[Market-farming] Economics of starting a market garden enterprise
3littlepigsmkt at bellsouth.net
Fri Dec 10 23:00:47 EST 2004
> If you want to farm full time for a living and support yourself and your
> family the economics are not very good. Forget the silly how to farm
> books, they only exist to make money for the authors who then don't have
> to practice what they preach.
Matt, what Bob said is very true. However, you can do it by including value
added products and by branching out into raising farm animals to breed and
sell or perhaps craft items. But remember, it takes an awful lot to support
a family and that means adding more venues which in turn means more work and
soon you will be burned out.
We farm about 8 acres and the demand was so great that we opened a market.
We made salsas, jams, relishes which sold very well but we still needed more
to help with our overhead. I started baking which really took off, and we
got to the point we were working 7 days a week, 16 or more hours a day.
After almost 5 years, we just couldn't do it anymore. We closed the business
and we are now doing the same from home. We are here to tend to the gardens
and I built up enough clientele that I'm still doing my baking. We still
raise goats and mini horses to sell and we also included livestock feed
which is picking up in sales now that the cold weather is here. Even doing
all we do, if we weren't getting my husbands military retirement check, we
couldn't make it. We enjoy doing what we do and now that we have more time
on the farm we enjoy it even more but it's a lot of hard work. You just have
to find how much you need to live on and a point at which you don't kill
yourself to get it.
Don't get discouraged, it's worth the effort. :)
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