Wannabe Quit Piece – Financial Analysis of Organic Farming for a Living

Confession: I’ve been spending way too much of my time planning for the future and NOT living in the NOW.

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I’ve been reading how we are going to make enough money if I quit my job. I’ve been reading too many quit pieces. I’ve been running the numbers and rerunning them, too make sure my math is correct but also to try and quit my job sooner then the numbers are telliIMG_0780ng me too.
I’ve read a lot about how you won’t make any money through farming (just google it) and I’ve read a few pieces, especially this one, about how you can.

I’ve created a financial analysis, or feasibility study, for my personal goal of farming for a living.

Expected income or net profit

From what I’ve read, a profit of 40% to 50% is expected, if the business is managed properly.

Here’s a summary of my plan

  • Selling 3,000 – 4,000 lbs of mushrooms – $20,000
  • Money saved by not having a job – $5,000+
    • More detail below
  • Sell 500-1000 heads of gourmet garlic – $3,000
  • Farm stand with veggies, flowers and mushrooms for sale – $2,000 to $5,000
  • Start a CSA – eventually go from 10 members to 30 – $3,000 to $9,000

Total: $33,000 to $42,000

Shiitake Mushrooms can sell for $8/lb.

What I make at my job now, including benefits, is at the higher end of that range.

Right now we are still in the process of remodeling and both of us need steady jobs, especially me, since the BF does all of the remodeling himself and obviously can’t work for profit when he is doing so.

More of my ideas on how to make money

  • Craigslist buy and selling
  • Blogging (yeah right)
  • Crafting (not my best skill)
  • Selling t-shirts – we have some awesome design ideas that might be able to pull in $500 a year or so
  • Selling specialty items such as decorative gourds, edible flowers, hardy kiwis, extremely hot peppers, candied fennel, etc

Monthly money saved by one member of the household not having a job (in a Zero Children Family)

  • Growing our own food – $300
    • Includes spending less on on convenience food, coupons, timing sales, etc.
  • Gas – $100
  • Job related expensed – $75
    • Nice clothes, eating out, etc.
  • Performing bookkeeping and other admin tasks for Honegger Construction – $50

Total: $525/month or $6300 per year

Other ways we could save money – mostly because I’d have enough time

  • Thrifting!
  • Firewood chopping
  • Home repair
  • Brewing our own beer
    • Sometimes this can be more expense than buying but make your malt can greatly decrease the price
    • Wine is definitely cheaper to make
  • Making some of my own dog food from elk and deer scraps
  • Teaching Naturalist and other courses

I’m sure you could add another $10,000 to $15,000 with children, but since I’m not a parent, I really have no idea.

Saving money on food – the breakdown

We spend at least $400 on food each month, for the just the two of us! This is a breakdown of what we could save every year by making our own.

  • Bread: $125
  • Yogurt: $250
  • Cheese: $60
  • Cereal: $30
  • Tortillas and Corn Chips: $25
  • Cut our own lunch meat from roasts: $150
  • Condiments: $25
  • Potato Chips and Crackers: $40

This is almost $60 per month saved, just by cooking, which I really enjoy.

Now, this doesn’t even take into account the quality of life. Currently, neither of us barely have enough time to sleep enough hours, get in a good workout and generally  enjoy life. I work at least 50 hours per week (50 is required at my job) and commute at an hour each day, at least three days a week (except when I work out of town all week, which is at least 30% of the time).

This means, that on a weekday when I commute to work, I have 4 hours left over after sleep and work for cooking, cleaning, eating, getting ready, and relaxing <—doesn’t happen.

Usually, one day on the weekend is devoted to getting our lives in order: cleaning, grocery shopping, errands, precooking rice, beans, etc. for the week. Then maybe we’re lucky enough to enjoy the other day, but mostly we work on the remodel.

I need a nap.


One thought on “Wannabe Quit Piece – Financial Analysis of Organic Farming for a Living

  1. Pingback: Wannabe Quit Piece – Financial Analysis of Organic Farming for a Living | Wild Strawberry Ranch | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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