Grow Your Business

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

Members: 83
Latest Activity: Sep 9

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

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Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on January 31, 2014 at 3:30pm

We are taking a sabbatical from farming. To be self-sufficient and truly sustainable, we have to be debt free, so this year I'll be putting my time and efforts toward selling unneeded stuff, selling a rental we own, and teaching for others until we have our final debt, our house, paid off. I'm hoping that will be this summer, but it may take until the end of the year. Regardless, with that burden gone, Bob will be free to retire when he's ready, and we can then put ourselves heart and soul into ministering through food.

It's been very hard for me to get to this point, but it's kind of exciting, too. As we harvest, we're allowing the soil garden to sit fallow. We're selling off all our tilapia except for that necessary to sustain the aquaponic system, and I'm planting things that can be fed back to the fish (except for the great strawberry bed) so I don't have to process anything. No planting, no harvesting, not classes, and no meat birds. The only things that will continue will be our current flock of chickens and our dairy cows. 

It should be an interesting time, and a beginning of a great new era in our lives!

Group Leader
Comment by Luke Townsley on January 31, 2014 at 9:05am


We did Freedom Rangers and Heritage white meat birds last year. I'm wanting to do the Heritage Whites again and try to breed them here. I'm guessing they do eat quite a bit more feed, but they don't have the mortality of the Cornish X, so for us it more or less works out cost wise.

Our layers are "dual purpose" birds, and we are pretty happy there. Actually we have some ISA browns and they are good birds, but too calm for pastured birds IMO. We have some Barred Rocks that are wonderful although I have to say the ISAs lay prettier eggs.
My RI reds picked at each other way too much. They were just too  much trouble. A different strain might be different though.

I think the real advantage of heirloom veggies is when you save seed and develop strains better suited for your needs.

Comment by Jeremy Obermeyer on January 30, 2014 at 8:25pm

I sold all of my chickens the other day in order to make room for the "Heritage" breeds I want to raise.  The heritage livestock and heirloom vegetables I think will be a good niche especially with all of the awareness about gmo's now.  Along with growing and raising our plans are to sell products made by us and public speaking.  We're all pretty excited about this!

Comment by Jeremy Obermeyer on January 8, 2014 at 9:33am

Hope and Pray everybody made it or is making it through the cold snap ok.

Comment by Damon on January 4, 2014 at 5:01am

Goodness! 2014 already.

Group Leader
Comment by Karen Wortman on January 2, 2014 at 7:16pm

Happy New Year everyone!

Comment by Damon on December 27, 2013 at 2:41am

Yeah, 2014 will be a year of education and experimentation for me.  Furthering my own education is the primary goal for 2014. I'm going  back to the old-style classical education where you actually learn how to think.

Group Leader
Comment by Karen Wortman on December 26, 2013 at 7:16pm

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Group Leader
Comment by Karen Wortman on December 17, 2013 at 6:40pm

I am envious Sam...you're leaving Corporate America behind.  How exciting for you!  I hope to be there very soon myself.

We had our first calf born for this season.  A cute little Hiefer (little girl)  First time momma did a great job.  Normally not "baby" season this time of year for us, but its worked out differently.  Still fun..I love the babies

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.


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