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farm income forum

 
steward
Posts: 32902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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I got an email today from Lawrence F. London, Jr.  He runs the enormous, international permaculture mailing list at http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture

He suggested this forum.  And the moment I read his suggestion, I felt like a fool for having not created such a forum on the very first day of putting these forums up!

Lots of us loooove to live on the farm.  And, yet, farm income is famous for being weak.  It takes a lot of smarts and salesmanship to earn a meager living.  I would like to think that if we pool our knowledge and figure a few things out, we might all be able to double our income and cut our effort in half. 

Please help me in getting this forum rolling with heaps of threads about ideas on how to make a living from a farm (or even a garden).

Thanks!

 
Posts: 96
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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paul wheaton wrote:
I got an email today from Lawrence F. London, Jr.  He runs the enormous, international permaculture mailing list at http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture

He suggested this forum.  And the moment I read his suggestion, I felt like a fool for having not created such a forum on the very first day of putting these forums up!

Lots of us loooove to live on the farm.  And, yet, farm income is famous for being weak.  It takes a lot of smarts and salesmanship to earn a meager living.  I would like to think that if we pool our knowledge and figure a few things out, we might all be able to double our income and cut our effort in half. 

Please help me in getting this forum rolling with heaps of threads about ideas on how to make a living from a farm (or even a garden).

Thanks!




Thank you Paul!
Long list of suggestions almost ready for rollout; some are:

homestead and farm shop
tractors and implements
beekeeping and alternate pollinators
frugality, or frugal living, rhymes with recycling and stacked functions
livestock
farm fixtures, ie. fencing, gates,
biocontrol: deer predation control, garden pests, household pests
bioremediation: recycling of runoff, purification in impoundments with duckweed, for ex.,
                          composting toilets
toolmaking
crafts
marketing
legal issues and government regulations, insurance
cooperative marketing options, i.e. farmers markets , coop csa's
marketing options: csa, farmers markets, direct marketing, farmstands, U-pick, etc.

More on the way...

dirtfarmer
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 32902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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I think each one of these can be a new thread here. 

The big difference between posting it here and posting it to the other forums here is that the discussion would be how to attempt to earn a living with stuff.

 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 32902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I feel the need to set a precedent here.

This forum is dedicated to ways of earning money from being a farmer.

Therefore, this forum is NOT for discussing anything related to a "gift economy".  There are other forums on the internet for that sort of discussion.

I think it is fair to discuss barter.  But mostly, this is for discussion of earning money. 

There are some folks that are strong advocates of "gift economy" and similar practices.  I respect your philosophies and i ask that you please respect those philosophies are not under discussion in this forum. 

Please do not discourage open discussion on how to earn a living from farming.  It's hard enough without that sort of thing.



 
Posts: 31
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Circular economy, stacking functions, using all the energy in the system, basic permaculture principles all necessary to increase income and viability. 

We're implementing a number of these at Pine Ridge. It can be quite a juggling act at first. 

We're focusing on those things where the money flows the easiest. Cattle is not one of them right now, but education, building, other areas are. 

It's much easier if there are multiple sources of income so if the market goes tight on one source, you can focus on others.  Perennial crops planted in guilds for sustainability, with sustainable water supply, living mulch, etc, mean potentially less work for more income.

Etc

Cory Brennan
permacultureguild.us
 
Posts: 8
Location: South Central Virginia
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This is an awsome topic. I am planning on going to The Financial Permaculture Conference either this year or next. They are applying permaculture to economics, no waste and keep it cyclical.

http://www.financialpermaculture.com/cms/

The area I am starting my farm in has been an agricultural area since it was colonized. It was the tobacco hub of the world. It has also been economically depressed for over 30 years. It is not a place you want move to and try and make a living. Jobs are scarce here.

I believe it is perfect place for a sustainable economic revolution.

Keep the money in the community. Of course this does not involve Walmart. I think the economic downturn will help small farms everywhere. As oil prices increase, more people will have to produce food, so it does not have to travel as far to get to our table. When the world decides not to use the dollar as the reserve currency and our debt is weighed in on the value of our currency(Which it is not now), locally grown food, which now seems expensive, will be able to compete with walmart and food lion. Permaculture will make sense to the masses then.

Now is the time to establish permaculture farms so that when our dept comes home to roost, we will be ready to feed the people, have solutions in place and have relationships and trust within our communities.

I always enjoy explaining why I have moved to this area. I am proud to say "I am here to grow food and watch my daughter grow up."

I will definitely be back to this discussion.

 
Posts: 14
Location: Zone 3-4 Top of Lake Superior
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We're only just getting our house set up and haven't yet anything that provides an income on our homestead, but our friends who own the farm here do a variety of things, mostly that involve reducing reliance on cash to begin with (living direct from the work of their own hands as much as possible), but one is writing a weekly column in a local paper about organic (or synthetic chemical free; they are not certified) farming in the form of anecdotes and tips for others interested in growing healthy food for themselves. It's not a lot of cash- fifty dollars a week- but it is money and part of their whole income scheme.

They also receive pad fees from my family for letting us live on a small portion of their land, they sell eggs, braided rugs from upcycled wool coats, chicken, pork, turkey and goose meat, lots of produce and preserves to sell at the farmer's market, they sit on the agricultural board that determines funding and grants for projects which helps them because they are always aware of funds that become available and though they cannot vote if they've applied (other than asserting their vote for their application by applying), they do end up receiving funds for new projects that make a difference to them and the people they feed with their food. And more.

Definitely multi-streaming, and it's kept them well-fed and housed for ten years now. There are ony two of them now, but they did have a son living with them until last year.

Our plan is also to multistream, but we want to primarily feed just our family from our homestead and make income from other pursuits. We're seven people, so a small-scale farm will feed pretty much just us- at least at the size we are ready to take on next year. I'm not in any way disparaging gaining income from farming!!! I just don't want to at this point, but I am very encouraged to know that others are doing it successfully.

I personally would only attempt to make income from farming if I ended up with a surplus that I couldn't use and that required little of my effort to process and sell. So in all likelihood, we'll continue to make our income otherwise, lol.
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