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anyone here make money from permaculture?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 515
Location: Eastern Kansas
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Finances for EVERY small farm is a tricky thing. A small farm is a small business, and well over half of all new businesses fail. It takes years for most businesses to net $100.000 per year.

I am choosing permaculture because, the week that we bought the farm-to-be, I got sick. Really sick. I will never be well again. Permaculture gives me a way to still be involved in agriculture.

Of course I did make some business plans on paper.

I figured that 5 bee hives would fit on that 5 acres. If every hive produced 30 pounds of honey per year at perhaps $3 profit per pund (after subtracting costs like jars to put the honey in and so forth). that would be a net of perhaps $450. It should be possible to sell excess bees right after the honey harvest for perhaps $150, half of which would be used for upkeep of the hives.

Water was to have been from the creek. Rows of blackberries were to have been planted, and the blackberries can be kept in rows with mowing with a small lawn tractor. Asparagus was to have been planted.

The best sellers at the farmers market I used to sell at made $15,000 a year, and I was hoping to work up to $10,000 per year. A pick your own of 5 acres of blackberries would have brought in far more, but it would have meant a more developed infrastructure, and better social skills than I possessed. So, I was going to sell the lot-if I could- at farmers markets, and also sell in stores or whatever. As I have said before I am week in social skills, but giving blackberries as gifts for potential sellers to eat has been a very effective marketing tool of mine. I am justifiably proud of the quality of my fruit.

So, land payments and taxes were about $2500 per year and I was hoping to gross $10,000 as a part time job. As I have said, new businesses are often not very profitable. I did think that is sounded like a promising start.

I still have the land as it would have made me too sad to sell it. The permaculture asparagus has been well established as have the daffodills. I could potentially sell daffodills but the profit in daffodills is low and I would have to do too much hand work to pick enough to make a profit. So, I feed the asparagus to my family and I put daffodils on my own table.

The fruit trees that I am currently working on established are too young to bear fruit.

I will *NOT* be selling produce or flowers as I have enough evergy to EITHER grow or to sell, and growing will always be my first love.

For a PROFITABLE permaculture, I would think the most profitable would be "pick your own". A barn would be needed for ringing up the purchases and to shelter the customers during rain showers, and it would have to be a picturesque barn if you want many customers. People would have to be hired as nobody can both work the fields and ring up purchases. Etc.

Blackberries are native to most of America and they would be a good choice: a riding mower can keep them in rows. Asparagus is native to the meditteranian area of the world but it has naturalized over much of North America. Just 2 crops is not enough but it is a start.

I cannot walk for long distances and so, for me, it is enough to walk on my land and harvest for my own home. I believe this is common for people who are using permaculture: most of us are not full time farmers. But, for some of us, permaculture is producing enough for us to benefit from it.

A very small percentage of Americans are farmers. An even smaller percent are doing permaculture because there are few established permaculture farmers to teach the up-and-coming ones. I can *SEE* that there is potential profit in it, and at one time I would have gone for it. But, no longer.

Most of us have jobs in town and we are doing this on our own dime. I know that I had intended to do so.

 
Posts: 101
Location: 39.720014, -74.875139 - Waterford Works, NJ
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You brought up a much-needed discussion apparently, Diego!

While we all have our own reasons for being interested in permaculture, those reasons are why none of us define "freedom" and "profit" the same. Alex and all the others have valid points, and I can understand exactly where you are coming from (because I, too, am in the rat race somewhat). I think once you define "freedom" and "profit" and what it means to you, the requirements for that lifestyle are much clearer.

Sustainability, where profit is concerned, would go beyond the dirt into the bank account; meaning, I would want enough diversity in crops and revenue streams where I wouldn't take a big hit if one failed. This seems to be the one big piece of permaculture - diversity of plants and animals. That way, if my medicinal mushroom crops failed one year, my gourmet organic blackberries would still be purchased by the local gourmet restaurant or market, and my black walnut trees could still be harvested for veneer and keep money coming in. The concept really isn't any different than diversifying your stock portfolio to include high and low-risk gains. And the additional bonus, in your case, is the ability to live cheaper and feed all those mouths. Kudos to you for asking the questions!
 
Posts: 644
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Diego de la Vega wrote:I believe that farming is going to be one of the most important careers, and quite a lucrative as well, in the future.



I disagree. There are so many people growing their own food now and the numbers are increasing. Agriculture/the food industry is a very competitive business. The ones that find a niche, develop a client base, and have the right connections are the ones that turn a decent profit.
 
