rocket mass heater dvd*
Permies likes farm income and the farmer likes raspberries as a small cash crop permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login


permies » forums » homesteading » farm income
Bookmark "raspberries as a small cash crop" Watch "raspberries as a small cash crop" New topic
Author

raspberries as a small cash crop

Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Before our house fire I sold a few raspberries as a cash crop, but I had never tried anything but the plain regular red raspberries..and that area of our garden was destroyed when we had our housefire.

well the past few years i've been putting in some new raspberry bushes, and 2 years ago the black raspberries started bearing, and talk about bearing, they just never stop bearing from June through fall.

well this year i put in some gold berries and some different red ones, and even though they were baby first year plants, they bore beautifully..

so i'm considering turning a 40 x 40 foot plot into a trial raspberry patch for a small cash crop..it might take me a few years to get  it settled in and producing, but this seems to be ONE crop that loves to produce here no matter what the weather, esp those blacks..they were amazing.


well they also like to make babies..which for me means free plants and so i'm going to plan on making and moving baby black berries this fall.

I guess when you have something that loves to grow for you..you should make the most of it..i can also use the areas between the rows of berries for things like squash and melons etc..and still plant potatoes at the ends of some of the pathways..to keep the potatoes growing for fall as a family crop...

i also have good luck with a lot of the herbs i grow and tomatoes..and lettuces..esp the baby mesclun lettuces which i'm also considering doing a cash crop for next year.

we are on a seriously fixed income so even a few extra $ every week in the sumer would be very helpful..


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
oh yeah, the area that I'd be moving the raspberries and black berries into is where we tried growing corn this year..and the racoons got it before it even started filling out kernals..i hate racoons..(hmmm racoons as a cash crop??).

the potatoes also did super well here this year..but i really don't think i want to start farming potatoes to sell..they are so cheap in the stores..i'm thinking of something that is expensive in the stores..like berries..which i can pick and sell the same day.

I still would keep this a diverse garden area with herbs, potatoes, melons, squash, and other plants growing between every other row of berries..that way i can pick the berries from one side of the row and grow other crops on the other side between two rows of berries..that generally works out well for me now..as i have it set up to pick the berries from just one side of the row..keeping the bearing canes on the ones side, and the non bearing canes on the other side of a trellis.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
The Permaculture Design Manual (available free from a link on another forum post) strongly suggests a self-pick business model for berry sales.  It also has lots of plans for self-contained brambles, though it may take some adaptation to make them aesthetic enough for your consumers/laborers.

If you want an accurate balance to weigh with, you might consider American Science and Surplus...though I'd recommend keeping any geek in your household away from that website if your income is limited.

I bet a fashion trend of coats or hats made of raccoon could be cultivated among hipsters.  They'd support vegan charities, but wear fur in a spirit of irony.  The old children's book Where The Red Fern Grows includes a plan for a raccoon trap that strongly resembles the fabled monkey trap: a tempting morsel in a hole that lets in an open paw, but won't let a fist through.  Fur is hard work, though, from what I hear.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
                          


Joined: May 27, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: Western Washington
Brenda Groth wrote:


we are on a seriously fixed income so even a few extra $ every week in the sumer would be very helpful..


I've thought the same thing.  Even some help paying property taxes would be a big deal to me.

I just planted eight blueberry plants, I have two more still in the pots waiting to be planted, and I plan on getting two more for a total of twelve blueberry bushes.

I'm also starting in on getting raspberries planted.

I'm down to one kid still at home and I got to thinking the other day, "what the heck am I going to do with all those blueberries (when they really start producing)?"

There are a lot of big blueberry growers around here so I certainly couldn't compete with them but I've been thinking maybe I could turn those extra berries - blueberry and raspberry - into a little income.  Since my overhead would be nil, I could sell them maybe right out of my own driveway for less than what people pay the big growers.  Or, I could join half a dozen other people who set up tents, motor homes, and horse trailers who sell a wide variety of stuff from a wide spot down the highway (known as "Stinky's Corner".  Tools, produce, quilts, knives.....

