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I'd like to grow something (legal) - maybe in a greenhouse - and earn about $10-15,000/year. Don't have the foggiest if that is feasible. I realize now as I sit here in the city, that's what I've always wanted to do. Can I pull it off; don't know, but time's a wasting.
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Its do-able, but I don't know really how to do it. I guess thats what this board is for. The reaon I say its doable is because a friend of a friend of mine is making a run @ it right now in Oregon. He ditched the high paying job for a pair of overalls.

Since I am not a farmer and have never worked one, I guess my first question would be, do you have farming experience? My secon would be, what type of farm would you be looking at (dairy? crops? etc...).

Bouna Fortuna,

Gekko II
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scooter said:Can I pull it off; don't know, but time's a wasting.

You should carry yourself over to the Gardening board....There are a couple of small-scale farmers mixed in with the rest of us, veggie gardeners...

http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=14195767&bid=112916

Chuck


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Greetings from sunny Florida! I don't personally know if your dream is possible, but Mother Earth News featured a cover story article in their Oct./Nov. issue about a man who was making $20,000 per year growing ornamental landscape plants in his backyard. The article is no longer online but he has a web page at www.freeplants.com with lots of interesting information. I also have several books by John Jeavons which tell you how to make about that much money with a backyard/mini-farm. You may want to check out the catalog/book section of www.bountifulgardens.org. If you want a copy of Backyard Homestead Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book I'll be happy to mail you my copy. My RE dream is to travel! <grin> Laurie
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I've often thought about doing farming, as I've got the green thumb in my blood. My parents plant an extensive garden, and both my Mom and my Dad's families are involved in farming. My uncle actually runs a blueberry farm. I always thought it would be fun to get involved in or run an orchard, perhaps peaches or apples. Either that or a winery. Right now I'm more focused on travel, but maybe someday in the future...

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Appreciate the suggestions from all. No, I don't have any experience, at least not to speak of. I think I'm just in a reflective mood in this gray time of the year, thinking about what I coulda, shoulda done 30 years ago when I had more energy and enthusiasm and looking at my options for the next 30 years. This board seemed like the ticket for exploring new ideas and even new ways of thinking. Besides, it seems like it will be more fun than most boards.

Thanks again.
MaryAlice
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I'd like to grow olive trees and press olive oil. It's a pretty good RE crop: very little maintenance and pretty lucrative. After the trees get going they are very hearty though I think it takes several years before you get any olives.

California is really getting into their olives. Some of the trees the Spanish Monks planted are still producing. I'm going to visit some farms in Sonoma this summer. I don't think you need a lot of land to have a decent crop. Now I just hope they'll grow in Santa Fe.

nmckay
one day closer
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mphela: My uncle actually runs a blueberry farm.

That is my sister's dream, to start a blueberry farm. Have any tips for her?

InParadise
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Well don't grow things that everybody else is a growing. Ya know if ten people are growing tomatoes don't you! It's already hard enuf to sell what I got growin out back right now. Get my drift?

Get you a piece of tillable soil somewhere in the country, and a small farm tractor, cause if yer gonna move to the land, ya might as well get something useful. Leave the greenhouse for winter, when ya can't break ground, unless o'course ya lives in South Florida or South Texas, where it hardly ever gets colder than 32.

I read all about them folks growing tropical plants in the greenhouse and how much money "they claimed they made". What they didn't tell you was how many years it took to develop a marketing plan and actually put into use. And, how long it took for someone to actually take notice of how different their plants were (hardy) compared to the $1.99 ones at Wally World.

Texas and Florida are full of big greenhouse operations that spend all their time and efforts to provide the Wally Worlds and Home Depots with plants.

We're gonna get lucky this year...We hear the big CA tomato greenhouse operators want to set up shop in Southern Wyoming. Why? Because we have all those phosphate pits full of Jim Bridger Powerhouse hot water, that they can use in their hydroponic operations. Good for Wyoming and good for the operators.

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I was just talking to someone this weekend about a great renewable resource that is only now starting to get mainstream attention: bamboo. As in flooring. About as sturdy as hardwood, much more renewable. Best do your homework though, as I hear it's a very sturdy & voracious plant - it could easily take over your space!

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And grows real well in warm, wet areas like FL & LA!
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<< That is my sister's dream, to start a blueberry farm. Have any tips for her? >>

I think my aunt and uncle started this as a fun semi-retirement project. They don't subsist solely on the farm, as far as I know. They live in rural Kansas pretty far off of the beaten path. I think the only advertisement they have is a big sign on the local highway and maybe some ads in local travel journals. They have been at this for almost 10 years or so, adding a few more plants to the farm every year. They have two prices -- one price is if you buy the berries already picked, the other is if you pick them yourself. A lot of people choose the latter and show up early in the morning ready to get a bit dirty and pick berries. My aunt and uncle really enjoy meeting the people and talking with them, more than anything.

As for starting a blueberry farm? Well, I guess your sister needs to make sure that the region of the country is suited to grow blueberries, first off. I think my uncle ordered his stocks from a mail order company. It then takes a couple of years for your plants to start maturing and producing enough fruit to sell. Add new plants as time goes on and the money comes in. Decide how large you want the farm to be.

Keep doing research, read books, surf the web, dream, etc. Maybe I should get my aunt and uncle to write about it. At least to get their recipe for blueberry wine...


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mphela,

Here's a link to Ohio State University's Blueberry page:

http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~ohioline/hyg-fact/1000/1422.html

Chuck
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mphela: At least to get their recipe for blueberry wine...

MMMM. Absolutely. My uncle in Canada used to make the best dandylion wine. It was like a liquor and very bright yellow. Unfortunately he passed away before I got the recipe.

Growing up we had a swamp in our back yard and we used to pick wild blueberries in it. One very stressfull summer, my Dad picked 80 quarts as therapy. Those blueberry dumplings were amazing, not to mention the jam and syrup and muffins.

I think my aunt and uncle started this as a fun semi-retirement project.

This is my impression of my sister's goal as well. Primarily a Pick-your-own place. Would love to be part of it, mostly to be able to share lots of time with her and run the concession stand selling jam et al. Have you ever tried spicy blueberry preserves, or blueberry jam with mint? Great variations. We've spent way too much time apart while working, so hanging out together in "retirement" would be a great thing. :-)



InParadise
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