Posted by & filed under Organic Gardening.

I wanted to start my own Organic Farm, But How do I do it on my own?  I wanted to make sure that I could make an income, and afford to lease or purchase enough land to succeed at what I was doing!  Since I have worked in the Health Care industry as an Insurance Billing  and Coding Manager, I knew I had the ability to work with people.

A stressful job, but I really enjoyed helping others get back to their purpose and passion.  I wanted a break, so I wanted to start my own business that helps me live my passion for Large Gardens.

How do I get all of the data and support that I need to build my passion into a business, and at the same time take care of my husband that is recovering from a few Heart attacks?  So the research started in earnest.  I needed to decide What and How to Grow in my Ecological Garden, to make sure it is profitable.  Next, I wanted to ensure that we have enough land  that is Organically Certified to ensure healthy crops.  So I started with the Department of Agriculture Websites and this is the trend for farmers that I found.

 

Well, during my research, I found out these interesting facts:

English: Watermelon in a small-scale organic f...

Image via Wikipedia

“Most farm operators are men.  About 11 percent of principal farm operators are women.  However, that represents a significant increase from as recently as 25 years ago, when less than 5 percent were women. Women generally operate farms that are smaller than average. Once primarily focused on beef cattle production, female principal operators have diversified their farm operations over the past two decades to include horses, aquaculture, and fur-bearing animals. Many farms, more than 40 percent, report more than one operator, and in most of these cases, the additional operators are women. When all operators are considered—not just the single principal operator of a farm—more than 30 percent of U.S. farm operators are women.  I found this information on the Dept. of Agriculture Website.  I also found out that Most farm households earn the majority of their income from off-farm sources and off-farm income is expected to increase by 3.0 percent in 2011, to 51,889.

In contrast to the general farm household population, households associated with commercial farms (those with gross sales of $250,000 or more) derive the majority of their income from farming activities. Their median income from farming increased by 11.5 percent in 2010, and their total household income increased by 11.3 percent, to $117,854. Households associated with intermediate farms (those with gross sales less than $250,000 whose operators consider farming their primary occupation) also saw a substantial increase in total income, 11.6 percent, though it reflects greater income from both farm and off-farm sources. See the farm typology discussion below for more information on intermediate and commercial farms.

Mean farm household income was $87,780 in 2010, up 13.8 percent from 2009, and was driven by increases in income from farm and off-farm sources. Mean income is higher than median income because the farm operator household population contains some households with exceptionally high incomes, which increases the mean more than the median.”

Now with the knowledge of how many more women are starting farms with either a partner or family,  my research will take on the aspects of what to sell and where will I find the land that I need to succeed.

I do not particularly like to weed, I do much rather enjoy planning, planting and harvesting. There are many books and programs available, as well as some local college and online classes available, but I decided for me, to first start small, and have decided to use the Food 4 Wealth training.  I will let you know how it goes and share my progress.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I found another woman who has built her farm from scratch with her partner, and she lives in Oklahoma.  I was able to interview her and I got a lot of great information to get me going!  My husband wants to help as much as he can also!  Yahoo!!

Sign up for my RSS Feed, and get my new Blogs as they come out.  Share your story once I get the forum up and see if we can help each other make this year a Great Year!

 

Thank you

Heather Downs

[email protected]

  • One of my froemr students, Kyle Maw, set up this blog for me ages ago, thinking it was something I should be doing as an ag communicator (i.e. cowboy). Kyle had a special gift for electronic communications and an early understanding of the (then) emerging field of social communications. I’m glad he did! From what I understand, the main thing holding back other cowboy/rural bloggers is the lack of a high speed network.

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