All the urban farming business plan models I’m proposing are designed to be scalable. For commercial urban farming, I don’t recommend growing crops with long dates to maturity, such as onions, potatoes, winter squash, melons, garlic, or corn. In writing a business plan, it is paramount that you know the format to follow and better still, follow a sample in writing yours to avoid wasting time, effort, money, and resources. October/November 2016. Start-up costs. Lenders often ask to see a business plan … These are some of the risks involved in primarily focusing on restaurant markets. I plant BR beds only twice during the growing season. For example, I grow a lot of baby root vegetables, such as radishes, because some of my customers will go through 100 bunches per week. … While creating your business plan, be sure to include opportunities to get small business … I’d rather be 5 percent short than have 5 percent left over. Urban backyard farming for proft at this scale could be a full-time job for one person working at least 40 hours per week. With this much production and crop diversity, you’ll have the ability to market to a fairly wide customer base, including restaurants and farmers markets, and you could also start a small CSA program. Text messages and phone calls midweek will be common, and if you’re not available for those, you’ll have more difficulty engaging with those customers. Hi, thanks for stopping by. To achieve ambitious revenue from 1⁄4 acre or less, you’ll need access to high-end restaurants and good farmers markets. Ideally, your own front yard and backyard, or somewhere really close to home, would be your farm. Business plan Starting any business demands an invest-ment of time and money. Understanding your market will be the key to your success in urban backyard farming. If you can still pursue high-end markets, then your extra profits will absorb any extra costs. The risk of this model is that your products and market streams will be very specialized. Specialize in the crops that give you the highest return on the smallest amount of land in the least amount of turnover time. 1/2 – 1 Acre. Even at 1⁄2 acre, the primary value of a CSA program is not the income it brings but the upfront cash at the beginning of the season. You might consider hiring some temporary help in summer months for market prep on Friday, but for the most part, two experienced people could farm 1⁄2 acre and still balance life and workflow. Already a Member? You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. The advantage of this model is that you’ll be growing a small diversity of crops, which will offer you more marketability in both farmers markets and restaurants. How to Start a Piggery Business Curtis Stone owns Green City Acres, a commercial urban farm. If you’re saturating your markets, then expanding your operation will be pointless. One-tenth of an acre — about 36 beds at 30 inches by 25 feet on one piece of property — would be a manageable size for this model. In order to spend less money as you start your gardening business, you’ll need to spend more time looking for deals on your major investments. Time commitment. Thanks Farming on 1⁄10 acre could include running an urban backyard farming business at your own home in the suburbs or on an urban lot. I will say, though, that jumping in will make you learn faster because you’ll have a lot more skin in the game. The kind of housing you need and the size of the land will depend on the size of your poultry project. Realistically, you’ll eventually have to scale back your hours at your main job. From there, you can continue to scale up as you see fit. If you were to run this farm with all HR beds growing quick crops, it could gross $28,800 in a 30-week season. If you’re able to sell only to restaurants and not bother selling at a farmers market, then that will save you an entire day’s work standing at a market booth. Time commitment. A good business plan will help your farm or food production business grow. If you can give yourself six months prior to starting, like I did, that should be enough time to build the infrastructure you need, prep some land, and look for the best deals on good used equipment. On Thursday, you could work 12 to 5 so you’d have time in the morning to harvest for market. Focus on quick crops and HR areas. Grow microgreens, such as pea shoots, sun shoots, and radish shoots, and some specialty microgreens, such as ‘Purple Dark Opal’ basil, cilantro, and anything with bright color. Setup and most profitable vegetables to grow. My point is, I’m thinking seriously about farming a couple acres....can someone chime in with an opinion, is 2 acres to large of an area to start off? As you switch your focus to backyard farming for profit, you’ll learn over time what sells and where. For the highest potential gross income, you’ll most likely have to employ at least one person, part-time or full-time. International Subscribers - Click Here Vertical gardening is the new wave of urban agriculture. Farm Business Plan Template. All the urban farming business plan models I’m proposing are designed to be scalable. … Ninety beds in HR could generate $72,000 in 30 weeks or $2,400 per week on average. MS Word. Alteration