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Permaculture financial models for business planning  RSS feed

 
Mark Stair
Posts: 8
Location: Montesano, WA
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One important aspect of permaculture is sustainability and that should include financial sustainability.
We have a new farm and are close to completing the infrastructure (water, electric, and buildings) and are 9 months into one year of observation of the land.
Our next step is to determine the the best courses of action for the second year. What I love about permaculture is that there are so many options but we need to focus on the most important ones first.
With all the other online resources and books, we can figure out how to do the various parts, now just trying to figure out what do do and in which order.

What I'm looking for is to analyze the financial models for the various options (or others anyone can suggest!).
So, just looking for any resources on figuring out financial model such as investment, gross income, expenses, net income, and/or return on investment for various ideas.
Looking for info just on the growing/production portion, not yet the processing which would come later.

Options:
1) Nut and berry trees. (would expect higher initial investment with no income for several years and then income only after 5 or more years).
2) Christmas trees. (similar to 1)
3) Annual crops: veggies, hay, hemp, etc. (would expect investment every year for seeding, maintenance, harvest and selling).
4) Livestock for meat
5) Livestock for dairy or eggs.
6) Leasing out portions of land to other permies rather than doing everything ourselves. (We have 67 acres so we could lease out 4 or 5 10 acre portions for example).

Would appreciate any specific financial details you have experienced with any of the above or resources for this info.
 
Bill Erickson
steward
Posts: 1132
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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Where are you located, Mark? That bit of info really helps with recommendations. A lot of the recommendations will be specific to your region and what niche you are looking to fill.

You can add your location into your profile so it will be there for the future.
 
Mark Stair
Posts: 8
Location: Montesano, WA
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Farm is in Montesano, WA in Pacific Northwest.
I live in Seattle, so it's possible to transport goods from farm to Seattle (less than 2 hours away) and also have connections in Seattle and Tacoma for sales opportunities.
 
Bill Erickson
steward
Posts: 1132
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
127
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I didn't think of it earlier, but I added this to the Cascadia and Farm Income forums for you. Hope that helps you draw some good feedback.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Location: Missoula, MT
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Your question reminded me of this thread where Adam Klaus was incredibly generous in sharing exactly what it cost for his meat birds:

http://www.permies.com/t/30250/chickens/meat-chicken-return-investment
 
Marianne Cicala
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Posts: 680
Location: south central VA 7B
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Hi Mark,
I would suggest you spend some time doing some research about your potential market. Go to your local Farmers' Markets, grab a cup of coffee and just sit and watch market buyers and what they migrate to, get to know other growers' businesses, talk to the owners of restaurants that you frequent about what they would like to buy local and cannot, talk to higher end restaurant chefs' about custom growing. You can find niches in your potential market that you can fill in the future. I find it interesting in our local Farmers' Market, that most of the growers are growing the same stuff. As a grower, I find it much easier to fill a need than trying to find a need for what I've grown. I have seen a marked difference when I'm growing for a need vs trying to find a market for already existing goods. I am quickly moving to 75% perennials edibles aka berries, grapes, hops, fruits and asparagus vs annual produce. I also run my farm on a profit per square foot which permaculture is king on that front. That has eliminated growing cabbages, broccoli etc that take a lot of room and my local market is saturated. I diversify as much as possible, eggs, veggies and fruit, herb plants and veggies starts in the spring and fall. Small grocery stores will also offer those plants.
Best of luck!!
Marianne
 
Karen Maddox
Posts: 7
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Are you still in the county? I'm in the same area but more interested in designing a beautiful and subsistent landscape. I'd love to connect with others in Elma, Matlock, Montesano, Aberdeen and other areas of Grays Harbor, Mason and Pacific Counties.
 
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