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Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

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Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  brettm64 on 12/27/2016, 2:05 pm

Hi Brett Messer here, my wife and I are starting a SFG farm we would love any support and ideas we can get! We have enough materials to build seven raised beds 4'x 20' going to need close to 25 yds. of Mels Mix. we live in Abilene TX. it looks to be close to $2,000.00 for Mels Mix, we found a place that sells a raised bed mix, but not sure it is worth its salt. We are going to have to add vermiculite to it, need a small train load of it as well. Does anyone have ideas on how to lower the costs without losing the magic of Mels Mix.
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Re: Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  Kelejan on 12/27/2016, 2:13 pm

glad you\'re here Brett  happy hi 
from Kelejan :canada: in British Columbia.

Wait a little while and several members will jump in and help you with their experience.

My own bit of advice?  No need to jump in 100% at the start.  If you have not done SFG before it may pay to start with one or two raised bed if you do not have enough material to make MM.

One thing to make it a little less expensive is to cut down on the Vermilculite and up the compost.  Never scrimp with the compost. 

Look forward to seeing your result in the future.

Hope you had a good Christmas and all the best in 2017.
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Thanks Kelejan

Post  brettm64 on 12/27/2016, 2:59 pm

Hi Kelejan, Thanks for the info. and the reply. I have been SFGing for twenty+ years we are starting the farm to support nutrition in our area. My wife and I have a wellness business. and she is a health coach, and I have self studied health and wellness for many years. The problem here is that healthy food choices are slim and to expensive for many of our customers. I have gardened pretty much since I stopped crawling lol. All of my family on both my mother and fathers sides were avid gardeners raising a great deal of their food. When I figured the yardage on the materials I swallowed hard. We are re-purposing some materials for the first gardens. We are also building a green house next month to start our plants from seed!
Thanks again for the response!
Keep on SFGing Brett
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Re: Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/27/2016, 5:39 pm

Hi BrettM64. Glad you're here! Welcome from Atlanta, GA!

Lived in Killeen for a while...

There is a vermiculite database in the search engine. Maybe that will help cut down on that a bit... Do you have any organic farms with chickens, horses, llamas, etc. nearby? That might help with compost.

Sounds like y'all are going to have a good time! And, remember, it's all tax deductible... Just keep repeating it... (That's what I do.)
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Re: Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  countrynaturals on 12/27/2016, 5:47 pm

brettm64 wrote:Hi Brett Messer here, my wife and I are starting a SFG farm we would love any support and ideas we can get! We have enough materials to build seven raised beds 4'x 20' going to need close to 25 yds. of Mels Mix. we live in Abilene TX. it looks to be close to $2,000.00 for Mels Mix, we found a place that sells a raised bed mix, but not sure it is worth its salt. We are going to have to add vermiculite to it, need a small train load of it as well. Does anyone have ideas on how to lower the costs without losing the magic of Mels Mix.
One word: Crowdfunding! You have a worthy cause and starting a campaign is pretty easy. You'll need images and video is also good. "GoFundMe" is a good place to start but a little research might find you something you like better. It's amazing how many generous people out there will want to be involved in your project.
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Abundance

Post  brettm64 on 12/27/2016, 10:36 pm

countrynaturals wrote:
brettm64 wrote:Hi Brett Messer here, my wife and I are starting a SFG farm we would love any support and ideas we can get! We have enough materials to build seven raised beds 4'x 20' going to need close to 25 yds. of Mels Mix. we live in Abilene TX. it looks to be close to $2,000.00 for Mels Mix, we found a place that sells a raised bed mix, but not sure it is worth its salt. We are going to have to add vermiculite to it, need a small train load of it as well. Does anyone have ideas on how to lower the costs without losing the magic of Mels Mix.
One word: Crowdfunding! You have a worthy cause and starting a campaign is pretty easy. You'll need images and video is also good. "GoFundMe" is a good place to start but a little research might find you something you like better. It's amazing how many generous people out there will want to be involved in your project.
Thanks for the reply, and yes we are about to launch this bird the first of the year! My wife and I have a huge dose of spring fever in DECEMBER lol. We will be erecting a 12'x48' greenhouse next month. GoFundMe haven't thought of that for the co-op, planning other fundraisers but they cost money to put on as well. hoping to get in on public service type announcements for advertisements. We have a budget of $5,000.00 for the farm and hope to keep the costs of the co-op paid from other sources like member shares, member loans, and other financial help later on. We first thought that we could get the co-op off and running this year sometime but there is a lot of work to do on that end. we will do our best. Thanks again for the input!
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Re: Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  countrynaturals on 12/27/2016, 11:18 pm

