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Trevor Van Hemert from Pedal to Petal making money with permaculture

Casey Halone


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 192
    
    1
Here is a inspiring interview from a guy who started a company I just heard of today. This is something anyone could do. There are many youth in our world looking for work. Rather than point them to fast food, this is just great. I hope you will enjoy.

http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/trevor-van-hemert-from-pedal-to-petal

The interview starts about 5 minutes in.
please do, Share your thoughts. I for one love to ride my bike anyway and getting outside to get cardio. my only concern would be our months where bikes dont works so well with our deep snow.

maybe sleds?


Nomad, 2nd


Joined: Nov 04, 2011
Posts: 10
Casey Halone wrote:

Share your thoughts. I for one love to ride my bike anyway and getting outside to get cardio. my only concern would be our months where bikes don't works so well with our deep snow.

maybe sleds?


I do not believe that any business plan which relies on people paying more 'because they support the way it's done' is a good long term (To include economically hard times) business model.

When people loose their jobs, or deal with financially trying times they are not going to pay extra for a service they can get cheaply.

JMHO
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2658
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  71
Kudos to Trevor and Jack at TSP for this awesome business model! And nice post, Casey.

Nomad, 2nd wrote:
I do not believe that any business plan which relies on people paying more 'because they support the way it's done' is a good long term (To include economically hard times) business model.


Possibly true, in a sense, and yet I think his business plan is likely based on more than just that.

Plus, I know people who:
  • shop at the local hardware store instead of the "big box" hardware store because the people are friendlier and more knowledgeable
  • spend more buying local, quality or organic (and even spend less elsewhere in their lives to do so)
  • spend more for the car repair, handyman work, locksmith, etc. because they know, like and trust the folks doing the work
  • would rather stay current on their church tithing than pay a lot of other bills
  • pay for private school tuition for their kids instead of buying new clothes or saving for a home.

  • I see some surprising examples of value-based spending out there.

    I like to imagine that as we build new business models like Trevor's, more folks will decide to put their money where their values are.


    Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
    Nomad, 2nd


    Joined: Nov 04, 2011
    Posts: 10
    All I can go on is what he himself said.

    I also try to 'shop locally' But when there is a large difference in price and people are hurting...


    JMHO.
    Casey Halone


    Joined: Feb 09, 2011
    Posts: 192
        
        1
    I do like the approach of "pay what you can" or if you can. And incorporating the concept of bartering. I am inspired enough to persue this on a local level. If nothing else, I have been wanting to ride my bike, meet more people on my area and compost more and stacking functions is permie, no? btw, seems the software is working if you can read this.
    Jocelyn Campbell
    steward

    Joined: Nov 09, 2008
    Posts: 2658
    Location: Missoula, MT
        
      71
    Casey Halone wrote:
    btw, seems the software is working if you can read this.


    Nope - new software looks a lot different. See www 2 permies com/forums for a preview.

    Edit: removed exact URL so there wouldn't be a link which would confuse search engines. Add periods where there are now spaces and you can copy and paste into your browser.
    Suzy Bean
    steward

    Joined: Apr 05, 2011
    Posts: 940
    Location: Stevensville, MT
        
        8
    Paul talks to Jocelyn in this podcast about professional trolls, backyard ponds, local vs organic, composting, and lots of other listener-question subjects: podcast 112

    They talk about Pedal to Petal.


    www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
    Trevor van Hemert


    Joined: Dec 16, 2010
    Posts: 11
    Hi folks, Trevor from Pedal to Petal here. I wanted to respond to some of the revenue statements to clear up any misconceptions.

    First, our base price is the cheapest composting option in the city. We manage this by maintaining very spartan infrastructure, everything is done by hand on free-to-use backyards and community gardens. The statement that people "pay more because they support the way it's done" is only partially true.

    Second, Pedal to Petal could switch to a different revenue source if the economic climate changed so that people wouldn't pay to take their food scraps away anymore. We could sell vermicompost (worth up to 900$/tonne), soil mix, or even use the compost to grow vegetables for market (Curtis Stone of Kelowna runs a free version of Pedal to Petal, and sells salad greens for his primary revenue.)

    Third, the "sliding scale" payment model isn't ideal, but we only offer this to our residential clients - office lunch rooms get charged a fixed rate. Since the bounds of the sliding scale make sense price-wise, we average smack dab in the middle. I've seen fundraising dances where the price is $20 to $2 million, which is just kidding yourself. If they set their price to $20 - $35, I think they would average higher per ticket sold, since both boundary prices are realistic.

