How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

A Business Opportunity Takes Shape

Obviously when we move to the property we will want to take advantage of the space and the ability to actively get into sustainable agriculture. Two of the things we’ve been planning on is raising grass fed beef and pastured poultry.

We had the fortunate timing this trip of being there for a local agricultural event where we were able to meet a number of folks that are active in the local farmers market community.

It turns out there is a huge market hole right now for pastured poultry. People are paying $8/lb for it and they can’t get enough. And the main supplier isn’t going to have very much this year because she’s going in a different direction.

My mother and I talked about it, and it sounds like she’s going to go ahead and get started this year with the chicken, which will help establish a name and bring in some solid income.

I ran the numbers for her based on what she can realistically do this year and it’s a pretty nice chunk of change. And the farmers market folks are begging her to raise chicken this year.

This is a perfect model for her to get started with, because it’s small enough that she can handle it mostly on her own but it also provides for hands on experience and gets a customer base started.

Dad and I are contemplating getting a few cows to start with this year. It’s more a money question than anything else, but it’d be nice to get started with that as well. And push comes to shove we get some good beef this fall…

There’s also only one farm locally who is advertising local honey and bee products, which bodes well for my apiary plans after the move. This trip really got the juices flowing and makes me want to get out there quickly.

On a side note, for anyone who is interested in this stuff, Joel Salatin’s books have been invaluable resources. They’re a bit light on ‘how to’ for my taste, but they provide a rock solid philosophical grounding, and tell you the ‘why’ and some of the ‘how’. It fits my experimental side pretty well.

If you’re at all interested in sustainable agriculture, you owe it to yourself to read his stuff.

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6 Responses to A Business Opportunity Takes Shape

  1. Wished I lived closer. I use our local farmers for grass fed beef and raw honey and milk. Good stuff and I know you will do well.

  2. So Rudy have you considered doing a program like the CSA’s for the beef, offer future shares in the grass fed beef for a upfront payment to help you buy the cattle to get started? Offer it at a lower price with a promise of money back if you can’t deliver or the beef isn’t good. Then after you are started you have a customer base for the following year and can get feed back on what to improve or what worked.

  3. Congratulations on your move forward.

    My wife and four kids did what you and your are doing about twenty years back, starting in a small cabin in Idaho on twenty acres. We too searched several states before leaving our far western Colorado acreage, as the area was being over-run by Californians who were turning the area into a mirror of what they had left.

    Since then we put in a huge garden, built a barn for the goats, chickens and 4-H steers, as well as a root cellar. We also constructed a 30’X40′ shop, built our own 2,500 watt hydroelectric plant, then a new home with a well and running water to replace the old cabin (which we salvaged the good hand-hewn logs and rebuilt into a home chapel) that was actually built in 1865 in “territorial days”, replete with the “Territorial Homestead Stamp” on one of the logs. We also home schooled the kids, two now having graduated with B.A.’s from highly-ranked colleges, one matriculating through, and the last one here still suffering under our overbearing tutelage.

    When we replaced the cabin and put up the new home in 2002, we also used an outdoor boiler, the dual-fuel model from Central Boiler even though I have never fired up the propane option on it. We use a heat exchanger that runs off the hot water from the boiler to heat the domestic hot water, and the units are both efficient and flawless.

    You are doing a real service for everyone else who is venturing out. The resources back then were Mother Earth News, Backwoods Home and Home Power Magazine, all still reliable and trustworthy, but the net being available now has really improved matters exponentially. Good luck and keep up the good work!