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Farmer/Market Gardener/Commercial Forum?

 
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What do you think of making a forum under the growies and/or critters that is geared towards commercial growers/farmers/gardeners? I'm sure there are some great resources for people who aren't doing just small garden scale. I know that there's tons of information within the various others forums/topics. Still, I would love to have an area devoted to people wanting to apply some of this knowledge is a larger scale.

Justin
 
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My buddy Lawrence London keeps asking for the same thing. And I keep pointing out the "farm income" forum. And he keeps telling me it is not the same. But I keep getting stuck in trying to wrap my head around how a market garden forum would be better.

So now you are bringing this up. Maybe you have words that Lawrence didn't have.

Please help me to understand the gap. ??
 
Justin Deri
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Sorry about the delay in my response...busy with the farm season. The commercial grower/farmer section would just be about making an income. But could specifically include topics and posts about doing things on a larger scale with the intent of making income. For example Mark Shepard's techniques on a larger scale compared to all the backyard garden posts. It's not as much about the fact that the farm is making an income (though making a living from a farm vs a little spending money is a significant difference), but about application of permies stuff on a larger scale.

Justin
 
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Justin, So as an example, it would be a place where folks with say, 100 acres or more, could share ideas about how they went from the current "big ag" systems to a more permie style , and are still making a living?
How they took a monoculture field using tractors, sprays and chemicals, and moved towards polycultures and paddock shift systems and still make money?

What else?
 
Justin Deri
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Yes, Miles. Or about anything else really, e.g.: aquaponics beyond 55 gallon containers, doing herbs on a larger scale (I saw a great video on a farm in Ohio that makes peppermint for tea/oil/etc), propagating plants, etc. Just basically things that are permie related, but perhaps scalable. So many permaculture demonstration "farms" are smaller than my smallest hoophouse on the farm!
 
Miles Flansburg
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OK Justin, ( Or any other larger scale folks) Lets try to convince Paul by having a sample discussion right here.
How big is your place?
What do you do?
Have you gone through the transition from ag to permie?
Can you give some examples?
Thanks!
 
paul wheaton
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Which section would it go in? What would we call it?

We already have "farm income" which, I suppose, is for talking about all sorts of small income streams. I suppose this could be something for 80 acres or more.

I suppose there is a mindset for 5 acre plots and a different mindset for 200 acre plots.

Maybe we should have three:

farm income (2 to 40 acres)

large farm income (greater than 40 acres)

small farm income (less than 2 acres)
 
steward
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Paul, maybe we could adapt the title 'farm income' to reflect a broader discussion than income?
Like 'farm-scale permaculture' or something.
Add some description like 'making a living/income, managing polycultures, equipment, distribution, publicity, yaddayadda'
 
steward
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Is there already a dichotomy on the farm income forum between large and small producers to warrant a seperation ? I think there is enough overlap in horticultural and animal husbandry techniques that small and large benefit each other . Maybe a forum for marketing , advertising , distribution etc might provide some distinction between large and small . Selling to Whole Foods vs. selling at a farm stand . Selling mass produced or bulk wholesale products vs. crafts or vegies at the farmers market ? I am thinking of a cross between the farm income forum and the financial strategy forum . Maybe I am just clouding the issue.
 
paul wheaton
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Maybe there should be four forums:

urban horticulture
small farm horticulture
large farm horticulture
cottage industry

Or, under growies:

urban
small farm
large farm

and under homestead:

cottage industry

And maybe another for growies:

market garden

??
 
Miles Flansburg
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I think you are getting close. I was thinking the same thing as Leila, to broaden out the topic.

Here is a thread as an example, of a young person who would like to take his families farm more permie.

http://www.permies.com/t/29395/forest-garden/thoughts-alley-cropping-permie-post


Seems like there would be a lot more discusions like this with the new categories?

Those new catagories look good to me Paul
 
Justin Deri
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I just want to make sure that my forum suggestion wasn't to just have a forum to discuss different incomes on different scales. I was wanting to have a place where people can share thoughts, question, and resources that are applicable on a farm scale.
 
paul wheaton
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Four new forums added to "growies".

If staff could move some threads and fill those out a bit that would be lovely.

 
Justin Deri
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paul wheaton wrote:Four new forums added to "growies".

If staff could move some threads and fill those out a bit that would be lovely.



Thanks, Paul! I'll add some content in a bit. Have to go harvest for market right now.
 
paul wheaton
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There is some discussion about how many acres are in a small/large farm? And then there is the thing about "urban" also. The answer, of course, is "it depends".

Urban could be an apartment balcony. It could also be 7 acres inside of a city - an industrial site converted to permaculture. If you have a sick tree, there is a good chance you will put a lot of work into healing the tree. But you would probably never buy a keyline plow.

"Small" depends on the farmer. Maybe an acre. Maybe 20 acres. The key is that if you have a sick tree you might try to save it, but you are more likely to cut it down and move on. You probably won't do any keyline stuff.

"Large" could be 100 acres to 20,000 acres. A sick tree would mean that you have 10,000 healthy trees - so a sick tree doesn't really get any attention. You have at the very least contemplated keyline. You might own the plow, or rent one, or you have elected to not do keyline.

And, of course, a thread could appear in multiple forums as appropriate.
 
steward
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And, of course, a thread could appear in multiple forums as appropriate.



If you feel that one of your threads belongs in multiple forums, PM a moderator, and they can set this up easily.
If multiple copies of the same thread just begin popping up without the proper set up, they are likely to get deleted.

An advantage to having it set up this way, is that all of the responses will appear in each of the threads.
It will be an identical thread, replies and all, just in multiple places.
This helps maintain continuity, and simplifies checking for responses.

 
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I also think it should also go beyond acreage - we jumped off the cliff and farm income isn't a side thing - it's our entire focus. It's our sole source of income; that puts a different perspecitve on thing as well.
 
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