home/farm bussiness success - is it a reality????????????

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Hi folks, not sure where to put this question, or even if this is the right place to ask this question: so forgive me if I stumbled into the wrong arena. I need to know does this work at home / farm business really work? I am an unemployed bookkeeper, P/T computer technician, instrument maker / woodworker (though sometimes I seem to make exquisite firewood), published poet/ wannabe novelist, and hobby gardener. We are facing a crunch in finances, work is getting scarce here in OR and we would like to make the homestead we purchased work: making an income, towards the goal of self-sufficency and self-reliance. I have read many forums and found that people suggest raising mushrooms, garlic, vegetables, selling eggs, etc. Do these really work towards making income?? Stories are nice, but, real numbers and data would be appreciated. What sells, what doesn't sell, etc. etc. I am appreciative of your comments and suggestions. Regards,

-- jonathan (jonathan_sz@yuahoo.com), December 24, 2001


I guess,to really make a living at this,, you either have to be differsevide with a few "niches",,or to be,, commercial. Can you still make a living farming,,yes,,I know a few that still do,, but they are commercial operations. One dairy,,the other,hay and potatoes,, but supplemented with other,"niches". I bottle honey,, and sell candles,, I consider those hobbies, and I make a few bucks,,almost enough to pay for the hobby.

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), December 25, 2001.

Sorry I can't point you toward numbers, or even offer a really good story, but I can tell you something you probably already know, but may not want to think about.

The whole name of the game is value added. You take some kind of raw materials at a cost of X, add your own labor (value) and sell the result for Y in the market where you can get the best price. Y minus X is your value added, in terms of income.

Your own abilities (labor, knowledge and skill set) make up almost all of the value added. Any value added that doesn't fall under ability is the value provided by your tools. (Really good and scarce tools can make you a living almost by themselves, until someone else in your neightborhood arrives with the same tool set. Then you're screwed.)

Because of this, you need to identify your tools, and the skills you have that are scarcest and in highest demand, and apply them in the highest value-added way. If you don't have a good tool set, good skills, or scarce knowledge, then the only option is to make it up in volume of labor or in willingness to do what other folks willingly avoid - like risking your neck.

None of this is a secret. It just takes grit, and scouring your local area for pockets of opportunity. What works in one locale, may be a bust in another. What already works in your area for someone else might be a bust, too, since the niche is filled.

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), December 27, 2001.

The key thing is market. Do you have a viable market. Just cause you build it they will not necessarily come. Look closely at how you will market what you produce. This is the key to making any effort profitable.

-- Sandra Nelson (Magin@starband.net), January 04, 2002.

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