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This is a much needed conversation, thank you Diego.

I have no land of my own and am still paying off debts. I really need to know if permaculture will support me and my family. I trust it to create an abundance of flora and fauna, but will it create a better-than-sustainable number in my bank account?
Marianne Cooper gives me hope it is possible and also gives me insight. By the time I (or anyone else) have been working for years to put money in the bank, I expect the excess money to turn right around and be invested into the people/land. Instead of $10k in the bank at the end of the year it's going to be a new pond or a solar/wind system or better infrastructure. The cash in the bank won't last because there are a million better ways to use it.

We may not be able to put permaculture in a box, close the lid, and have money fall out the bottom. But I trust it to create an abundance.
 
pollinator
Posts: 328
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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We know a local family who does - and they have put kids through college. They have a very nice little "destination" produce stand/antiques shop. They always have the earliest tomatoes and fantastic quality produce, and have built up a great reputation over time.

The other thing is - don't discount non-farming type stuff. For instance, I have a small business that I run part-time due to time constraints (kids!) which has absolutely nothing to do with farming or permaculture aside from that it is run out of a barn. Income wise, I am literally limited only by the time I am able to put into it. If I was able to work at it full-time, especially if my husband could work at it with me, we could very realistically earn more than what he makes now (after a year or two).

Right now we're working on minimizing expenses including building a small off-grid cabin and working on raising more food, and once we have our expenses minimized to a comfortable level (and savings inversely grown) then he will be able to quit his job and we can then begin working together. This will probably correlate nicely with when our youngest starts school as well, which will also free up time.
 
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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After four years and a lot of mistakes , I have divided my plan into three phases. Trying to generate enough farm income to halfway step out of the rat race is in phase three. Phase one is food and energy self suffiency. Not having to spend twenty percent of your income to have good food would free up capital. So , orchard fruits , berries , herbs , poultry , quarts of vegies in the larder. Phase one. Pork and lamb/goat are part of phase two along with planting more and more perrenials that will be part of the farm income plan. Phase three includes thriving self suufiency and a small farm business based on perrenial plants. I am still in phase one with some overlap into phase three , thinking ahead. Geof Lawton says that the goal of permaculture is to have gardners thinking like farmers ,
and farmers to think like gardners. If I never make it as far as phase three it will still be worth it . The basis of the economy is not big business but the individual.
 
Posts: 6569
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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My husband and I are from an older generation than most here. We showed up in the Ozarks in our early twenties with pretty much nothing but our ideals and the wonderful comradery among our like minded peers. We've been here forty years now, raised children, lots of goats, rabbits and chickens. We each learned a solid traditional craft as a way to work at home for money. We live on a very small income...a struggle sometimes...but such freedom in so many ways. We have grown food along organic guidelines/philosophy the whole time and slipped into permaculture before we knew the word. For us, our life is always improving, small movements towards our ideals...but not necessarily in financial way. In hindsite....we probably should not have traded the truck for the goats after planting fruit trees with no fences...or decided Arkansas winters were easy because the first one was in the eighties so we didn't need to finish the walls on the house...or shouldn't have bought land with only a trail as access and no water but a seasonal creek. We made a lot of mistakes along the way but starting on this path was the best choice we ever made.
My answer to the original question, then, is 'yes' we make money...on our land, with a diversity of woodworking, weaving, plants and some produce...and some trade for a little help sometimes. We live on less (some years a lot less) than $10,000 a year...but have had years in the past where I made up an income figure because no one would believe zero.
 
Posts: 200
Location: Augusta,Ks
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Yep, we need money. We also need earth, and so will our children.

I am not close to msking money off permaculture, atleast not directly, but i hope i am leaving my children with the tools they will need to survive. I dont mean that in a fight off the hoards way, but in a self sustainable, live with and respect nature sort of way.

Money is needed to make farming sustainable, but this is a long groth goal we should have. It takes time to do this right. In the meantime i work outside of farming, but always towards the eye of sustainsble. I sm a carpenter/handyman that specislises in building permaculture based items. Chicken houses, raised garden beds, rabbit hutches, bee hives etc.. All made from salvaged materials. This is only a small percentage of my business, for now, but we have to educate while we grow.

In addition i barter for everything i can, buy used, reduce, re use and recycle.

Before i truly started living this way i dpent a lot of time frustrated. I resented poloticians never keeping promises, corporations having too much control and my power to do nothing about it. In other words, i blamed everyone else.

