I love to garden. My dream is to grow plants, bushes, veggies and earn my living at the same time. I am looking for a legitamate business to help me realize my dream while preserving nature and natural products. Need sponsor/investor to realize my dream. :)
You may *want* an investor or sponsor to realize your dream, but I don't think you *need* one. Sure, having someone with big money or lots of land swoop in and make your dream come true would be easier, but there are a handful of people out there who aren't holding out for a fairy godmother (and I'm one of them). What you *need* though is CREATIVITY and DRIVE. Good luck!
Start small-- try to apprentice with a local farmer or two, start gardening on whatever scale you have room for and can afford, and read everything you can get your hands on. If you have debt already, draw up a plan to reduce it as much as you can and then start saving toward your dream. If you really want it, you can make it happen! I know Krystal is on this path, and I'm starting down it, so it's definitely possible.
I actually have a similar dream to the above. I am visiting this forum to get an idea of others experiences with farming, growing, and endeavoring things they love and value. (I also visited Krystle's site too---and sent her a note about it!). I too am trying to find a way....
I am wondering about where you maybe located. I am not sure anyone would or could help without knowing the area that you are from
Here is a trend I see in the next 5-10 years. Those who have land, even 5 acres or less, will find it necessary to look for mini-sharecroppers. Since mainstream agriculture is so petrol-intensive, first higher prices for gas and then peak oil will create higher food prices and even scarcity. This will benefit sustainable agriculture in the long run, but before that happens in a significant manner, homeowners with extra space will find it expedient to fence off some land for garden use. Since agriculture is so labor-intensive, they will not garden themselves, but there will be opportunities for market gardeners. Rent could be paid in vegetables - thus the mini-sharecropper idea. It doesn't seem likely owners of McMansions will simply accept disruptions in their food supply. More mechanization is not doable, marginal land is not available and irrigation is a problem, more wars for oil won't help the supply much (look at Iraq) and the population is increasing. The only solution I see is sustainable agriculture and that requires more farmers getting into the game. The big hangup now is access to land. I think mini-sharecropping will rise to the top of the ideological milk pitcher.
I'll have to be honest here. I do not see that happening.
IF that IS a scenario we do see, we have a whole lot of other problems on our hands than finding labor to work a 1 acre plot in a gated community.
Back to the original question.
In the end I think the successful farms are the ones that ran like any other successful business. I've been farming for a about a decade now and what I have seen is, if you do have the resources or drive to start your own business then farming is not for you.
Put a business plan together, save money, get a loan, learn and plan. The less financial partners the better. The less cooks in the kitchen the better.
Its not bad to smart extremely small and work your way up.
( chucklin' here ).........since the original posted question was a year ago, do you suppose they are still watching for replies ??
But I agree with you, I don't see our society going back in the direction of an agrareian-based economy, much as I too would like to see it.
Richard makes a good point. . . . "if you do have the resources or drive to start your own business then farming is not for you." One of my own personal revelations lately is that "farming is not a rational activity." Of course, after I laugh at my own folly in returning to farming, I look around for a rationale that is not based on rational thinking. There is the old, tried and true religion that kept our parents and ancestors going, but that's not for me (although I do respect those who are religious). Then there is the survivalist mentality, which I come close to. (I am thinking of forming a local chapter of Gun Nuts Voting for Obama.) But my real driving force is that I like to grow stuff. I certainly don't see a return to an agrarian economy, but I do see opportunities rising 5-10 years out. My suggestion is to plant more in anticipation of accelerated growth in the retail food market this year.
hahahaha !!! I cross my fingers every year !
I had a typo in my comment.
I meant to say: "If you don't...have the drive".
To me, farming is no different than any other business. With the exception of dealing with mother nature, our business is just as time consuming as any other sole-proprietor small business.
The owner is usually the lowest paid employee that works the longest hours.
There are exceptions to this rule of course but starting an ag related business is no different than starting another type of business. You rent, lease, or buy property, you develop a product, and you reach a consumer with with product who then purchases it.
Tax laws a bit easier for us as are building codes so unless you are dealing with dairy, poultry, meat, life is pretty good, relatively speaking.
If you are suited to start ANY type of business then chances are you are suited, at least mentally, to start an ag related business. Not too sure what to say about the physical side of it. Four days ago I was covered in 1/2" of snow working in a white out, today, its getting up to 40, so, lighter clothes, but slopping around in the mud, ice, and slop.
Can't wait for spring and summer. :)
You can make a profit with very little space. I have a certified organic micro farm and we grow herbs, flowers, potted herb plants, lavender, and vegetables! You can sell them at:
Local Farmer's MarketAs a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)On local harvestFor farm pickup To local restaurants who specialize in local foodsHome delivery service
first figure out what customers want, before you plant! Ask restaurants what they need from a local source that no one else currently provides. Check with your local farmer's market and see what is required to get in - usually a weekly fee and lots of County paperwork (worth it though). You can offer pickup at the farm, or delivery of CSA boxes. Just need to have a few ways to sell the products, not just one.