I stopped at a place the other day that had some zucchini sitting on a table for sale by the side of the road with a locked "honor box" attached to the table.  The guy also had a small refrigerator next to the table with an extension cord running to the house with both chicken and duck eggs in it and a separate "honor box" for them.

This guy's place was on a country road that gets a lot of traffic (two other people stopped there at the same time I did!) and, although my property borders a highway, the house sits well off it and up a private road so I don't know if a similar set-up would work for me.  Would something like that work for you?

Also, raspberry bushes are so prolific, you could sell a few plants every summer, as well as the fruit.
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
that sounds like a great idea brenda. you might consider looking into the varieties to see which ones are considered especially delectable but aren't used commercially because tehy don't ship well. that might give you an extra edge over commercial growers. and since they will be going from bush to sale so quickly it won't be a problem for you.


[img]http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/havlik1/permie%20pics2/permiepotrait3pdd.jpg[/img]

"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
before our house fire i had excess red raspberries and i put a sign out by the road..and man they went fast..i just put them into ziplock bags, didn't weigh or measure or state a size..just so much per bag..

i kept them on ice in a cooler by the road..but also could just put a sign and people could come to the house and get them if i was home..or could let them pick their own, i've done that before

as far as i know there are no commercial sellers around here of raspberries or blackberries or even blueberries..strawberries there are..but i would have to compete with the robins for them.

i think i'll stick with the varieties i have now..black, gold and heritage and killarney reds..as they bear well..i have baby blackberries prime jan and have prime jim coming in the spring..as they were short on their bushes this year and i got a backorder.


jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
Brenda. You obviously have at least one product that sells well. Those raspberries are definitely drawing a crowd. Now if you put your blueberries and strawberries out there, I'm sure you'd sell the dickens out of them too. It could become a kind of one stop, berry shop. People would come in and find the rare raspberry. Then they'd see the blueberries and strawberries, and whatever other berries you grew. They'd say hey, why do I have to go to the grocer now? I've got all my berries here. I noticed all kinds of berry farms up the west coast of MI during our honeymoon. Lots of blueberries and vineyards. I bet they started small like you did. Perhaps you could spark a new cottage industry. Raspberry wine is awesome!
 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller
--
Jeremiah Bailey
Central Indiana
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
well honestly strawberries do NOT do well here..i just have too many birds..but they don't bother my raspberries, blackberries or blueberries..so i guess i'm fortunate that way..maybe it's cause they have all those honeysuckle berries ripe now that they prefer.

i have a huge huge huge bird/wildlife planting garden area..and tons of bird berries all come in bloom about the time that the raspberries do, so they never eat my raspberries..i'm lucky that way.

i have a lot of other fruit too, but right now there isn't enough to sell, maybe there will be as some of my baby fruit trees and grapevines get going better..

sure wish i knew if there was anything edible i could make out of honeysuckle berries..tee hee.

i also make elderberry jell in the fall..from the wild ones around here..and lots of apple products ..my peach trees died so i'm replanting..pears aren't bearing yet.

I also have a lot of herbs in my hre gardens..that im trying to figure products that i can sell from them..and catnip..man my catnip is out of control this year..i'll probably harvest enough of that to sell..maybe make some catnip toys to sell at a craft sale

jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
Have you tried pawpaw? I'm planning on planting a couple next spring.

Sounds like you have enough going that you may need to hire some help to get it all done!

You could offer fresh and dried herbs  at your stand as well.