In otherwords, my dedication to permaculture, gave me my power back.

I dont hate yachts, i am only glad for the freedom i have from not owning one.

How much does permaculture pay? What is your children and grandchildren living happy, healthy lives cost?
 
Instructor
Posts: 112
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
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No one mentioned another excellent Permaculture farm that I'm pretty sure does well financially, with a niche seed company as well as a food CSA, not from teaching. Seven Seeds Farm in williams, Oregon, run by Don Tipping, a really brilliant guy:

http://www.sevenseedsfarm.com/

I did a video of their awesome water system:


He prides himself at making a good living growing seed and food in a region that is dominated by growing weed.

Mark Shepherd claims to be profitable as well:
106 Acre Profitable Permaculture Farm - Interview with Owner Mark Shepard
http://vimeo.com/22330819

Then there are folks making a living off of a niche specialty crop, like my friends here:
http://www.themushroomery.org/

I hope that helps

Andrew
 
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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We row crop backyards in suburban Salt Lake City. The produce is sold to a CSA, restaurants, and markets. This year we secured commercial kitchen space and are doing value added. We also have chickens that get rotation pastured through an orchard, also in the suburbs. It is absolutely a niche that has taken a few years to develop.

Its not permaculture but its getting there. We are slowly planting perennials and developing food forests. We dumpster dive, ride bikes, and lust after solar panels. It also pays the bills for a few people.

One thing however is apparent in this conversation. If you are going to output from your land, you have to input. In all likely hood inputing and distribution of products is going to involve the global industrial complex, and that is unsustainable.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
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I tried making money but it was very hard to get the correct paper and ink plus the government gets very huffy about that sort of thing so I stopped doing it .

Seriously if its all about making money you need to redefine what you mean by making money

David
 
Posts: 567
Location: Mid-Michigan
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John Polk wrote: POr, perhaps they just want to fly under the radar. Many would prefer to remain unknown.



Lots of fascinating insights here, and if I may, let me throw in just one more:

Americans (maybe all English-speaking Westerners?) are quite shy about discussing incomes at all, ever.
You can probably triple that shyness when the audience is highly skeptical of money and the rat race.

Which is to say, maybe there are wealthy permaculturists. Maybe there are wealthy permaculturists on these forums. But maybe they're not letting on, so everyone doesn't write them off as moneygrubbers.

Just one more possible dynamic among the many dynamics interacting here.

(If I were looking to be someone's investor/VC/silent partner, I'd post "Need money to get started? I've got it for you if you're pretty sure you can return me some profit." Let folks contact me quietly.)
 
pollinator
Posts: 1206
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Great topic!

I've been working for ten years now to create from scratch a 20 acre homestead style farm, doing it the hard way, by hand. Crazy, but it is something I've always wanted to do. The goal is that in three more years the farm needs to be supporting us. I am at the point where the farm pays its way. it is self supporting, but there is not much profit yet, unless you count the fact that it provides over 90% of our food, all the firewood, and many resources that we don't have to go out and buy. If the farm growth stays on track, it should be be able to meet our goal in 3 years.

...Su
kaufarmer.blogspot.com
 
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I have been seeing new farm-related businesses here in California. Notably farm dinners that cost $100 per plate which sell out months in advance. And properties that have weddings. Just north of the Bay Area some properties charge $8,000 to let someone have a wedding at their property.



 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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I want to add the variable of where we spend our money . I want my farm to be self sustaining so I want people to buy my product . My products will not be sold at the grain co-op or to a large wholesaler . My income will consist of many small sales directly to the consumers . This type of economy requires a network / community of like minded people buying from each other. Some farms grow medicine , some meat , dairy , vegies , baskets , feeder calves , honey , orchards , eggs , lumber , a mix of all the above , etc. Maybe the orchardist fixes engines , the herbalist builds post and beam barns . { Maybe the guy growing medicinal herbs on the hill is a registered nurse who has expertise in wound healing and used to own a catering business and can do a mean shade tree tune-up who needs help putting a roof on his house - oh wait , thats me } . So , it seems to me that our success in permie farming depends on creating communities that will utilize our services . Every aspect of permie culture is being assimilated into the uber-culture and sold at Wally World and Whole Paycheck Foods. There are sustainable bamboo kitchenware and clothes being sold by megalocorporate entities. So buying local and supporting your freinds is just as important as our own farm income. Frugality is a spiral . We want to keep our income circulating close to home . The dollar I spend across the road at Hippie Neighbors Honor System Fruit Stand has a better chance of returning to my pocket than if it gets sucked down to Benton , Arkansas first. To summarize , if you want to make a living with permaculture buy from other permies. Here is an idea - mark your bills with a green highlighted "P" when you spend it a your local chicken tractor top bar comfrey farm and see if it returns to you. If you recieve one of these bills - or one returns to you - spend it again only at a permaculure based business . See what happens.
 
