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Making Money with TomatoBarrels - Can it be done?  RSS feed

 
Coralee Palmer
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We have been experimenting with growing tomatoes in recycled 55 gallons barrels for two years using a wicking system. We live on the Oregon Coast and tomatoes do not do very well here. We have tomatoes by the 4th of July for the last two years. We believe we have a permaculture type of product that is marketable.

We call our first product - TomatoBarrels.




TomatoBarrel is a portable system that takes advantage of the heat storing capacity of the water reservoir and of its portability to enable a longer growing season and minimal need for watering.

Tomato production on the Oregon Coast is hard because of the large amount of cold Oregon rain; the Coast ground is cold until usually June or early July. With a TomatoBarrel a person can plant as soon as they have their barrel. It can be used indoors or outdoors.

The containers are mobile and can sit anywhere: in a community garden, on a deck, in a yard, on a sidewalk – they can be easily located in the sunniest area throughout the season. Because they are not in contact with the ground and there are 22 gallons of water stored in the bottom, they stay warmer. They only need to have water replenished about once a week. They have 32 gallons of Wicking Material in the top of the barrel.

Our Secret is Wicking Material! TomatoBarrel growing varies significantly from traditional in-ground growing. Unlike conventional soil where worms and other insects provide “channels” for natural aeration, the growing material in the TomatoBarrel requires a loose, porous mix to replicate the aeration process. A TomatoBarrel requires a lot of material (32 gallons).


We mix our own Wicking Material. Our mix is:

22 gallons bark fine
5 gallons coir
5 gallons perlite
2 cups Dolomitic (garden) lime
2 cups Controlled Release Fertilizer


We do not know if anybody has any experience with any thing like this, but we are interested in others opinions because we have started marketing the TomatoBarrel. We are holding free TomatoBarrels Building Workshops. The reception has been great. We are finding that our market is limited because the barrels are too big to ship at a reasonable cost.


We are proposing a unique distributing plan. There is an empty furnished 2 bedroom/2 bath house next to our TomatoBarrel manufacturing building with a permaculture garden. The house is located in Lincoln City, Oregon on ½ acre on Hwy 101.

Our plan is to have a couple of people come to Lincoln City and help us make TomatoBarrels for one (1) month. They would not receive any pay and have to provide their own food, we only provide housing.

When they leave, they will be given a License to make and market TomatoBarrels for themselves wherever they live and go. They can copy our manufacturing and market system in every detail. They receive 100% of all the money on the barrels they market.

Is there any interest in this type of distributing system?

P. S. Other permaculture types of projects we plan to market.

Chicken Sanctuary
Drinkable RainWater Collection System
BeeBarrel
Worm Modules
Slug Zapper
Weed Busting with Goats

We will post them in the Forum later as they are more developed.
Filename: May-19.pdf
Description: May 19 Free TomatoBarrel Building Workshop
File size: 441 Kbytes
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Where do you get the materials to fill the barrels?

It's very cool to get early tomatoes
 
Coralee Palmer
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We purchase the material at the local nursery. Attached is more information on our Wicking Material
Filename: wicking_brochure_4.pdf
Description: Details on how to use the Wicking Material
File size: 123 Kbytes
 
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