Speaking of vines, you mentioned in another thread that you weave your tomato vines instead of trellising them. I did a search on google and could only come up with florida weave, a type of trellis system for tomatoes. Is this what you're talking about? Or are you actually weaving the vines together? How? I like the idea of exchanging a little work for lowering material usage, storage, and maintenance.
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
those berries are sure to taste better then any in some grocery store! maybe selling herbs for tea would be a good niche. since people like convenience type items a little work bagging the tea leaves could pay off in a big markup. 
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
i have planted 4 paw paw trees this year..babies..we'll see if they grow..they don't seem to be doing much...i have also put in nut trees this spring as well as gobs and gobs of fruit trees, bushes and plants.

the nut trees i put in this spring are 3 kinds of walnuts (black, carpathian and butternut), 6 hazelnut trees, 2 hickory, 1 halls hardy almond, 4 hardy pecan (also not growing well), 2 sweet chestnut doing really good as are the walnut and hazelnut)

i also have a lot of rhubarb and asparagus..but right now not enough of either to make a cash crop..and i'm not sure i could sell rhubarb anyway..not sure it is that popular.

if i did sell anything again it would be from a stand in the front yard or with signs at the road..but we are very very rural.


as for getting help..that won't happen
Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
Rhubarb by itself probably isn't that popular, but a strawberry-rhubarb tart or pie would most likely hit the spot.


Check out my Primal Prepper blog where I talk about permaculture, prepping, and the primal lifestyle... all the time!
jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
Do you go to a store often? Talk to the same clerks each time? Bring them in a treat. Stir up some word of mouth. Maybe they'll let you put a flier up to drum up business. Little things like that can go a long way toward supplementing your income.
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
tamo42 wrote:
Rhubarb by itself probably isn't that popular, but a strawberry-rhubarb tart or pie would most likely hit the spot.


I second that. most people just don't know what to do with rubarb!
Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
Also, just as an economic argument, the more value you add through processing, the more money you'll get.

So you'll get more per unit from raspberry jam than you will from just raspberries, and more from the pie than from just rhubarb.
                          


Joined: May 27, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: Western Washington
The thing about jams and similar items, here in Washington, you can only legally sell stuff like that if it's made in an inspected and approved kitchen.

I know a gal who makes jams to sell at a local Farmer's Market.  She doesn't make them in her own home kitchen but has arrangements to make them in a little local (health-inspected) restaurant during times it's not open for business.

I know the people who own Burnt Ridge Nursery and they, too, make and sell jams that are also labeled "organic."  They not only have a whole separate, approved building for their commercial kitchen, the kitchen itself had to be certified organic.
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
This may have been addressed somewhere else but, where do you all order your mail order plants?  Who has good stock?  Who do you avoid, and why?
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Leah Sattler wrote:
maybe selling herbs for tea would be a good niche. since people like convenience type items a little work bagging the tea leaves could pay off in a big markup. 


Some of the mixes I've seen include berry leaves and dried berries.  It might be worth experimenting with stuff that would otherwise go to waste, like rose hips and various edible flowers.

One trendy thing to do here in California is to have an extremely loose, cylindrical tea bag impaled on a coffee stirrer that rests on the lip of the teacup.  The water can then be poured down the center of the bag.  An open-topped tea bag like this would be a nice way of presenting a pretty-looking blend, but you might need to demonstrate how to brew that way to your customers.

Is there a restaurant or coffee shop near you that is pretentious enough for that?
            


Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 27
Raspberries have always worked for my grandma. She has been able to buy a new car in 2 or 3 years of picking. She picks here self and sells out of the garage. U pick is good but you have to have rules ie no kids. If you have no rules your raspberries will be decimated.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
the closest place with prestigious anything would be Traverse City Michigan which is a good hour drive..but you are right..they might be willing to sell my concoctions at some of the specialty stores..however..the nearby places are all big box type stores that have their own bakeries etc..so they wouldn't buy from a local and sell..period..not a lucrative thing for them to do..a local health store might but unfortunately they are very small and don't do very well around here.

there are a couple farmer's markets..but i don't have enough of anything to sell..and there are some craft sales things..but only a few times a year..

i'd be better off selling out of my home..and baked goods wouldn't likely sell as quickly around here as the fresh produce..but the amish have baked goods and produce stands all over the place around town..and local areas..even country roads.

right now i'm really only interested in something that i can do from home as i care for a disabled adult.
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
The local wal mart carries watermelons grown by a neighbor.  They have farm name sticker/labels and a display stating "local and fresh" or something like that.  I really should have bought one...
                          