Rion Mather
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It has been about 4 months since my last post and the business I am involved with is expanding. I can't say enough how finding a niche is key to making a living. There are too many natural farmers out there.
 
David Livingston
pollinator
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Some of us would say there are not enough " natural farmers" out there

David
 
Rion Mather
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Maybe it depends on location. They are all over the place in this part of the country.
 
David Livingston
pollinator
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Sorry to disagree but from my own philisophical stand point there are not enough natural farmers out there. Weather there are enough finantially sucsessful farmers is another question in my view. There are many non natural farmers going bust each year to make the question meaningless in my view
 
Posts: 45
Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
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I make a living from agriculture. Over the years I have tried a lot of permaculture in a large production scale. The current equipment needed for large scale permaculture is not on the market yet.

I have 230 acres. I net between $45,000 and $65,000 a year for the last 5 years with the farm.

It is hard to get a loan for land. Buying farm land with out experience makes it harder to get loans. Getting loans for equipment, fertilizer, seeds, fences, ext is also hard.

The infrastructure that was in place 10 years ago that helped small farms is being bought out be larger producers to shut it down or the government makes new requirements that are imposable for the smaller business to keep up with forcing them to shut down. There is a lot of limits in place from the government where I’m only able to produce X amount of a product.

Marketing is the key to making money. If you try to deal with the end customer your not going to have the time to do the needed work on the farm. I deal with a few restraints, a co-op, a local store, and a little directly with the customer.
 
Terri Matthews
Posts: 515
Location: Eastern Kansas
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I suspect that Diego has finished researching his question and gone away, which is a shame!

To his original question, I would say "What is your product and where is your market"? Permaculture is more a method of production than it is a business in its own right.

When I was going to go into business I was thinking vegetables, blackberries, and honey. Life happened, and I am no longer going into business so instead I am raising asparagus, a few fruit trees, and perrenial flowers. Both would have been permaculture, but what I am doing now does not have a business purpose.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1362
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I think the question has nothing to do with permaculture. Because it is simply difficult to make money from farming. It is more difficult to make money from farming if you mortgage your farm. You will have a second job and so your farm is not the first job, how will you make a living from the farm when you work another job? Your day has 24 hours not more. It is even harden to make money if you did not inherit the farm, the fences the machinery the little bits and pieces that costs so much if you have to buy them and even harder if you did not grow up on a farm. Insofar it has nothing to do with permaculture, but more with starting a new farm with limited financial means. I don't think that permaculture is a hindrance of a income.
 
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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Diego,

We have a long term business plan that will make our whispers of eden profitable. I, like you, have a strong business background; and, tend to require hobbies to not be money sink holes! As a life time organic gardener; this is a direction I have always wanted to go as well. The synergism works well for us. We did give up So. Cal. for 12 acres of urban agriculture land in central VA. It was an overgrown and damaged foreclosure. Our start up costs are huge...we considered farm loans; but decided to pay out right for as much as possible through other income sources. We are still in start up mode; yet, we have already been making money. Currently, everything is simply reinvested in growing our enterprise. We plan to make our income from a variety of farm endeavors, not just annual crops. I do believe this is the key to profitability in permaculture. Any industry can be profitable or a sink hole; it really depends on you...What time, money, education, and energy are you willing to invest in its financial success? Permaculture, while it is an awesome way of life, is not mutually exclusive of being a profitable endeavor! Asking others, whose goals are very different than ours, to prove your objective is not really what will help you in your decision. Study the financially successful business enterprises presented to you here...are you able and willing to duplicate what they have done to be profitable? If so, you have the only answer you need!
 
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huh,

sometimes the most successful thing I do in a day is go to the bathroom.

everything's relative

 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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@ Sheila

"Profit" is a basic business and accounting term...not open to personal interpretation. "Success" is an ideal that varies from culture to culture, person to person. Diego, who posed the question, was interested in feedback about profit; not your standards...be they what they may...of success.
It is not inherently right or wrong to approach permaculture from a profit basis; nor, from a success basis. Both are valid; and, both can be pursued simultaneously. I do encourage those in the success camp to be accepting of those in the profit camp; neither group has claim to superiority...different is different, not better. We each choose our lifestyle and goals based on us individually; what is good for me may not be the same for my neighbor nor a fellow permaculturist.





 
pollinator
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Farmer is a job.
Permaculturist is not.
But you can farm in permaculture way.

