[Market-farming] Economics- sustainable ag?
ecook516 at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 20 23:30:04 EST 2005
Andy, I'm glad you brought up the subject of economics, I feel it's
talked about far too little. I tend to agree that generating profit is a
problem faced by most market gardeners. In fact, I have looked high and
low in the entire sustainable ag world trying to find examples of people
really making it on their own production, without any kind of crutch like
previous off farm income they're willing to sink in the operation, buying
and reselling to supplement production etc. And it's hard to come by
examples. It's hard to find people who really have a handle on their NET
income, or are willing to share it. And this brings up the big question no
one wants to address- how can we call this sustainable agriculture if it's
not financially viable?
on another note- we've always controlled weeds between plastic either by
cultivation- using Spyders as part of your toolbar to throw soil onto the
edges of the plastic to control weeds growing on the sides of the bed.
Also, we've had success growing annual rye and keeping it mowed. It also
enables you to walk in the field after it rains. I'd think about spacing
your rows so you can get a small mower through, weedwacking is a pain.
> Message: 9
> Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 20:30:39 -0500
> From: robert schuler <sunnfarm at bellatlantic.net>
> Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Economics of starting a market garden
> To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <43A8B03E.7402CD93 at bellatlantic.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> The last time I passed through Trumbauersville was 20 years ago when I
> bought a tractor from the Keller brothers, back then it was still
> somewhat rural but I understand its since become Mc mansionville. There
> is a good upscale market potential in the Bucks county area. You are in
> an enviable location with more farmer's markets and weekly farm auctions
> within thirty minutes drive than anybody in the country and the soils
> there are generally high Ph silt loams which hold moisture and grow very
> high quality crops. As long as your land is paid for things can only get
> One problem I face and I think everyone in market farming faces is... We
> can make a good living from our land in the short term, we can pay our
> immediate bills including mortgage, taxes equipment loans and insurance.
> But we can not make good long term income that goes into savings for
> retirement. I hate to say it but for most folks its better to get a real
> job and leave the farming to diehard fools like myself... Bob.
> Sunny Meadow Farm
> Bridgeton, NJ.
> "Andrew R. King" wrote:
> > Robert Schuler
> > I Read your 12/10/04 posting on Market Farming, Economics of stating a
> > market Farm and wanted to say thanks. Your posting answered a question
> > I have been asking myself.
> > I bought 10 acres when I was 25, hopping to make a living on the land.
> > Fortunately at that time, I was smart enough to know I needed a real
> > job to pay the bills. After 30 yrs running a financial business, my
> > career ended shortly after 9/11. I spent the next year trying to
> > restart my business and then another looking for a way to make a
> > living. I searched the web looking for ways to use my land. I used
> > only information found on college web sites thinking it would be more
> > reliable then the how to books people sell. The data on market farming
> > looked like it might be the answer. For the past two years I have
> > tried to make a go at it, and have modeled my business on Eliot
> > Coleman?s book the NEW ORGANIC GROWER. While I have been moderately
> > successful at copying his game plan the numbers never seemed to work
> > out. For the past three months I have been reading profiles of
> > successful growers and asking my self, what is it that I am doing
> > wrong.
> > Andy King
> > Sunflower King?s Farm
> > Trumbauersville, PA
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