Joined: May 27, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: Western Washington
How about cut flowers?

There are some people who live down the highway from me who have a huge cut flower business.  She sells at a farmer's market, as well as doing custom work for weddings, etc.

Their business has been profitable enough for them to have put in an enormous greenhouse last winter.

I know that's not the level you're looking to do, but........she also has an "honor cart" at the end of her driveway (on the highway) where people can pick up a bouquet of flowers, stick $5.00 in the can, and be on their way.

I don't know about you, but even if I sold ten bucks' worth of flowers a day, that would make a big difference in my finances.  $10.00 a day X 30  is an additional $300.00 a month.

That, and your raspberries, and dried and/or fresh herbs (potpourri's?), could make for a nice little seasonal income.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
well i do have thousands and thousands of perennials and bushes and bulbs growing here from March until October..so that is a good idea..i hate to cut them..never do cut them and bring them inside cause i love them outside..have thought about selling divisions in the past but never thought about selling cut flowers..don't know if at the end of the drive would work as we don't get a lot of traffice of the kind of people that would buy flowers..but i wouldn't mind delivering cut flowers to a store or stand...if i could find people willing to try to sell them..i have made beautiful bouquets for friends and neighbors..but never thought of selling them.

usually i let my flowers go to seed so i get more flowers..
                          


Joined: May 27, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: Western Washington
Brenda Groth wrote:
..don't know if at the end of the drive would work as we don't get a lot of traffice of the kind of people that would buy flowers.


I don't know......

If you would be selling berries directly from your home, what if you set out some bouquets of cut flowers on a table?  I could see an "impulse" market there: somebody picking up berries and then they see a nice, colorful flower bouquet sitting there.

How often have we all seen vases at garage sales and thrift stores for next to nothing?  I've even seen them in "free" boxes.  For an additional 25-50 cent investment (or less), you could take it a step further and offer your bouquets in vases (or not).

Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
I frequent the local thrift shop.  I don' think I mentioned but I just moved into a house/farm with what I could carry in my truck and 16 foot gooseneck trailer.  I brought 7 horses and a hen on 12 eggs, two little house dogs, and no household stuff to speak of, no furniture at all.

Anyway, I have seen plenty of vases and also baskets.  I am big into recycle re-use so think this is a terrific suggestion. 

Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
on Wednesday i went out and moved a bunch of my berry plants into rows..and out of the midst of the crazy horseradish.

i now have a lovely long row of blueberries, several different varieties, i have a row of raspberries with 2 kinds of red, also fall gold and lots of black raspberries, i have a bunch of plants of rhubarb, and a short row of blackberries, but more plants coming in the spring..this garden has paw paw, sweet chestnut, hardy pecan, asparagus, wild plum, apple, hazelnut, 3 kinds of walnut, as well as perennial and herb gardens, melons, squash and my annual vegetables like beans, corn, potatoes..etc.

in the spring i'll work hard on this area of the garden, this is just one of my patches, about 40 x 40 ' area..hopefully it will not only provide all the fruits of this type that i need for my home but enough to put up and to sell..i also have another black raspberry patch that bears all summer..in another spot in my garden..

as far as flowers..i have flowers in abundance that grow all year..and if i do set up a small produce stand at the end of the drive..i'll try to put out a few bunches of flowers with their stems wrapped up and ina bucket of water..would let them provide their own vases i think..
                          


Joined: May 27, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: Western Washington
Around here, in the early spring, the nurseries sell rhubarb crowns........and they disappear fast.  (I wanted to add another plant or two this year but missed out because I was too late.)

Just sayin'......................
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
I hope you reconsider.  Giving a new home to a piece of junk is a noble act.
                    


Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Posts: 106
interesting thread.
I ordered my red raspberries from Indiana berries,  also ordered strawberries and currents from them.  Can't complain. 

It all amounts to heaps of work, but I do know some folks who raise blueberries and she tells me they make a lot more money by turning them into sauce, syrup and jam compared to selling them as berries.  Basically you wind up selling expensive sugar.
they also make sourdough bread and take in over $400 per week at the farmers market. You have to be certified though, but she does not have an extra kitchen.  Her kitchen is nothing to crow about.