Service. Customers. If you sell to chefs, like this farmer in Austin, Texas, does, you can plan to grow larger amounts of in-demand crops. If a certain chef leaves, then you’ll have to establish a relationship with the new one. Step 4: Planning a farm for success; Step 5: Marketing your farm and products; Resources for future farm business owners; The state of small farm business in the U.S.A.: In the U.S., small farms are considered the backbone of the agricultural industry, with 97 percent of all U.S. farms being family-owned. Technical Assistance for Planning Your Business, Protect and Invest in Your Land and Resources. Look for the possibility of providing some niche products for another farmer’s CSA program. You’ll need to have Fridays off almost entirely because if you plan to sell at a Saturday market, you’ll need Friday to process and package all of your products. I’d recommend farming an equal amount of HR and BR beds and all the crops I mentioned for the other models, along with some indoor or greenhouse microgreens. This is your roadmap to start-up, profitability, and growth, and provides the foundation for your conversation with USDA about how our programs can complement your operation. My mother, and my grandmother canned and put up in a freezer, put up so much food until we had to give veggies away. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) can also provide basic business planning help and assistance as part of the lending process. For example, beekeeping is a costly venture to start up no matter how much equipment you make or borrow from others. Already a Member but don't have an online But, I would recommend diversifying your farm to give yourself experience with growing a variety of different crops. I went to a couple … Small Backyard. If you’re growing in a cold climate, I’d suggest using either poly low tunnels (a season extender made with greenhouse plastic, pictured on Page 30) or high tunnels (Pages 32 and 33) to prolong the season. The advantage of selling vegetables to restaurant markets is that you can grow large quantities of vegetables that have high margins. You have to consider the fact that you’ll have to spend some money to purchase beekeeping equipment and the bees … For example, you could work Monday through Wednesday from 9 to 5, and then work an hour or two in the evenings or early mornings before your 9-to-5 job. This will all depend on your market streams. Most markets run on weekends, so even with a Monday-to-Friday job, you can do a lot of work on the weekends and evenings and successfully operate this model. I’ve worked on and off as a parts sales person and manager from time to time at a Nissan Dealership. The next few years we tried to make some changes. Using websites such as Craigslist, I found a lot of great deals, but I sometimes had to drive for hours to pick an item up. Your food production plan is really just a component of your bigger, more holistic homestead plan. Every time you go home with product, you’re working for free. I’ve maintained work/life balance partly because I sell pretty much everything I grow. Radish shoots and specialty microgreens are popular in restaurant markets. If your boss might get away with a normative component works best when the newly established national center for the enemy forces. As the Handbook describes each section of the business plan, there are references to worksheets that should be filled out in order to fully develop that section of the business plan. Your microgreens could include pea shoots, sun shoots, radish shoots, and some specialty varieties for restaurants and farmers markets. If you lose some of those customers, then your income could be compromised very quickly. Fruit growing is a high-risk venture, and Penn State Extension offers budgets and spreadsheet programs to assist you in business planning. Therefore, I will be using this post in giving a business plan for a poultry farming business which can be used as a guide or sample in writing … The other risk is that working on a small scale means your restaurant customer base will also be pretty small, so you’ll be reliant on a handful of customers to support you. I’ve seen small families with children and couples make this type of farm work quite well. There’s a lot of higher end restaurants, several that pride themselves as farm to table. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today. Some diversification with customers is important, but it’s even more important to build good relationships with your clients and to constantly keep your eyes and ears open when communicating with them. Assessment on the suitability of the plot for cattle fattening farming should be conducted. My, my, my the things you can accomplish on 1 little acre. Pages. Again, is two acres bitting off a bit too much, or should I just jump in? Look for The Urban Farmer at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store. File Format. The amount of veg grown back then is mind numbing when I think back. account? Grow bunches of herbs, such as baby dill, cilantro, and parsley. Dairy Farming Business Plan #3 – Read any dairy magazines, online dairy blogs and YouTube videos to get over all idea of farming. By Curtis Stone