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Grow Your Business

This group is designed for individuals that are interested in building a business around gardening, landscaping, and "growing" something.

Members: 81
Latest Activity: yesterday

Building your own Cold Frame

For gardeners, having a cold frame can really extend the growing season. Here are some simple directions for creating your own cold frame out of old windows. Hope you enjoy!
KarenBuilding a Cold Frame.pdf

Discussion Forum

Out of the box ideas

Started by Karen Wortman. Last reply by Jeremy Obermeyer yesterday. 9 Replies

Landscaping and yard maintenance

Started by Alek Faber. Last reply by Sam Burton on Monday. 8 Replies

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Comment by Sam Burton on December 12, 2013 at 8:07am

You're right about busy.  I'm busy tidying up loose ends at the day job, trying to get a NF book out (not succeeding very well) and finishing up the 2014 - 2016 biz plan for the farm.  January will be plenty full as I transition to self employment.  Pretty scary and pretty exciting.  I also have to get all my licensing for selling plants, fish and pet food.  Lots of paperwork.  I'm also going to get licensed as a substitute high school teacher so I have to attend a class for that.  All busy.  All good.  I'll be selling starter plants at our local feed store this spring (replacing Bonnie Plants for the year) and will be teaching some gardening and aquaponics classes there, as well.  I'm adding some hydroponics systems to the mix this year.  Lot's of writing in the new year.  Lots and lots of writing.


Group Leader
Comment by Karen Wortman on December 4, 2013 at 12:40pm
I am sure everyone is extra busy. It's been quiet around here, myself included. 3 of my Does have kidded in the last week! A set of triplets, a pair of twins, and a single. So I am back to milking again. This is normally my down time. Still the babies make me smile everyday.
Hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for Christmas. I think I will get my tree up this weekend while we are having the expected ice storms. Oh the joys of winter weather!

Group Leader
Comment by Karen Wortman on November 15, 2013 at 12:44pm

AWESOME Sam!  Congratulations! 

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on November 15, 2013 at 11:33am

Congrats, Sam!!

Damon, Dr. George Brooks, here in Arizona, uses an above ground pool to grow his garden. It's the ultimate in DWC. Scroll down on this page and you'll see a picture. http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/group/arizona-aquaponics?co...

This may or may not work for you depending on your environment.

Comment by Sam Burton on November 15, 2013 at 7:40am

Just wanted to share the news: my first fiction project is live.  It's a Supernatural Suspense novelette called, Isitoq's Hound.  I'm psyched.  Oddly my first homesteading book is being pushed back.  I have at least two other books in the queue ahead of it now.  I chose to do a short work first, to learn the ropes.  Time to get marketing.  Wanted to share the news with my "Grow Your Business" family right away.

Comment by Damon on November 14, 2013 at 3:37pm

Yeah, I've been throwing around what a big(ger) system would look like. I really like the DWC and NFT systems more so than the media-based systems

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on November 14, 2013 at 2:47pm

We started with a 200 gallon system, and it never fully kicked in, but part of that was design. I think it would have stabilized if we had known more.

100 is still rather small, but it depends on what the variables are. A small change in weather can cause a big change in plant growth, fish behavior, and bacteria action. That, in turn, can affect everything else. So the answer to your question depends on location, time of year, type of fish and media, types of plants, etc.

But don't worry about that. Once you've played with your small system enough you'll be addicted and then you'll build a big one and will reap the rewards.  :) 

Comment by Damon on November 14, 2013 at 2:17pm

Great break on the local chef!

I test it everyday. The little system does seem less stable than it ought. When do you start seeing more stability in your systems? 100 gallons or more?

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on November 14, 2013 at 12:35pm

Sam, congrats on your chef opportunity! And Karen, congrats on your retailers! Sad to hear about the chickens and the dogs, but you have to do what you have to do.

Damon, I'll ditto Sam's comments about small systems. Small systems are great to get a feel for AP, but you will need to manage the water more. Just test and change as needed, but have fun learning!

As for the pull back and rethink, I'm right there with you! I've started my periodic get-rid-of-stuff process. Life gets overwhelmed with stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff.

As for business, it's slow, and I'm observing. I'm seeing people make very little money on teaching classes. It seems the classes have to be at cost or less to get people to come. They want the classes, beg you to run them, but then they come in dribbles. That said, I've also seen some people succeed by offering free classes that give some information, but mostly make people want the products they sell.

That's not what I want to do; I want to teach people valuable information. But, do I need to push products in order make it worth my while to offer the classes? Hmmm. Thinking...analyzing...evaluating...processing...

Comment by Sam Burton on November 14, 2013 at 11:21am

Karen, sorry about the chickens.  Been there. 

Damon, 1 tip on your AP experiment.  One problem you may run into with a micro system (5 gallons) is consistent water quality.  You'll want to test pH, ammonia and nitrites fairly often in a small system like that.  The larger the system, the more stable it is.  I speak from experience.  I killed a lot of goldfish and a few crawfish with my smaller systems.  It could have been avoided if I'd only checked water more frequently.

Forgot to tell y'all. We have been approached by a local chef to provide some veg for next year.  He may be interested in fish and crawfish, too, if that experiment pans out. 

 
 
 

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