loved candles, but got tired of buying them in town. They smelled so nice then, but when you get burnning them, they soon loose their smell. So we decided to make our own. She now has reps out in the areas, that do the selling. We have 3 reps, thats all they do. is sell our products. also have other reps, that has other days jobs as well. Look at our site www.soycandleworks.com We are still looking for more reps. If you like parties, this is the way to go. Now this is what we do, it may not work for every body.
Ken in Minn
I would like to have your book but only use a hotmail account, any suggestions for a free email server which will take a file that size?
Chris 77, I once had an instructor who raised specialty items like blue potatoes and sold them to the fancy restaurants. She said that she made quite a bit of money, doing that. You have to prove that you can provide on a regular basis to them, but they do love fresh veggies. Good luck and do check out the state and local regulations. It just doesn't pay to raise tomatoes in Texas. Judi :yeeha:
Find someone who can request it on your behalf. They can then download it on a diskette or disk for you.