Possible income opp- what do you think?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by donsgal, May 17, 2006.

  1. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    DH and I do a lot of insurance inspections. As a result of this we meet a wide range of folks - everything from Jim-Bob in his 10 wide trailer house (no offense intended to Jim-Bobs or 10 wide trailer house residents) to Mr. Lah-De-Dah in his $500,000 Plus McMansion.

    We have noticed that *most* folks under 40, particularly those in in the more upscale type houses/neighborhoods are utterly clueless about how to put in a garden. Today for instance we talked with a nice 20-something fellow who had "attempted" a garden but - whew! boy howdy! was it a terrible attempt.

    It occurred to me that *maybe* these folks would be interested in GARDENING CLASSES. How to put in a garden, care for a garden, etc., etc. I truly think there is a demand out there. I am wondering what you think about this?

    I wonder if one-on-one training at *their* garden spot would be better or, to accommodate more people (assuming more would be interested), having it at one central location and teaching a bunch of folks at one time.

    What the heck would somebody charge for something like that do you think? Would you charge by the hour or have a "package price" that would cover a "start to finish garden project" or maybe just a "start".

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Where I live there are a lot of new subdivisions being thrown up (shudder), and many of these folks (even some of them retired) might not have much experience in gardening (especially in ground that is very rocky and has only marginal soil). I'm hoping to improve these folks' quality of life, maybe convert a few to our way of thinking (wink), and make a few bucks in the process.

    Thanks for any replies.

    donsgal
     
  2. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Couple three years ago when I converted to the wonders of square foot gardening, I marketed and installed ready made square foot gardens, complete with everything seeded and bedding plants if I could find them.

    Folks were more enthusiastic than I was, probably could have sold a ton of them, but I just had too many irons in the fire.

    If I was going to do it again, I'd pre-build my frames here at home and deliver them right along with the compost, vermiculite and peat moss. I had less than fifty dollars in them including all the soil medium, lumber and seed and sold them for 150 for 4'x12'. Averaged about 30 bucks an hour labor.

    I've had folks call back wanting more beds and I've tried to turn others onto the deal, but so far, no takers. It's easy money if you have the time.
     

  3. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    An old friend used to do plant and garden services. She would bid to install whatever and charge a fee per week to come by and service the area/plants. I think there is plenty of room for someone to do edible gardens with service. Plenty of people would appreciate it. Its seasonable where you are so you may want to do the classes during the winter to provide some income then.
     
  4. Niki

    Niki mini-steader

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    I think that is a great idea! My first thought when I read it was to do a group class for a nomimal fee-at perhaps a local community college or private institution that gives classes for the "arts". This could be a one time class or one night a week for a few weeks. I suggest this because they will help you advertise the class. The "school" already is known and has a reputation. It is a "safe" place to go to. (Btw, you could also have a class for kids). The school will include your class on flyers and such when they advertise other classes. I would encourage you to check out this option.

    Include a small project people can actually do in the class and take home with them and have printed materials to include in the class to act as your "business card" later. During the class, offer your services as a one on one consultant where you would go to their home and show them more up close and personal how to use various garden tools properly or meet them at a greenhouse and show them how to pick out healthy seedlings - or even as a visual so they can identify the plants of the same seeds they are planting. After the class you become an "expert" and may help sell you as a consultant later who works for higher fees.

    Be sure to include how you can show them how to save money and time, and end up with a garden that really does grow!

    As far as the fee, if it is in a classroom, you can get an idea of what others have charged on various other topics. The amount will depend on how long the class runs. It seems to me that a range of $25-40 / person is what the cost for a workshop around here would be. Whether it is an all day workshop or not.

    One on one will be different and I would not suggest charging by the hour only because it is too easy to compare what they themselves make/hour and it can be a little off-putting. Perhaps charge $50 or $100 for an afternoon or something like that?

    Great idea!
     
  5. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Anyone who doesn't have the time to put a garden in properly, given the number of books out there and the advice from a garden center doesn't have the TIME to put it in properly.

    I'd sell pre-packaged raised beds or a X by Y foot tilled garden with a choice of 8 vegetables. I'd put in plants, not seeds, for most of it, and Voila! Instant garden. Then I'd sell maintainance packages.
     
  6. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    Perhaps one could do both the "Mobile Gardner" and some classes. Developing a circuit of people who would contract to have a garden set up, planted and cared for could work in suburban (and possibly rural) areas. Success doing that would lend credibility to a person offering classes (make one an "expert" with "credentials").

    Having credibility is important to attract people to classes and to convince some organization to host such classes. It carries more weight than simply saying that one knows about a subject. Though a person without “credibility” may know far more, there may be little evidence of their knowledge. A successful business is often given more respect than personal experience and knowledge.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.
     
  7. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    My state has an active Master Gardener program where people take about 40 hours of classes--cost is about $75 if I recall correctly. Manual included. Also eleigible to attend the weekend workshops they hold.
     
  8. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    Ken Hargesheimer offers to come and teach his brand of sustainable, no till gardening and farming.
     
  9. Bluecreekrog

    Bluecreekrog Well-Known Member

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    Gardening classes are available everywhere. Most of the people your speaking of don't have enough of an interest in gardening to want to find out how. Been my experence that such folks just want someone else to do the labor while they go about the things they are interested in. In my past life I was involved with the Garden Club in my community, got many requests to help homeowners landscape their homes. Usually ended up with statements like: Oh you didn't tell me flowers would attract bees/bugs, I didn't realize I'd have to trim those shrubs/hedges, or my favorite: I thought those roses would bloom all summer.
     
  10. Have you thought about having a community garden where the members participate in the actual planting, weeding, and harvesting? Along with having canning classes?