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Potential Food Forest Income

 
pollinator
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Travis made a very good post and it got me thinking about how I'm going to be making my money. Here's the post and my reply:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:I always wanted to change the time honored gifting of cigars when a person has a child born.

How silly, "Here, let's celebrate the birth of a human being that only happens a very few times in a person's life by giving you something that will make you all smelly and fill your lungs with cancer."

I always thought a parent giving away tree seedlings or wooden pens would be a great way to give a meaningful, artistic present rather then a token gift that gets snubbed out in a nasty ash tray. But the tradition never has caught on.

If anyone sells tree seedlings or makes wooden pens, by all means run with the idea if you wish.



This might be a good income source for me. Seed-grown tree seedlings are rare on the market and I'll have a greenhouse by February. Maybe I could start making Food Forest Starter Kits for Northern Appalachia and the Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.



So besides the ordinary sort of things you'd get out of a food forest, like fruit and nuts, you also get a ridiculous number of seeds. Travis and my idea combined is to take those seeds, turn them into very small trees, and sell them. Now where my Idea differs from Travis' is to sell them all together as a starter kit instead as individual gifts or party favors. In my idea you'd get a set number of trees of each major type and since they're grown from seed, each tree is unique. Aside from trees, you'd also get bushes, herbs, and vines. The whole set would be 100 plants +/- for maybe $500. With the size greenhouse and nursery I'm going to have, production will be limited to 5 sets a year. I can start selling trees before the money starts rolling in for fruit and nuts. That gives me $2500 minus the pots, innoculant, and soil. But that will not be enough.

So I will need more money of course. So I'll make sculptures. Clay is abundant in Ohio. I'll do wood firings to get those crazy patterns. I'm known for nerikomi and carved surfaces in low relief and etching methods as well as inlay. I should be able to make some nice things to sell on the roadside with my produce.

Speaking of produce, I'm not sure what 10,000 sq ft of garden can grow, but I know there will be plenty to sell until my food forest becomes productive.

It is my hope that 3 streams of income will be enough.
 
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If 3 income streams is the goal you may look at 20 cause many will fail. Stay flexible.

 
pollinator
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I like the idea of food forest seed starter kits: upper story, mid story, bushes, shrubs, vines and ground cover. Each kit would explain how the plants are synergistic and what dishes you could make from the start kit.

You could also do replacement seedlings (Paul Wheaton's opinion is the tap root for starter trees are less likely to punch through hard pan or other subterrian obstacles but people who can't wait for trees to grow will still order them).

You could sell different tasting food forests and different zoned food forests

You need to decide how much, in dollars or whatever your currency is, is enough...this is a very practical question most business plans try to answer in different terms: figure out what is going to take money that you want then figure out how much you need.  ...then once monies start to come in when you find ideas that work, you will know how many streams you need to cook up


Good luck!
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Orin Raichart wrote:I like the idea of food forest seed starter kits: upper story, mid story, bushes, shrubs, vines and ground cover. Each kit would explain how the plants are synergistic and what dishes you could make from the start kit.

You could also do replacement seedlings (Paul Wheaton's opinion is the tap root for starter trees are less likely to punch through hard pan or other subterrian obstacles but people who can't wait for trees to grow will still order them).

You could sell different tasting food forests and different zoned food forests

You need to decide how much, in dollars or whatever your currency is, is enough...this is a very practical question most business plans try to answer in different terms: figure out what is going to take money that you want then figure out how much you need.  ...then once monies start to come in when you find ideas that work, you will know how many streams you need to cook up


Good luck!



All Excellent Ideas!

Let's see. I need about $2500 a month to keep up with bills by the year 2035.

Pottery is high input, but I already have some materials and tools to start. To crank into full production will cost about $500 every 3 months assuming I use 100 lbs of clay and 1/2 gallon of glaze, use 1 cord of firewood, and make my own coil cutter. So I'll have to sell the products of a 3 month period for a combined $2000. That will give me $500 a month. (Check my math please, I'm not 100% sure this is right, it's early in the morning.)

