So it seems like I can't do more than 1 post per month. Tons has happened since I wrote a blog entry. My fellow employees and I were notified in the middle of last month that the company we work for was in trouble and the owner was going to sell. This was alot to take in and I immediately began trying to think of alternatives if the worst were to happen for me in my career of what to do. I've been with the Company for 8 years and I have come to the realization that I want to transition to working for myself.
This garden was the means for me to do that. I planned on slowly figuring out how to implement the procedures and systems that Curtis Stone uses. Here is a link to his youtube channel for more info on him and what he does - https://www.youtube.com/CurtisStone. Now it seems this is the best time to dive in and just go for it. So my 400 sq foot garden is going to be transformed into a 1/10th of an acre micro-farm comprising most of the backyard and probably about half of my front yard.
In the book that Curtis Stone wrote, The Urban Farmer, he lays out the possibility and viability of having a farm on this small of an area. I should be able to fit 36 25 foot by 30 inch beds on that size footprint. These will be planted and rotated with quick growing crops that have a date to maturity that is less than 60 days like cilantro, dill, mustard greens, various types of lettuce, spinach, tatsoi, mizuna and sprouts. Another benefit of using crops like this is that they can be harvested multiple times on a single planting. According to the math provided in the book using conservative numbers that Curtis has experienced on his own farm, the profit from a farm this size can be in excess of $58k. This is achieved by selling the produce at farmers markets and directly to restaurants.
Today, I signed up to be a vendor at the new Amarillo Community Market, a brand new local market for local producers of goods. I won't be able to make it to the market until late June to mid August but the market opens on Saturday July 9th. I plan on being there as much as possible meeting the other vendors and mingling with customers. I'm also going to look into joining the farmer's market in Canyon but they have the market on saturday's as well so that is a slim possibility that I might pursue further in the distant future.
Restaurants are completely different animal all together. Finding owners/chefs in the Amarillo area that would want locally produced greens might be tricky. I know Amarillo has a high number of restaurants but I need to get those initial contacts made. That's where you the reader comes in. Please share this with anyone you want to. The more the word gets out the better. I will be putting together a google doc that will contain a questionnaire with things like pounds of produce the restaurant uses in a week, top 5 or 6 vegetables they use the most of, things along those lines to take with me once I have made contact with the owner or chef to set up the best time to meet with them.
Thanks for being patient with my sporadic posts and continuing to stop by and reading about my little gardening adventure. This is a crazy big step for me but I'm excited and stoked that I can share the journey with all of you.