Friday, July 22, 2011

Business With a Plan....

I've now been through the process with my biz coach. He is forcing me to think outside the box a bit. I've come up with a really good business/farm plan for the next year. BUT, we all know from my blog posts that farming rarely, if ever, goes to plan! So, I am using it as more of a guideline. Some goals to reach, some timing I need to practice.
My success next year depends on two things. One, I need to expand the gardens like crazy. I will need to double what I have now. To do that, I need 2 more loads of soil, and lots and lots of cardboard. I think I may finally have a line on the cardboard, and I am going to start booking solid with the dog boarding, so I can make enough money to get the soil. If I can get it this fall, and work on building the gardens all winter, I will be a head of the game, instead of just catching up like this year.
The second thing I really, really need is my greenhouse. I am planning for a 20 x 100' structure, with a seed starting bench down one side, and a large crop growing bed down the other. I will be able to start my tomatoes, etc early next year, so I will be ahead. I also won't have to drive to Nanaimo every week. I will save a lot just in gas! With the crop growing beds, I can grow things like mesculin and spinach all winter long. Sales 12 months a year! It would give me such a leg up!
The challenge arises when I try to figure out how to get my greenhouse built. I will need to make between a 5 and $6000 investment. Soooo, how the hek do I do that? That's where the 'outside the box' thinking comes in. It was suggested that I get some investors. The plan is this: get some really awesome people to prepay and prebuy their veggie CSA shares NOW for next year. In return, because I have all this amazing greenhouse space, I will be able to have a bigger selection, bigger bags, and start earlier in the year. I would need 15 investors to do this. It was also suggested that I put this money into a separate account, so if I only get like, 2 investors and can't go ahead with the greenhouse, I can give them their money back. The only problem with this plan is the fact that I am wayyyyyyyyyyy too shy to ask for people to give me money in advance, so I am just doing this blog post to put it out into the universe, and see what comes back to me. !!

In the meantime, I am going to go ahead like my greenhouse is already being built. I am going to get an electrician in to bring up power, so I can plug in soil heating cables, and then I'm going to get a foundation down as soon as I can. Then the universe will know I am serious about it, and just give me my greenhouse:-)

I have been starting fall crop seeds like crazy the last couple of weeks. I should have (so far) about 1000 kale plants, 400 cabbages, 400 purple sprouting broccoli, and various mesculin and lettuces coming up. I still ask myself, though... is this enough? I think I need to plant more. And more. I seriously don't think I can plant enough right now.

OH!!! I am ready to open my farmgate stand! Dom the HandyMum came over the other night, and helped me move/hang my gates, AND then she found me a free fridge! I got it delivered yesterday, cleaned it all up, and then just plugged it in this morning. I will stock it this evening, and then I should be all ready to open tomorrow morning. How exciting is that? I will be getting some signs up in the next week, and when that is done, I will really start advertising it around town.

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Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!