Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
Just looking for a way to build our homestead on permaculture principles for idealistic reasons. We love food and beauty from the earth. This spring was gloriously colorful. I want to be able to support this lifestyle and to prosper in it. Why pay for gym membership and expensive herbal supplements when I get up and work like a pioneer and then pluck my own medicine. I would love to see my neighbors hold on to theirs and hope to create niches for each others yields. All this requires that I transition from working overtime in my outside job and make the difference up in farm income. Certainly the savings to our home adds up and is surely income. Salatins book "You Can Farm " lists the ten best and worst farm enterprises. I envision a combination of CSA market garden , Pastured poultry and Herbal Medicines. From you alls experiences - what are some of the best and worst permaculture enterprises? Thanks for any input.
Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Location: Maine (zone 5)
I think the way to start is to Identify expenses you can eliminate so that you aren't dependent on the overtime work. I stopped working outside of the house almost five years ago and immediately started to see all the places we could save money on the day to day expenses. It took some time to get used to the cutbacks but now I don't even miss things like TV, store-bought bread, dining out, and junk food. At this point we support our family of four on one outside income and whatever we can grow, forage and raise here at home. We barter for some things and buy what else we need to.
As far as a business model is concerned, I think the land you have will make all the difference. Try and figure out what is easiest to grow/raise with little to no expense aside from labor. Next identify you local market needs. It's no use growing a hundred pounds of something if you can't sell it right? Finally take your time implementing your plan. We started by making a 1 year, 2 year, 5 year and 10 year plan. And we consider a 50% achievement rate a success, so that we don't get discouraged. To be fair I set pretty high goals that I think would be impossible for anyone to attain just to keep me humble.
I live by a few simple rules now.
1. Eat only Real food
2. Simple is Best
3. Be Good
4. Daydream Daily
5. Have Fun
6. Waste as little as possible
"You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result”