brettm64 wrote:
countrynaturals wrote:
brettm64 wrote:Hi Brett Messer here, my wife and I are starting a SFG farm we would love any support and ideas we can get! We have enough materials to build seven raised beds 4'x 20' going to need close to 25 yds. of Mels Mix. we live in Abilene TX. it looks to be close to $2,000.00 for Mels Mix, we found a place that sells a raised bed mix, but not sure it is worth its salt. We are going to have to add vermiculite to it, need a small train load of it as well. Does anyone have ideas on how to lower the costs without losing the magic of Mels Mix.
One word: Crowdfunding! You have a worthy cause and starting a campaign is pretty easy. You'll need images and video is also good. "GoFundMe" is a good place to start but a little research might find you something you like better. It's amazing how many generous people out there will want to be involved in your project.
Thanks for the reply, and yes we are about to launch this bird the first of the year! My wife and I have a huge dose of spring fever in DECEMBER lol. We will be erecting a 12'x48' greenhouse next month. GoFundMe haven't thought of that for the co-op, planning other fundraisers but they cost money to put on as well. hoping to get in on public service type announcements for advertisements. We have a budget of $5,000.00 for the farm and hope to keep the costs of the co-op paid from other sources like member shares, member loans, and other financial help later on. We first thought that we could get the co-op off and running this year sometime but there is a lot of work to do on that end. we will do our best. Thanks again for the input!
Crowdfunding is free. They take a percentage of the donations before sending the rest to you.
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Re: Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  Kelejan on 12/28/2016, 12:39 am

brettm64 wrote:Hi Kelejan, Thanks for the info. and the reply. I have been SFGing for twenty+ years we are starting the farm to support nutrition in our area. My wife and I have a wellness business. and she is a health coach, and I have self studied health and wellness for many years. The problem here is that healthy food choices are slim and to expensive for many of our customers. I have gardened pretty much since I stopped crawling lol. All of my family on both my mother and fathers sides were avid gardeners raising a great deal of their food. When I figured the yardage on the materials I swallowed hard. We are re-purposing some materials for the first gardens. We are also building a green house next month to start our plants from seed!
Thanks again for the response!
Keep on SFGing Brett
Thank you, Brett, for you very kind response to me treating you like an absolute novice. I should have cottoned on to the fact that you were writing about spending $2,000 on Mel's Mix. Embarassed
 
Of course you realise that I was only trying to be helpful. Very Happy

I am so looking forward to following your progress. All the best in 2017.
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Re: Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  sanderson on 12/28/2016, 4:29 am

Hi Brett, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here Sounds like an ambitious project that you and your wife will be starting. Kudos.

Since you are going on a grand scale, there are a few "short cuts" you could take.

1. Check out Yolos' garden lay out in "2015 SFG in Brooks, Ga" and "2016 SFG in Brooks, Ca." She grows quite a lot and if you notice, her beds are functionally sized.

2. Limit the length of your beds to 10'. The EMC and PVC pipes come in 10' lengths. Add elbows and you are set for the trellises.

3. Vary the sizes of the beds. For Example: eight 2'x10' for beans, peas, winter squash, tomatoes, summer squash, etc. eight 4'x10' for succession planting of corn or beds of beets, garlic, etc. Rotate types of crops among the beds of same size.

4. Use MM for "sanitary" crops like root crops or lettuce and winter greens. Cheat and make cold compost right now for the above-the-ground plants like corn, tomatoes, peppers. You can add vermiculite and fluffed peat moss at the end of summer when you change out for winter crops.

5. For the bed hogs, aka summer squash, make a 2' wide, 1 foot tall wind row of horse or cow manure, mowed leaves and grass, coffee grounds, produce culls. Sprinkle on some red wigglers or earth worms. Maybe top with 2" of plain pine/fir wood chips (playground chips). You can frame it in later, or never. Wink

Your weather allows for year around gardening with maybe shade cloth for mid summer and plastic for hard freezes. I have garden envy with the amount of room you have to grow. Not to mention the greenhouse you will be building. Razz

We love photos so feel free to post them of your journey.

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Re: Starting a SFG Farm to support a food cooperative!

Post  has55 on 1/1/2017, 4:36 am

brett, have you look at hoopbender in Mineola , Tx. their prices are great. They also have left over plastic at a great price. My self , I built the portable green house 12 x 12 at 86.00 for the kit. they also offered the kits for the formal style or gothic green houses.

Bend Your Own Greenhouse Hoops In MinutesBuild Your Own Hoop Greenhouse-


I used a 4mil, 4 layer greenhouse plastic  from agriculture solution. It acts like a 6 mil and last 4 years under continuous use.
there prices are excellent.
Greenhouse Plastic
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