I have a 1/4 acre, facing south in zone 8b and am overwhelmed with how to turn this piece of land, just south of Seattle into a profitablepermaculture market garden/farm? There is an abundance of information on the interwebs and I don't know which way to turn. I am one person with a full-time job but would like to start transitioning to a home-based business ( market garden/micro farm) and I have no idea how to get started? Any advice?
With that size of lot to work with I would sheet mulch the whole thing to get started and then start looking at some of the planting strategies developed by John Jeavons and the Grow Biointensive crew at Ecology Action. They have some really good info on intensive production on a small scale....or large!
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 2 years ago
My advice would be to put something in the ground. Anything. Grow it up. Then sell it to anybody for any price. That makes you a market gardener.
Later on, you can work on growing things easier, better, healthier, faster, etc, and you can work on selling more at a higher price.
In other words, the way to start market gardening is as easy as growing something and selling it.
If you have an annual fruit or vegetable that you love, then you might start there. My all-time favorite market crop is muskmelons. I love the aroma. I love the taste. They are super easy to grow (nowadays). They don't have any pests at my place, as long as I don't plant them in the Squash field which is infested with muledeer. And I get to eat any seconds that I find while picking!!! Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.
I rather dislike modern tomatoes as a species, because they are so inbred, but they are a highly popular market crop that can fetch good prices, so I feel like I have to grow them for market.
My marketing pitch for tomatoes goes something like, "I think they are gaggy, but you can taste one if you'd like.", My marketing pitch for muskmelons, goes something like, "These are super-sweet, and popping with flavor. They are soft, and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The aroma is amazing! Here, smell this." Can you tell which crop I am passionate about? I never get tired of growing muskmelons or taking them to market.