Thursday, February 22, 2018

March Musings

It's taken me most the past year, but I'm finally seriously looking into income streams. Fresh veggies and fruits are a given. But what else? Adam and my neighbor, Matt, are also looking for income, and while the garden produce is helping them, they realize that we nee to diversify. 

Potted seedlings. We're cleaning up the mini greenhouses and sowing seeds again now that the dead of winter is past. Adam aims to devote several of the mini greenhouses to potted veggies and herbs that he can take to the farmers market for selling. He has been talking with folks around town and they seem interested in both veggies and herbs. 

Green coffee beans ready for home roasting. I haven't the foggiest idea if there is any demand for this, but Adam plans to test the market. 

Eggs. I don't see an egg business happening this year. The flock is aging, plus the farm now has a wwoofer to feed. But if there happens to be extra eggs, then they'll go to the market. 

Lamb. I will have two older lambs ready for slaughter. Plus a ram that can go for ground mutton. With the new lambs arriving, it's time to process the older sheep that are not needed. Plus any excess lambs will be ready for selling for meat in 6 months. I've gotten 4 male lambs so far this season and surely don't need more rams in the flock. One is now sold, but that leaves 3 extra ram lambs. 

Goat milk. Not this year, but maybe next year. Pet owners are interested in buying small amounts of goat milk. So Adam might consider selling the excess. 

Compost. Adam is getting serious about making compost. Within a few months he should be selling his first batch. I consider my own compost to be too valuable to sell for now. 

Garden labels. A friend jokingly suggested marketing my bright yellow garden sticks that I use for labels. My own sticks are rather crude and rough, but I could make some better made ones for resale. So a passing joke might be a marketing idea. 

Young chickens and ducks. "S" made the suggestion to sell young birds. Both chickens and ducks. Well, with a little effort, we could get a few of the hens sitting on eggs right now. Ducks....I would need to buy a few since I'm down to one female. It's something to consider. 

Garden seeds. Since I'm producing a fair amount of my own garden seed, it looks like I could be getting excess. Is there a market for garden seed in this area? 

Veggies. This is a given. Fresh chemical-free veggies are sellable. Now the trick will be to produce a steady supply rather than our rollercoaster excess that we've been doing so far. 

Adam is also looking into some day work, things like handyman style jobs. This isn't something that the farm will benefit from, but Adam needs income other than just the farm for now. Eventually he hopes to just live off the farm production. But in the meantime he is looking to pick up a few hours work here and there. Matt has been picking up some day work to supplement his house painting efforts. But he also wants to focus on growing pumpkins and beets. He does fairly well with those two crops. 

Developing income streams is challenging in a poor rural area. I'm not complaining and I surely am not interested in moving to where the better markets are (Honolulu area, Kahului area, etc). Nor am I interested at this point in developing an internet presence to sell stuff. That is possibly a future project, but not for now. For right now, all involved are just looking to get comfortable with growing more food and related farm production. I think that's a worthy goal for now. 

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