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Business Plan

Nathalie Poulin


Joined: Feb 07, 2011
Posts: 60
Hey guys!

I'm trying to write a business plan to start my own permaculture farm in Ontario. Has anyone written a plan like this? Does anyone have recent numbers about market trends in buying produce, especially 'organic'?

If anyone could offer any help or suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

Basically I'd like to get a 10-15 acre piece of land and start with a fruit tree orchard, pigs, chickens, eggs (maybe goats too) and annual veggies like mixed lettuces, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, peppers, and maybe some corn.

Thanks!

Max Tanner


Joined: Feb 26, 2011
Posts: 86
Location: Ontario North and South - right now, moving North Permanently soon. Timmins Cochrane areas
    
    1
Try putting this one in the general section, and ask if anyone can relate to Canada


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Joined: Jul 04, 2011
Posts: 2
This seems pretty common in Ontario.  I stayed at a place with only a few acres lsat fall--seems common to have a bed and breakfast as well to help make ends meet. 
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
The smartest idea I've come across is a pick-your-own setup applied to polyculture. That is, operate a food forest, we're talking as many species of fruit tree as will survive in as many microclimates as you can think of, fruiting shrubs and berry canes growing in rows between the trees, and lower shrubs like blueberry, right on down to strawberries, and cranberries on the path between rows, and the rows themselves started as hugelkultur as large as you have resources to make them, and the whole thing innoculated with as many naturally-occurring combinations of fungi available. Giant polyculture. What I`ve mentioned as examples may not work. I know blueberries are high-acidity, like a 4 -6 ph, but forgive my factual inaccuracy. The point being, by applying the pick-your-own model to polyculture, you`re eliminating the largest commercial problem with polyculture, which is the labour cost of manual harvesting, as well as fostering an opportunity for education of the public in a very important subject. It`s ecotourism. And if the hugelrows form natural paddocks that the livestock can be run in selectively, you can sell you own double smoked bacon and chops out of the gift shop, and buckets of chicken for the drive. All organic from polyculture, and they will forever wonder why they can`t ever go to KFC ever again, and why they keep coming back.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6675
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
One thing you need to be careful about in a pick-your-own operation is the 'trample factor'.

After your strawberries have been picked in the summer, the city folks will trample them to death if they are planted under a fall bearing fruit tree. They don.t know any better...greed rules!

If you can have pumpkins ready a week before Halloween, they are a good choice. If mother takes her 2 or 3 children to the supermarket, she buys a pumpkin. If she brings them to your patch, she'll probably buy 2-3...each kid will cry if they don't get the pumpkin they picked.
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    9
I love it. Pumpkins it shall be. I'll probably try a test plot hugel bed this season in my Toronto backyard with the Three Sisters, where I've never gotten corn to grow properly. I think if I cook up some of sepp holzer's Bone Sauce and pour some liberally around the bed and nearby trees, the squirrels will starve to death before they touch my stuff again. Though if it was just for myself, I would plant melons like honeydew and canteloupe, maybe some watermelon. Apparently they never taste the same if it's ripened en route as its gotta be to get to market.

That aside aside, I think the pick-your-own model is still valid, and the plant choices will be determined by just such considerations as you mention, John. But you do see what I'm getting at? If you leave strawberries out of it, and stick to bush and cane berries and fruit trees of different sizes, then you will have a food forest of perennials that will keep producing year after year, and with proper design, I believe it would be possible to minimize damage caused by inexperienced though enthusiastic little fingers and feet.

-CK
 
 
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