Craig, the extension agent, came over again today.
Man, if I can ever end up with even half of the knowledge that guy has crammed into his brain, then I think I will know what success in my life really is.
I asked him out here primarily to talk business and see about ways to brainstorm making this property profitable – the sooner the better, because not always having to work full time retail, 40 minutes away from home, would be a pretty amazing thing.
The big goal of a self sustaining food forest takes years upon years to build to sizable fruition, but we can become profitable sooner than that while we slowly grow into that.
Although, for his next visit, I plan on discussing non profit approaches as well, something he is also very versed in. Non profit would be a possible route to go if the focus is at all shifted toward growing food for people in need… which is definitely something I want to do either way – Either a portion of harvest is reserved for donation while the rest is sold… or, better yet, the bulk of what is grown could go for donation if there was someway to maintain “a living” via non profit work status.
Anyhow, he’s so good at being an encouraging mentor. He said to me “I dont mean this in an insulting way, but I can imagine right now you may kind of be feeling like what you’re doing is just piddling? …But I tell you when I come up here that is not what I see, and its not how I think. I see a young start-up farmer who’s just launching their enterprise. You aren’t piddling. You’re learning.”
He encouraged me to sow a fall crop with a quick turn around time, like some squash, beans, or broccoli, with the express intention of taking it to a tailgate market to sell, because he said that would “get my feet wet”, to get the experience of doing something like that with something I grew. He said it would help solidify more in my mind what exactly I’m doing, and that “The first time you sell something your grew you will feel like your whole life has changed” – then he went on to reminisce the details he remembered from his first ever market harvest, which was of strawberries, back in 1987.