Sources of info on starting farm business?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SchultzhausMom, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. SchultzhausMom

    SchultzhausMom New Member

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    My husband and I currently own a 105 acre farm in Indiana. It's gotten to be too much given we're battling some serious life issues like cancer, and our new baby has Down's. So we're looking to downsize but... My husband would love for our family to start a farm home business like selling organic produce, meats; fiber products like roving and yarns from our Icelandic sheep and our llamas, organic eggs, homemade jams, jellies, soaps etc.

    We just need advice on how in the world to start such a thing! Thoughts? Can anyone point us anywhere?

    We want to be completely self sufficient in that we literally live on and make a living off of our farm.

    Thank you!
     
  2. DinOzarks

    DinOzarks Member

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    Check out any of Joe Sallatin's books. His web site is: www.ecofriendly.com that is a good place to start.
    You're in our prayers!
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You'll need wool processign equipment check out http://www.mcdermotttextiles.com/ Mcdermot textile mills they do more than carding equipment I'm told, http://www.patgreencarders.com/ Patrick Green Equipment is well known (what we have) but they don't make spinning machines, and check out http://www.minimills.net/ Minimills they make a full line of fibre processing equipment but none of ths stuff is cheap. Still it's all less than a new tractor and seed drill! All value added farm items take money to get things up and running, but if you have a market you can do well.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If it's too much to care for now, what would it be like doing the high labor requirements of most of the things you mentioned? Two people can work their hinnies off with one acre of truck gardening. It makes a large income per acre if you can handle it. One acre of sweet corn can produce over a thousand dozen ears. The Amish near Rochester IN. raise lots of muskmelons and watermelons. They hire a truck to haul them to the produce auction at Wakarusa In. That auction sold 21000 Muskmelons last Fri. They sell everything that grows there.
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Pick your own berries, perhaps?
     
  6. cabe

    cabe Well-Known Member

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    Hi , sorry to get off subject but where are you in Indiana?Our sister plant is in Piercton Indiana, Whitley Products. Now about farm income, I have my foot in the door to becoming self sufficient but still need regular jobs for insurance etc....I think you should check into Christmas tree farming, it takes about ten years to see your first crop but two dedicated people could set out about 2-3 acres a year and start a fresh wreath buis. even before this.I know we hear from the corporate folks that come down from Indiana how low priced our trees are and wreaths compared to theirs. They say they pay over 50 bucks for a six ft. tree. You can plant 1200 or so per acre, it is not easy but I had 5 acres at one time and did it by my lonesome. Also fresh wreaths are good money if you make them yourself and then retail them . I can make a 20inch wreath in 20 minnutes and get 20 bucks for it and do that all day (SOME DAYS FOR 16 HOURS)for weeks during the Christmas rush.Contact the National Christmas tree assc. and get more info. The tree buis has been fun, and hard work, and good money for me and mine for over 20 years now.Hope this helps ,Marty.
     
  7. Buy the book Sell What You Sow! by Eric Gibson. It has some real good information about pick your own farms, running a produce stand, selling at farmers markets, plus much more.

    Also check out the website: www.ssawg.org/mcgehee.html
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    If you can make a decent living solely off of a farm than likely you would be better at it than 99.9% of commercial farms. (I make exception for 'Old World' - Amish and Mennenite-type farms). Farms essentially stay in business through depreciation and off-the-farm income. Only real increase in wealth is through land appreciation.

    You are welcome to an always free copy of my eBook: How to Earn Extra Money in the Country. Please request it directly from me at scharabo@aol.com as I am set up to quickly furnish it as an e-mail attachment that way. Please do not request it via PM.
     
  9. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried or contacted:
    1 Farm Bureau Org.
    2.County or state ag extention agencies.
    3.State University - ag or ag economonics depts.
    There are varous groups/organizations with tons of information and if they don't have what you are looking for may someone there can point yo in the right direction.