I mean you can apply permaculture to whatever, including "just" gardening.
At personal level, permaculture can even be a luxury.
It can be savings too.

But farming is a job that ask for more knowledge than a pdc.
So, for getting paid = having a job, you need to learn growing or cattle management or ... + permaculture.
 
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
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Making money with permaculture is the subject of today's Survival Podcast.
 
gardener
Posts: 7564
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:Farmer is a job.
Permaculturist is not.
But you can farm in permaculture way.

I mean you can apply permaculture to whatever, including "just" gardening.
At personal level, permaculture can even be a luxury.
It can be savings too.

But farming is a job that ask for more knowledge than a pdc.
So, for getting paid = having a job, you need to learn growing or cattle management or ... + permaculture.



Well said and thumbs up Nicolas. ---- I have put probably one month of full time work into developing my land. It's not my job. It's something that I do when not busy with other things. I consider it a long term investment that will pay off in the form of rents, camping fees and bus fares from those who I bring to the farm. I expect most food production to go to my visitors and bus patrons. I think they call it vertical integration. I want to be the company store. More importantly, developing this land is a way for me to provide myself with a beautiful place to live in a real estate market that is likely to fare better than most. If I ever retire (only a health issue would cause that) my ownership of this valuable asset will keep me from having to survive on dwindling government handouts. I'm master of my domain and that suits my Social Darwinist view of how a man should live.

As stated earlier, I've put one month of work into the property. I produced a cottage that is livable but unfinished, a very suitable access road and a few thousand sq. ft. of hugelkultur beds that have not been put into production. I've thinned out undesirable tree species and made some paths. ---- I came into the project with a wide array of skills and some money. I might have to put in 10 times that much work before I see a significant return. I think that's pretty consistent with other time investments that a person could make. There are any number of paid professions that I could spend 3 to 5 years training for that would provide me with an income that would facilitate a comfortable living. There are also dozens of things that a person can learn in a matter of hours or a few weeks. These things tend to not pay so well or consistently.

Just about every investment scheme that promises great returns for a small investment, turns out to be bogus. The same is true of our time and sweat equity investments. I often hear young people who have never put in any hard work, lament the fact that they can't find a decent job. They want the sorts of things that other people want but have as yet, not been willing to put in the time and do the work. My 18.5 year old daughter will soon enter her 3rd year of university. She has some financial plans that require a good income. I'm sure that in a few short years she will encounter others her own age who will assume that she has a rich dad or she's incredibly lucky. I sure hope the rich dad part is true by then.

For me the development of the land must be incremental for financial reasons. I believe that I have a good, achievable plan and the required skill to pull it off. I'm on good land without crushing debt, have good health, the kids are 18 and 25, and I have a solid means of earning money away from the farm. I haven't yet planted a single carrot (at this location) but I'm totally confident that I will soon produce food far beyond the needs of myself and my family.

If some of those items in my favor were not so, then I would need to make them so or alter my plans to match the reality of the situation. No matter what we do, from building a house to starting a business, if the plan is horribly unworkable, the desired result is doubtful.

I don't expect to ever make all of my income from farming. I do expect my income from the farming portion of my life to far surpass that of most of those who were unwilling to make a good plan that includes a reliable way to earn a living in the beginning.

 
Posts: 1983
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We don't make surplus money on our farm, right now we don't even try. I am learning slowly and doing the permaculture design for our property slowly. My husband works full time making money and I work all the time on not spending it. (Stay at home mom/farmer. )

We have nice harvests of surplus blueberries and chestnuts that we share with friends or sell locally. Beyond that we eat/use/share the other things we grow.

Sharing brings a lot of value, and others share with us. Our cash needs are reduced by this type of economy.

The bill collectors aren't usually into the sharing economy though, so someone does currently need to have a real money job here for now. Our long term plan includes some high value crops we hope to have surpluses of. For now we feel rich gorging ourselves on delicious organic blueberries that cost five dollars a half-life pint at the grocery store.

One thing that I didn't see in this discussion (maybe I missed it) was the idea of preparing for survival in a future that doesn't include fossil fuels or money as we know it. This has a lot of value!

