[Market-farming] Re: Herb Farm Sales

Fri Jan 10 13:30:39 EST 2003

Hi Barb,
     Your concerns are definitely something to think about before doing it.  
I started the greenhouse here at my house, first as a hobby/business.  At 
that time the neighborhood was still zoned agriculture.  So I am 
grandfathered in.  I loved it and it has just kept growing.   I do have set 
seasonal hours & days open.  A shop/old garage has been turned into my herb 
shop.  I can't take near everything I grow to markets or events, so I use 
them to promote folks coming here to the greenhouse.   
  On the plus side- I can walk out the door to go to work.  When I'm closed 
(hopefully) sometimes even in my robe & slippers : )   Very short commute.   
If it's slow I can come in & do laundry, clean, etc.  There is the financial 
benefit.  Mine also comes down to being my own boss & landlord.   

  On the negative side-  I can walk out the door to go to work.  Sometimes I 
start getting a bit house bound.  Even on closed days, I'm of course still 
here working.   Our eating out goes go up during my season.  I can't escape 
alway's having something to do- either in the house or business.

  Some folks may come anytime, to just 'try and just catch you' to open up 
for them then.   After coming home a few times and finding people "just 
looking" at the plants in back, gates went up on the curved driveway.  I also 
found a baggy of money once, with a list of plants 'taken.'  And no, the 
money didn't even come close to paying for them.  The gates have locks.  Last 
year, we put gate alarms on them.  Love it!  Now when I'm open, I can be in 
the back of a greenhouse or  my head in the oven cleaning, and know when 
someone comes.    I consider myself a very private type of person.  So I do 
feel clashes having people walk through 'my space.'  To alleviate that- we've 
put decorative and privacy-making wood fences around a lot of the house & 
ornamental gates.  The customer retail area is focused.  Be prepared for the 
ever curious human, no matter the age, to go where you don't want them too!  
Make sure you add extra insurance.  
  All in all,  I would do it again.  If I could make one change- it would be 
to start out with more land!  We are looking to  move to more acreage, and 
yes,  it will also be open to the public. 
   I look forward to discussing more on herb growing-

Patricia Mattson

> We have many requests to provide 
> retail at our farm, but so far I have resisted!  That's such a big 
> commitment 
> and I'm not ready to make it yet.  Maybe someday.......hmmmm.  What kind of 
> life do you have with people coming to your home?  Love the discussion with 
> this topic!
> Barb Birkinbine
> Oak Camp Herb Farm
> Lodi, WI

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