Saturday, March 17, 2007

Trees and Vegetables


Tree farming can supply a good income you have enough land to sustain a harvest every year. In order to make this work you would have to focus on harvesting ten acres per year with a complete cycle coming about every 45 years. This model would mean that you need to have 450 acres. The other way is to harvest all at once and budget your money over the next 45 years. This is hard to do, but there is also the option of having a Christmas Tree Farm on a lesser amount of acreage. This will keep a constant cash flow going. You can plant desirable verities and capitalize on the locally grown angle of your product. Most people enjoy the added bonus of knowing where the things they buy come from.

Aside from trees, there are always vegetables. Local produce is highly desirable. It is a lot of work to grow and sell goods, but again the local angle will be beneficial to you. If you go to Sunday Market you will see customers who wait all week to buy fresh local produce. Also it is easy to co-op your goods if let’s say you grow wonderful tomatoes, and you have a friend who grows wonderful peppers.

Also note that tomatoes, peppers and basil only seem to grow well here on the coast within a green house. There is an August blight that will kick your butt if you think you’ll harvest anything planted outside. Tomatoes like warm nights so enclose them with some heat. The latest I have been able to keep tomatoes in my green house was until January 21 one year.

You may also be able to market your goods to local shops and restaurants, though you won’t be paid as highly as when you sell directly to the customer. Also consider a road side stand. We’ve sold blueberries that way last year and made some spending money. Also keep the food bank in mind. They appreciate any fresh produce you can share with them.

Back before we got animals we had a garden 21 raised bed. Each bed was six feet by four feet which was enclosed with cedar fence boards. We were gardening only 504 square feet, but you would be amazed what that limited space produced.

The boards lasted over ten years. The beauty of the raised bed was that you could treat each bed differently. Being raised the soil would dry sooner after the winter rains, and the ground would remain warmer. Weeds were easier to control and the soil never became compacted because we would never walk on it. It was by far the easiest, cleanest way I’ve found to garden.

6 Comments:

Blogger Auntie L said...

That article made me wish that the market would come sooner.

During market season, I gladly brave all kinds of dogs and dog shit and snooty rich people in search of my weekly fresh basil (for the weeks pesto etc), tomatoes and those little baby yellow potatoes when they are in season. Oh yeah, and the kids love the honey sticks too.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Love, Anon said...

Guy,

Tomatoes are a little easier to grow east of town but there are still problems with blight. Last year we ended up with about 35 lbs of tomatoes...all green. The year before the blight got them all.

Have you planted your seedlings yet? Hubby went to get more today.

Love,
Anon

8:21 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

We never plant before May 1. No point because it's still too cold and they won't do anything until the nights are warmer.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One way to give tomatoes a better chance is to fill an old tire with potting soil or good composted soil preferably right up against a south facing wall to generate extra warmth. The ones that don't blight might do well enough to ripen under the bed. When it comes to tree farming, look into alder. It plants itself, does well in pure stands, puts more nitrogen in the soil than it takes out, grows like weed and brings top dollar for saw logs.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

So, I can plant on Princess' 5th birthday, even I should be able to remember that! I have already started some bulbs, we'll see how that goes.

Being the first spring in our new house, I will actually have a garden plot. It will be approximately 300 square feet. That still allows the doggies plenty of space on the other side of the fence for their duties, and the kids get the whole sunny front for their running around, plus they'll have a bed to plant whatever they choose along the front of the house. I am so excited! I hope that my little plot yields more than I expect, too. Have you seen the price of veggies lately? Holy crow!

10:45 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Anon, Just my opinion but the tomatoes that are disease resistant for this area just don't have any taste. I'm into those Beef Stake tomatoes, 1 tomatoe = 6 BLTs. Agreed, a shelter or heat retention is a must for tomatoes here. And alder...caching! I got twice the money for a load of alder than I did for a load of hemlock last year. Spruce didn't even come to $1000 a load.

Mo3 A May day child, eh. My father was born on May 1. Happy gardening.

7:04 AM  

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