Getting more in the weeds on fertility beds for gardens and farms. A interesting method for regenerative farming by permaculture design. Fertility beds can be used on annual and perennial plants. They can be used for tree systems. Fertility beds can use water from roofs, hoop houses, roads, side walks, trails and grey water systems. They can be straight, circles, circles with islands, shapes, flowing curved beds. You can plant in the beds. You can grow grapes, blackberries, and raspberries. You can wrap fertility beds around and through tree systems. Sounds like bad joke about shrimp and Forrest Gump. Give them a try and see if they work for you in your garden or on your farm.
Plan your Kitchen Garden to grow your local food smoothly, Regenerative Permaculture Farm and Garden Podcast 10
If you are going to grow a kitchen or family garden this year, do you have a schedule and a plan to make sure you are not working harder than you need to. How to grow your vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed. Should you be? I say yes, you can grow a healthy plant and not a myth head chemically addicted plant like that will be found at most big box stores. If you grow your own plants, there is a lot of different elements to the time you pick the herb and vegetable. Plan for each step, design the garden from buying seeds to eating your own produce.
This is part 2 or a podcast that is trying to explain a few simple way to start a food forest from scratch. This can be overwhelming to start a food forest from nothing. I hope I can give a few ways to make the process of building a food forest a from the big picture to reality.
Regenerative Permaculture podcast, income flash 3, how to make 50% to 100% more money from your crops by thinking with a box
We each have a choice as too how we market our produce, crops and herbs. Everyone has a equal ability to make more or less for or labor and products. There is the simple standard way one could sale a tomato. It could be a road stand, farmers market, restaurants, or wholesale. Nothing is wrong to sell products this way, but is it the best way to maximize profits? It could be or you can get creative and make way more money by thinking inside of a box.
What can you sell a tomato for? This will vary from city to city and state to sate. Of course we have to think about retail and wholesale prices. Lets say you grow 1000 tomatoes for $4.00 each which is a gross of $4,000.00. For you to make $8,000.00 with this model, you must sell 2,000 tomatoes. That is a lot of extra physical work to go from 1,000 to 2,000 tomatoes. What if you could grow 1,000 tomatoes and make the $8,000.00. this is hard to do if you look at your business in a standard small grower fashion. There are many ways to do this by giving your customers more value and they will be willing and happy for you to charge them more for your tomatoes. Lets look at one way, shall we.
Market too foodies, this is not a per pound market or a dollar per calorie market. A foodie looks at food as a journey and exploration of sensation. This is a major market, that we the producers are making this market work too hard to meet their needs.
So here is the plan, but not THE plan. Plug and play plans never work out the best.
There are thousands of tomatoes out there. Most are heirloom. What if you marketed a foodie heirloom tomato variety experience. This could be a by-weekly or weekly journey for the foodie to look forward too. You would need to the limit the subscription number to meet what you can realistic service. Lets say each week the foodie gets 3-6 heirloom tomatoes shipped to them or can be picked up if local. This offering will never be the same tomatoes, each one has a history and a story that you will supply. This story will give the tomatoes more value and is easy to get with a simple internet search and printed off.
What kind of income our we talking about. Around here, wholesale tomatoes go for around $2-$3 a pound during the height of the summer months. So these are the number we will use, but every local economy is different on prices. so we will market our subscription for $6.00 per pound. This will double the income per pound of tomatoes. It gets interesting when you figure up a number of subscriptions for a gross income.
For a bi-monthly subscription over four months equals 8 offerings at $24.00 plus shipping. 50 subscriptions equals $9,600. 100 subscriptions equals $19,200 and 200 subscriptions equals $38,400.
For a weekly experience, 50 subscriptions equals $19,200. 100 subscriptions equals $38,400. 200 subscriptions equals $76,800.
This does not include any added value sales, but strictly for the subscription price.
You may or may not have a extra added value in the subscription, but it could be like this. They get to pick their 4 tomato varieties they like the best and would like to grow. You will send them the seeds for free, they pay the shipping. These will cost you nothing, because you will save the seeds yourself from your tomatoes. Or better yet, they have the opportunity to buy the plants from you, because they will not find them locally. You will require that the customer order their plants by Christmas, so you know how many and what kinds of tomatoes you need to grow. This will make the income value of the individual customer be higher to you, over if they just bought the tomatoes. The total amount of money one customer spends will be higher and it is easy to sell to happy customers. It cost more money and time to gain a new customer. This is a very important aspect of maximizing profits.
Please keep in mind, this does not need to be you whole business, it is just a income stream of the business. Plus nothing says you cant offer this same concept for other, produce, herbs or fruit. The only limiting factors is your creativity and energy level. The better you market this to foodies, the more subscriptions you will sale. If you suck at marketing and are lazy or un-inspiring with your marketing, you will struggle with this concept. You can learn to market and paint a riveting story with your videos and content.
Last weekend I was part of a family trip to an Amish farmers market in east Tennessee. Had a good time, even picked up some black raspberry plants to add to my growing berry collection. Part of permaculture is observing, and I personally enjoy looking, thinking, wondering and trying to connect the dots.
This Amish community looked to be a step above a lot of other Amish communities I have seen over the years. Step up, may not be right, but it was set up very different than any I have seen. The community had a road that took the customers winding through the community. Sure they had the horse draw plows in the fields and the big cool barns. The crops looked great and no power lines were to be found. The difference was the family plots where smaller and way more diverse. This was not the normal big corn look, it had more of a home stead feel. It was not classic permaculture, but not far off. The plants and trees were planted with an ease to harvest for each home. The homes all had chickens, fruit tree orchards, vegetable gardens and grapes for home use. Some had family green house, some had a lot of green houses. To be blunt, they had it going on and it gave one a calming feeling just to be driving through there community. It was high on the coolness scale and the customers were pointing, smiling, gushing with joy as they drove by each plot.
From my observation, comes confusion.
People seem to enjoy almost love seeing a productive nice looking properties. People flock to see great landscaping, gush over locally grown food, watch shows on TV about landscaping and talk about one day having a garden or living on a little farm in the country. The reality is very different. They live, maintain and work in sterol yards. The have mostly unproductive grass that they slave over. Yards look like they come from a drab factory that looks the same mile after mile. This is very confusing to me.
How can this be, they go on vacations to see beauty and then return home to boring. What is more strange to me is how so many will think it is strange for a yard like mine that is diverse, blooming with color and food. They pay money to see great diversity outside of their everyday life. Then almost fight to keep boring in their own yard. The disconnect is between seeing beauty somewhere else, but it is not for everyday enjoyment.
To be honest, people as a whole confuse me greatly. I’m sure some are confused by me,so everything is equal. I guess. People are individuals, but are very tribal and group acting at the same time. Most people take pride in being an individual, then fall in line with the heard and the normal group society thinking like they are brainwashed and can’t help it. People are people, everyone is different in some way. What I can’t understand is why so many people seem to love a productive lush landscape and own such a boring one the see every day.