The Food Forest should start producing seed in 2 years so I can start selling Food Forest Starter kits then. That will bring in $2025 in one month if I assume that the soil mix, pots, innoculant, and little brochures I use cost $475 and I use it carefully. Those nut trees from Forest Ag produce in their second year. So I'll have Hazelnut and Chestnut Trees in the mix. The sale of fruit and nuts will come later. I don't know how much I'll get until I start doing it, but I can hope it fills in the gaps.

The Garden is actually intended to be a temporary fixture. I will cover it in food forest when I get too old to do annuals. But veg are pricy at the store in town, and out here, 14 miles from the nearest grocer, I have a corner on the market. I can charge more than the grocery in town and still get business. But I probably won't do that. There are a lot of poor people and fat people around here, and I think accessible healthy food is a human right. I will probably give my surplus away to those in need. I don't know how much money I will make, but It should be decent. I don't have storefront overhead, shipping, etc to factor in.

I will need further streams of income it seems...
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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I watched this video out of boredom, but she has some darn good ideas.



If I'm able to acquire a hunting acre or so at a later date, I can put a small permanent camp and a couple of tree stands on it and rent it out. I'm thinking large tipi and RMH for sleeping, fire pit and stumps, and a few boyscout tower type hunting stands. If I round up to the nearest hundred I can expect to pay $1800 an acre and $1200 for the improvements. Where I am is what locals call "God's Hunting Country". The area between the State Forest and the Ohio River has so much deer and turkey and coywolves that I often see them, see signs of them, or hear them on my land at night. If I can get a riverfront bit I can also offer fishing.

I imagine $60 a night to be about the right price, what with the location, view, fruit trees I'd plant, and staying in improved shelter.
 
Orin Raichart
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:
...have to sell the products of a 3 month period for a combined $2000. That will give me $500 a month. (Check my math please, I'm not 100% sure this is right, it's early in the morning.)



erm, $2000/3 isn't $500

and I'm thinking you haven't accounted for things like your food, your heat, your cooking energy, your haircut, your mortgage, your transportation costs (vehicle or bicycle), your clean water, your sewer or compost, your gifts to people for their birthdays etc, your clothes, your tools, your shelter maintenance, your reported income tax.....these are expeditures you really need to account for and are the reasons people do solar air heaters, RMH, electric vehicles, rainwater etc....but you will still need to create that infrastructure....how much is it going to cost you???
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Orin Raichart wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:
...have to sell the products of a 3 month period for a combined $2000. That will give me $500 a month. (Check my math please, I'm not 100% sure this is right, it's early in the morning.)



erm, $2000/3 isn't $500

and I'm thinking you haven't accounted for things like your food, your heat, your cooking energy, your haircut, your mortgage, your transportation costs (vehicle or bicycle), your clean water, your sewer or compost, your gifts to people for their birthdays etc, your clothes, your tools, your shelter maintenance, your reported income tax.....these are expeditures you really need to account for and are the reasons people do solar air heaters, RMH, electric vehicles, rainwater etc....but you will still need to create that infrastructure....how much is it going to cost you???



My bills are $500 mortgage, $200 insurance, variable propane fill ups every 6 months - usually $89, $120 for electric, $14 haircut once a year, I only need to go to town once in a while once the farm is set up. I go hunting and fishing more frequently. It's about the same distance. So about 6 gallons of gas a week. Should have wood heat too by the time 2035 rolls around.

Here's the farm plan current version:


Do you see all the fruit and nuts? That's going to be substantial income in a few years. I'll be delivering some to local country stores, and some I'll sell on the roadside. The electric I plan to produce at home with solar. The water issue will be solved shortly. Supplemental wood heat will be a boon. I don't have the room for an RMH, but a glass front logwood stove we can cook on will fit.

I'm good for now. I have enough money for the next 5 years. I just have to do the work of putting in what I've planned. It is 2035 I'm worried about. When I will likely be alone. I need to have enough money then.
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