Business Plan

Vision:  To create a family-owned and operated fruit and vegetable farm / market garden which will function in a predominantly but not exclusive, permaculture model.

Mission Statement:  By utilizing mostly on-site materials, we plan to evolve 5 acres of mostly ignored pasture and 5 acres of neglected planted pines into 10 acres of primarily permaculture orchards and market garden spaces.

✓ Build first orchard utilizing trees from planted pines to form deer fence.
✓ Move and re-purpose the homes former pool house as a roadside stand.

✓ Become a SNAP / EBT authorized retailer.
✓ Install a drip irrigation system.
•  Build raised beds from trunks of removed planted pines.  (Partially complete / in progress)
•  Install dedicated well
•  Install water retention pond in low-lying center portion of pasture between orchards.
•  Build raspberry patch in area formerly holding the oldest, south-central tree planting.
•  Erect 80’x30′ (or similar) high tunnel south of first orchard for seed starts and propagation.
•  Build blueberry patch in area formerly holding the oldest, north-central tree planting.
•  Build second orchard.
•  Build a small (30′ x 40′) livestock barn.

Strategy:  The area is currently underserved in terms of locally grown fruit.  Within a 45 minute drive, there are only a handful of orchards with the bulk of them small and focused on select varieties with limited cultivars.  In addition, the areas only wide-variety, agrotourism fruit retailer (Nottawa Fruit Farm) is winding down operations after 30 successful years.

Short Term Action Plan:
Winter, 2018:
✓ Prune and dormant spray fruit trees.
•  Tractor maintenance (change fluids, brake & clutch adjust as needed).
• Repair tiller transmission.
•  Remove 4 trees from back yard to make room for future garden expansion.
• Cut new (shorter) trail for tractor to reach orchard / pasture area more efficiently.
• Remove minimum of 100 trees (half) from southern portion of central stand for raspberry patch.
• Clean & prep hive bodies for apiary expansion.
•  Develop advertising and marketing materials for roadside stand & (possibly) farmers market.
•  Continue to monitor bees & evaluate hive strength to determine if replacement livestock is needed.

Spring, 2018:
• Pre-emergence spray on trees.
• Set hardward cloth over cardboard in orchard tree rows as weed suppression, moisture retention.
• Set drip lines in orchard.
• Level the ground outside of orchard #1 and move apiary east, between hops & orchard fence.
• Place well in pasture and trench irrigation lines for orchard #1 and raspberries.
• Test hives for mites and treat as needed prior to first heavy nectar flow.
• Monitor hives and make splits to expand apiary.
• Do cost / benefit evaluation of participating in various local farmers markets.
• Chip limbs from felled trees.
• Apply mulch to trees / appropriate garden areas.
• Source raspberries, prep patch and plant on arrival.
• Propagate minimum of 200 lavender cuttings to grow-out pots.
• Build grape trellis north of orchard #1
• Source grape plantings & plant on arrival
• Till / plant eastern portion of orchard for sorghum, corn and pumpkins.

Summer, 2018:
• Spray trees as needed.
• Harvest lavender and extract first batch of essential oil intended for commercial sale
• Plant successful lavender cuttings in orchard #1 perimeter between fence posts.