I used to believe you could not kill rhubarb if you tried to, well, four of my rhubarb plants just up and died.  The two remaining are looking pityful.  I have raised rhubarb all my life and never saw the like.  Rhubarb/strawberry jam and pie is so good.  we too are on fixed income and I would not mind upping our income a little.
My red raspberries are doing good, but the black ones that husband planted are kind of dragging along, not living and not dying.  I thought they ought to do great here, since they are native.
wishing you lots of success with your berry venture
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Elf, thanks, hey your black raspberries might do well after a while..took mine a while to catch on..also the rhubarb might just be dying back for fall..they'll probably be great again in the spring..rhubarb does tend to die out in the fall, esp if they were picked hard and they went to bloom.

just give em a wait.

i really don't have time to go to garage sales and such to look for vases to BUY..just to resell, i doubt if they would be of interest to those that MIGHT buy flowers from me..as they would use their own vases..but i can see selling the plants..

i care for an adult man with mental health issues..so i really can't be running around to sales..and we are on a severely fixed income which prevents me from buying anything we don't need right now.


i will advertise on signs out front next year if the produce comes along wel..i thought about getting a sign with an arm that you can hang things from..with eyelets and hooks..and just change the signs with what is available..like "raspberries", cut flowers, rhubarb, etc..and see if i get any people showing interest in any of the ODD thigns that i can grow..

i went out and harvested herbs and medicinals yesterday..i have enough catnip growing for about 2000 cats or more..i really shoudl harvest it and dry it and see if i can find a market to sell it..even if it meant spending all winter sewing little felt mice and filling them..i know they sell for a fortune in the stores..
                          


Joined: May 27, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: Western Washington
I like your idea about the catnip mice; once again, if people come to pick up berries or other produce, I could see if you had some unique items sitting out in a an interesting display, the "impulse" buyer could be your best customer.

How about lavender?  Dried lavender stalks make for nice additions to dried arrangements.  A friend of mine's mother (long since passed away) sold dried baby's breath.

Do you have peacocks?  I used to have peacocks and also worked at a feed store.  I would sometimes pick up peacock feathers, take them to work with me nicely displayed in an antique half-gallon canning jar, set the jar by the cash ,and sell them for 50 cents a piece.
                    


Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Posts: 106
yeah, that would be nice if that would be the problem with the rhubarb, but it is not.  Like I said, I have never seen the like and I have been around rhubarb for 50 years, from coming up in spring to dying back in fall.

I hope you are right with the black raspberries.  I have no experience with the black ones,  grew up with the red ones and am particular to them,  so the red ones are performing well for me. 


Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
i would love peacocks but don't think they would do well here..and it is too cold to grow lavender here..it dies over winter even with protection.

yeah this is only my 3rd year with black raspberries and i'm so taken with them now..they do so well here..i'm just totally amazed at how much food i've gotten off the plants..started with 3 baby plants 3 years ago and one died..so 2 plants have grown to 2 monsters and they are just prolific !!

last year one fell down and all along where it was along the ground it rooted and grew new bushes at every node..i dug them up and planted them back in my berry garden this spring..and they moved beautifully..so if you do get black raspberries..and want more..lie one cane down along the ground and you'll be so blessed with baby plants !! and that one cane that made the babies..is also still doing ok where i cut it off to remove the babies..it grew back and flourished..

my black raspberry plants are about 20 to 30' long canes now..and about 4 or 5 each plant or more.
                    


Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Posts: 106
thanks for the info. lay down a cane huh.  I hope they come along.  husband planted them along the fence and maybe they do not like the place too well. 
I just picked a couple more gallons of red raspberries, but they are small now, they desperately need rain. I just gave them a watering.
do you put any soil amendments around them? What kind of soil do you plant them in?
My red ones got compost from my humanure compost pile that of course contains a lot of sawdust.
jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
20-30ft canes? What's your secret. I just planted some blacks this past season. They grew a few canes, only 4-5ft. I harvested less than 1/2 a pint. Will they just get better with age? Or should I do something different?
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
i don't know what the secret was to those huge canes..but i should go take a photo of them..they grew above the top of our garage and back down to the ground in a huge loop..we had to loop them back on themselves..

those particular berry bushes are against the side of our garage..the east side north end under eaves overhang..and in a slightly raised bed..the soil was mulched with aspen and ash branches chipped in the chipper..and the soiil is fairly decent Michigan soil..but no additives were put in..i never watered them and as i said they are under the eaves so they do not get a lot of water either..just what seeps back from the runoff..

as i said we started with 2 plants there 3 years ago and one died..the other put out multiple canes that as i said one laid on the ground and made babies..but the others bore last year from June through mid to end of August..

they are bearing again and have been since the end of june, and it is now the end of august and we are still getting a handful of berries every ocuple of days still.

the babies that i removed from the fallen down one got planted at the end of my rapsberry row in the back berry garden this summer..after diggin them out of the sod..theyy grew well but of course had no berries this year..that areais an old crappy spent garden that was overcropped seiruosly before we bought this place and i had basically let is sit pretty much fallow for the last 38 years..only putting in a few bulbs, a few herbs and an occasional annual veg plant or so..it has had some manure and mulch put on it from time to time..

the row of raspberries back there i put in this spring..i put in 3 gold, 6 red two kinds, killarney and heritgagge and 3 black..the black i put in died..so i was happy to have the black babies that i transplanted back there..the golds actually bore their first year but not a lot, and 2 of the red plants bore their first year as well..and were really yum...can't wait to see how they do next year..now there arre 12 plants in the row..and i'nm hoping for babies again next year from them like i had from the black raspberries..to make a really nice row..

i have also got a row of baby blueberries and a row of baby blackberries.

thethey all have had a good dose of  a siddressing of composted manure, they hae a mulch of dead plants, pulled up weeds, bark and pine needles, as well as some of them have had some shredded jumk mail and cardboard cereal and other boxes..i also did put some char from my woods tove back there..but not on the berries, mostly on the asparagus..afraid to mess with the PH of the berry bushes..
jeremiah bailey


Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 343
I guess I'll just have to see what they do their second year. They are in a space that was sodden at the beginning of the year.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 969
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
I used to sell stuff at a farmer's market in New Hampshire (mostly my ex's honey, and cut gladioli, plus some baked goods before they cracked down on that and made people have a certified kitchen).  Every summer an elderly lady would come and sell blueberries, probably several thousand dollars worth over the season.  She said that when she was in college, she worked one summer for a professor, housekeeping, and he paid her in blueberry bushes!  She was still picking those bushes!

While it's true that jams and jellies make more economic sense, you do have to have a commercial kitchen in most places, and there's a lot of extra labor involved, plus I have diabetes and can't have all that sugar, and I'm not alone -- diabetes is one of the more common health problems in this country.  I'm not doing too well here keeping berry plants alive (it's dry here all summer, and they have to be watered nearly every day), but eventually when we are settled in one place again I plan to have a small berry patch to pick for sale.  I don't want a u-pick; picking berries, other than strawberries, which kill my back, is something I can do on my own schedule and still keep track of my mentally handicapped daughter.  Raspberries and blueberries will probably be my core crops, but I also want to have gooseberries and currants, and if the climate allows, elderberries.  Lingonberries (low-bush cranberries of the type that grows wild in Alaska) possibly, but I would probably be able to find enough of those wild. 

Kathleen
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
i started another thread with photos of the raspberry plants by my garage..see the raspberry on steroids thread
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
I started taking cuttings of my plants in madrid, the ones that are easy to take cuttings of trandescantia at first and then succulents and cactuses and i get a lot of plants when i am trying a bit, i also get plants byu dividing them from the roots and if i lived in the country all the time i suppose it would be easier to get more plants having there bigger areas of soil and there i would not have to use pots. I was on a personal greening Madrid project. Plants are quite expensive to buy, so i thought people could just want them the easy way. I put them out on the street and hoped people would take them home. Now i have a neighbor who takes them all i don't know what she wants them for. I suppose it could be a way of making a bit of money for everyone.