Here is a link to an article that includes an interview with me where I admit to my true feelings about money:
http://ediblerhody.com/online-magazine/spring-2013/working-the-land-%e2%80%a2-a-tale-of-two-wwoof-farms/
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1983
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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We don't make surplus money on our farm, right now we don't even try. I am learning slowly and doing the permaculture design for our property slowly. My husband works full time making money and I work all the time on not spending it. (Stay at home mom/farmer. )

We have nice harvests of surplus blueberries and chestnuts that we share with friends or sell locally. Beyond that we eat/use/share the other things we grow.

Sharing brings a lot of value, and others share with us. Our cash needs are reduced by this type of economy.

The bill collectors aren't usually into the sharing economy though, so someone does currently need to have a real money job here for now. Our long term plan includes some high value crops we hope to have surpluses of. For now we feel rich gorging ourselves on delicious organic blueberries that cost five dollars a half-life pint at the grocery store.

One thing that I didn't see in this discussion (maybe I missed it) was the idea of preparing for survival in a future that doesn't include fossil fuels or money as we know it. This has a lot of value!

Here is a link to an article that includes an interview with me where I admit to my true feelings about money:
http://ediblerhody.com/online-magazine/spring-2013/working-the-land-%e2%80%a2-a-tale-of-two-wwoof-farms/
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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@Matu

Good point! Part of the balancing of capital budgeting includes considering what you ARE NOT spending as a passive income. This is valuable and should always be considered. Lifestyle values are varied immensely from person (or family) to person (or family). While that is not part of making money; it is why people choose to be farmers. Farming is never a quick buck, so having meaning above and beyond that years profit margin is absolutely necessary.


Aside: I lived in Turkey and became fully adapted to the barter system. I spent significant time in other countries, and, found bartering to be quite the norm. It is wonderful! In Hawaii we used a more casual one; you have extra...you give...it comes back to you in some form and some point as life plays out. In OC, CA, I bartered a lot. There are a lot of culture influences from every corner of the earth there and the various forms of barter are readily available if you query.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I have lived in places, mostly city (pronounced shitty) apartments that I hated. I burned a lot of gas driving to nicer places in order to escape the gloomy atmosphere.

While working on the land, I have no desire to leave, so I only go when some other commitment calls me.

A nice home can save gasoline. On days when I don't leave, there is nothing to spend money on. I leave my wallet and keys under the seat of my van to avoid losing them.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Actually, what you are not spending if worth more the money than what you earn!
Because it doe not include taxes...
There is a shunt!
 
Cortland Satsuma
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@Xisca

I am sorry; I do not understand your reply. Is what you are saying is, that a lb. of food not bought is more money saved because you did not pay taxes on the food nor on the lack of income? If so, many places do not charge tax on food items any way. As to the payroll tax issue; I doubt the amount of effort to obtain the food is less than the amount of payroll tax for the money earned and needed to buy it. I do not see the concept as a way not to pay taxes...I hope to be paying a lot of taxes on my farm efforts! Being profitable, means being able to pay taxes. (I am not real happy on where my money is being spent; however, that is a different topic entirely!)
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Yes you got the idea. The more direct from producer to consumer (not only for food) the less taxes are included, for any good.

There are more taxes than one thinks about!

There are taxes on your income from any job or business. This is the money you will spend for your expenses.
There are taxes on the income of all who work for any thing you buy. There are taxes on transport.

When you have time at home, you save more than on food only.
 
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For me, it is not about the money. I was in the corporate world for years, and like everyone else THOUGHT I was prosperous, but all I owned was DEBT.
And on top of that I was not happy and my health was being affected from stress and working 50-70 hours a week for YEARS and getting screwed out of my vacation time because I was " management". Long story short, one year I didn't even make 10% of what I used to make, but I was far happier not being in DEBT.
What I have God has truly blessed me with and I OWN... It more about living a Simple Life and learning and applying skills used in the 1700 and 1800's, simple skills that will work when there is no electricity, SMALL scale for me, not big production.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1983
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I'm with Dale, living being at my home saves me actual cash and brings me uncalculable wealth in non-monetary ways. I used to live in the city too, and now I live in a seaside community surrounded by woods, meadows and farm. People pay a lot of money here to come on vacation, and wwoofers come work hard for food and a spot in my ancient camper.

Our bank account does not reflect our wealth, in fact, we barely make enough money to pay taxes. Years ago I nannied for a number of quite wealthy families who had lots of money. Those experiences influenced me to aim more for happiness and lifestyle than money.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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