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How would you make $500 a month on 1 acre?

 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1618
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Many great ideas already presented here. I believe the "secret" is to find the right combination for your own situation.

Didn't notice bartering mentioned much. Honey is excellent for that. I also give the wax away to creative folks in exchange for candles, soaps, lotions, artwork, etc. Be aware that I'm just using honey as an example. Getting into bees simply to make a profit will most likely result in failure. Do it because you love them & then you have a chance in the long run.
 
Posts: 29
Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada Zone 5b
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Pamela Smith wrote:
Here in Canada if we get farm status, for us this is simply selling product from our land every year of 2500.00 gross.



Just to add - these limits are set provincially. I envy your $2500 limit - here in Ontario, we need $7000 in gross revenue to get a farm number. Of course, that would instantly save us ~$2k in property tax per year.
 
Posts: 103
Location: BC Canada Zone 5&6
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Mike Barkley wrote:Many great ideas already presented here. I believe the "secret" is to find the right combination for your own situation.

Didn't notice bartering mentioned much. Honey is excellent for that. I also give the wax away to creative folks in exchange for candles, soaps, lotions, artwork, etc. Be aware that I'm just using honey as an example. Getting into bees simply to make a profit will most likely result in failure. Do it because you love them & then you have a chance in the long run.



For me, bartering is a given. One needs to first find the right products for oneself to grow/raise/do and then once something is going one then has a product for bartering. This is also where a community comes in, a community can be your local neighbours. Get to know your neighbours and see if what they have is what you need and vice verse. It could be another source to determine and get started on what to grow/raise/do.

I agree with the byproduct of bees. Love to have you as a neighbour, Mike :-)
 
Mike Barkley
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1618
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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See? I rest my case.
 
Posts: 710
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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My experience with making money with agriculture and/or crafts is that it's seasonal.  I had to work from December through June before I got paid a cent.   Most food plants only grow in about 6 months out of the year.  Fruit trees can take 6-7 years before they really produce, and they only give fruit for 4-6 weeks, if you can keep the birds and critters off of them.   I sold blackberries and blueberries, made jam out of them, and it was amazing how many people said they didn't eat jam because of the "sugar".  Well, I didn't make it with sugar, but I couldn't convince them of that.

Getting a slot in a farmers' market is hard, because there's usually a waiting list, and they want something that isn't already selling there.  It, too, is seasonal, and uses up every weekend, which makes families very upset.

If you wanted to try meat or dairy products, or eggs -- fresh eggs are in demand, there are legal requirements, certifications and inspections, sometimes a $30,000 commercial kitchen needed to make food.  Once the skin of fruits and vegetables is broken, all the rules change.

If you do research, find out what isn't already being sold in your area but is in demand every single week, because you'll need customers to come back and buy your product again and again, and write up a business plan that holds water, then that is what might....might work.  It took me a good 4 years to build a customer base.



 
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Hi,

Though this post is now a bit old, perhaps there are some who still run into it, as it applies today as much as it did when Pamela first posted the question.  In the time between then and now, there have been a number of developments in terms of what type of income someone can make off their land, or while living in rural/off-grid environments.  There are some good beginning suggestions on making money while living off grid, and perhaps provides some inspiration and ideas.  That said, it is important to note that you largely get out of it what you put into it, with regard to the use of land, or your skills.  Hard work, dedication and commitment are the key - and never give up, as tenacity is the key to success when finding income solutions from rural living, land use, or other off-grid living scenarios.
 
Posts: 68
Location: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (7b)
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Curtis Stone - The Urban Farmer managed to create multiple market gardens in Kelowna, BC by renting and borrowing people's lawns. Using very small pieces of land and intensive methods, he has identified high-demand/low-input crops for sale throughout town. I used to see him and his helpers riding their bikes with trailers around town with bins full of fresh produce. I believe he makes most of his money through Farmer's Markets and restaurant sales.

That being said, in his book he even outlines different business plans which could probably provide some good inspiration and information!


PS: It's almost been a year since you posted; any updates for us?
 
Posts: 71
Location: Southside of Virginia
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The best place to start is to fully grasp the concept of  "A penny saved is a penny earned."  Become an avid tightwad, which includes producing a significant amount of the food you eat. Once you are producing and "putting up" your own food supply, then sell the extra. To get an idea of the market "up the valley" check Craigslist often; watch the supply/demand rhythm. My business plan calls for a specific product/service to be earmarked for specific purposes, like property taxes, power bill, or farm insurance. Just some ideas...
 
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