  I have made sloe gin just now, which is easy, just fill bottles two thirds full of sloes add sugar i dont know how much, the sloes are fairly sour so it nededs quite a lot of sugar and fill the bottle up with gin and leave it till christmass time. If you do this to sell you have to invest on the alchol and sugar but it does not take much work, it might be good with other fruit, the french grow pears in bottles and when they are big pick the pair and bottle off the tree and add liquer to it, i have never tried it with a delicate tasting fruit like that but it might be worth trying. 
  I don't kinow if americans know english dishes or not, some fruit ones are so good they should sell well but selling things with cream in might be risky. Do you make fools? They are made with pureed stewed fruit and whipped cream added to it, al frothy and pink, an apricot fool would be pale orange. Fools are deliciouse and if the fruit is red a beautiful colour, plums or black currents. Some people make them with custard this is a modern version and not as good. There is a dish called apple snow, made of pureed apple with whipped egg whites adde,d this is frothier and lighter than a fool, you add cream to it on your plate, again i don't know the quantities of apple and egg white.
    What about selling stewed fruit, stewed and frozen without the sugar added to it. Traditionally we eat lots of stewed fruit in England. If the fruit is tart, like plums, rhubarb and black currants, it is very good with bland food like custard and rice puding and in tarts. Sell the filling for the tarts instead of the tart.  Your customers could add the quantities of sugar they wanted to add. You could sell it from the freezer then it would not rot like fresh fruit might. Plums let off so much water if you cook them that you only need to put in a little water at the bottom of the pan when you cook them, while apples take up water. If you cook them for a good while then they will let of the pectin in  their stones and pips which is good for the stomach.
  I found a way of making jam from apples that comes out  like crab apple jelly with ordinary, probably cider, apples, anyway not cooking ones. I put lots of apples in a big pan in water and cooked them up for a good while so they boiled down, to get the pectin out and so that the juice wasn't too mild and tastless and then strained them through a colander and used the juice to make the jelly with, added the sugar to it and cooked it till it jellied.  It comes out a nice pink colour which i did not expect with ordinary apples. Course by the time i have boiled the apples down there woud be a lot more than a pound of apples for a pound of sugar in the jelly i made but that way the apples aren't too bland. It made as tasty a jelly as crab apples do.
    It is somthing you can do with apples when they are ripe its hard to hitnk what to do with so many apples and you could sell the jam.
    Though perfectionists would have you put crab apple and red currant jelly through a jelly bag or felt, the jelly comes out clear when you put the aples into the seive to take the juice off them. May be you could feed the pulp left over to the pigs or hens.
  I read about cooking friut on its own first and then with the sugar for jam in an old recipe it means that there is less time cooking it with the sugar and it is less likely to burn. i could look up the recipe and post it.

  The french have a way of making apple puree that is to throw the apples into the pot without taking off their skins or coring them. I use it and it is good.  I rough chop them and put them in the pot with plenty of water, i cook them for about an hour to get the pectin out of the stones and pips, I dont really like jam it hurts my teeth so i reckon I should get the pectin from stewed fruit.  Then  put them through the moulee or seive which last is slower and the puree goes through and the pips and skin and stuff get left behind. It tastes fine.
  Brenda Groth i have tried prunning my blackberries as you explained and as a result i was able to eat lots of blackberries this year. Another idea for you, if you prunned your trees you could sell the branches prunned off them as organic mulch. Prunning them stops them taking too much light from the ground plants. I imagine a thick forest is a bit cold up in the north.

  My grandmother put potatoe peels and other parings of vegetables into a metal bucket she had and cooked up the contents once a day and mashed them with a giant potatoe masher and fed them to the hens.  agri rose macaskie.
 
 
subject: raspberries as a small cash crop
 
cast iron skillet 49er

more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books