    Fourth, we barter sometimes as well, and I barter with my website business as well. In exchange for bucket pickups, we have so far traded painting work and radio advertising. I've exchanged bucket drop-offs for a packaged red wriggler compost worms. For the web company, I've exchanged work for a CSA-style food subscription.

    Fifth, on the podcast where Pedal to Petal was mentioned, the hosts talk about using the food scraps to feed chickens. We actually do this with a chicken flock share model I've developed called the "chicken trust" - where duties for a medium sized flock are shared among shareholders.

    In conclusion, I believe this model really can work almost anywhere - but you may have to toy with how you generate cash flow. We do what works for our community, your results may vary. I'm happy to help anyone start a Pedal to Petal clone up in their city, just shoot me an email! pedaltopetal@gmail.com

    - Trevor


    Visit Five Gallon Ideas for dozens of homesteading ideas for 5 gallon buckets.
    Dale Hodgins
    pollinator

    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 4034
    Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
        
      57
    Hey Trevor, my computer didn't link to the site you sent me to in regards to your need for brick, stone etc. I have more today than I've had in months. Also some free wood, plants,and a garage full of misc stuff. I sell the bricks but you get a couple hundred free for the good work you do in Victoria. I've seen you out there doing it. This stuf has to move quickly.

    I also get mountains of free firewood and other resources. Hundreds of plants are in the way of a building move. We should meet.

    I have a friend who has been grabbing all of the fruit from a local market when it gets near the due date. He no longer has time to process all of it. If you or anyone you know wants to get in on this, I'll put you in touch.

    Dale 250 588 3366. The stuff needs to move by Monday. If you know Trevor, call him. I'm sure he has others who could benefit from this bonanza.


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    Kevin Longeway


    Joined: Feb 13, 2012
    Posts: 17
    Location: Calgary, Alberta
    I heard Trevor's interview when he was on TSP and have mentioned it to some friends.

    We are going to try it in Calgary because Calgary is slow to getting a city sponsored compost program and when they do start it in 1.5 years from now, it will not cover condo buildings and apartments. My friends are going to pilot the project just off the downtown core and see how it goes. Two things we will be doing different (which are not better options but how we have to do it for now)

    1) Roads and climate make the bike idea harder here, so we are going to use trucks until we can get some money for bio fuel bus to be built.
    2) Try the local yard thing but as back up, we will haul it out of city to my farm. I will be commuting to day job so will only be a little extra gas to bring trailer with me for them to dump to.

    My question for anyone doing this though is do you keep it strict to vegetables? I have seen mixed advice on whether you can include cooked vegetables because of Oils, meat etc because of mice and/or bacteria. If so how do you ensure people are only putting veggie scraps in the buckets?

    I pick up compost from an organic flower shop currently and as I am dumping the 50 gallon pails I sometimes see stuff that should not be in and have to jump into pile and pick it up, which is not fun.
    Trevor van Hemert


    Joined: Dec 16, 2010
    Posts: 11
    Kevin,

    I wish you the best luck starting up in Calgary! I'm actually living in Lloydminster right now, maybe I'll be in Calgary sometime in the next year and I'll see your progress

    The other compost companies in Victoria took only vegetable matter, and they ran on trucks just like you. They are called Community Composting and Refuse.

    There's one guy, Curtis Stone, in Kelowna who does the bicycle based compost pickup and takes only vegetables to my knowledge. I don't think he charges though..

    And there's a company in Oregon as well, I don't remember their name but there's a video...

    The contamination you've seen so far with your current 50 gallon drums is part of the biz in my experience... I usually leave plastic in to compost, and remove it after one or two flips when the compost is much more pleasant to work with.

    -trevor
    Kevin Longeway


    Joined: Feb 13, 2012
    Posts: 17
    Location: Calgary, Alberta
    Oh wow that sounds great Trevor, I hope you are enjoying Lloydminster, the weather change from Vic is quite drastic.

    I took a workshop with Curtis and have some friends doing spin gardening in Calgary. We are still trying to get organized with the composting especially since Calgary just slowed down there composting collection solution by another year or two . I mean that is good for us to create a business but bad for all the compostable materials that are going to keep going to landfill.
     
     
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