Garden to Market

Farmers' MarketAre you one of those gardeners who grow a large garden and end up giving away a large portion of your harvest so it won’t go to waste?  If so, that’s money down the drain, and money in the pockets of those who reap the benefits of your labor and expense.

Or have you considered selling your products but didn’t know where to begin or how to market them?  Help is at hand, from the people at the agricultural extension office nearest you.  They will help you learn everything growing produce to selling it.  They will provide all the information you need to stay within the laws of your state.

Agricultural extension offices provide all the information you need to process your produce and market it as canned goods, dried, or other packaging.  Imagine growing cucumbers, using great grandma’s pickle recipe, and selling them at the farmers market.  Anything you can grow, you can also turn into another product and sell it.

Cottage industry such as home canned goods is making a huge come back in local economies.  There’s no reason you and your garden can’t be a part of that.  If your garden is certified organic, you can add that extra punch to your product labels.  “Suzy’s Organic Pickles” might just be a hit, not only locally, but regionally, and if you work at it, you might land a distributor to go national.

To help you on your way, contact your local extension office or master gardener club.  They will provide you valuable information about available services and publications.  Some garden clubs have published books specific to their own regions.  They contain information and instructions not available in books written for the national market.  If a regional garden club book is available, grab it before it is sold out.  Usually, when they are sold out, that’s the end of them and they probably won’t be available at online stores.

With your garden in the ground and your produce growing, set about finding where you wish to market your produce and when.  Farmer’s markets are great, but also consider venues other than farmers markets such as flea markets and mini-malls.  Some local businesses might carry your products. Make friends with the people who own the stores you frequent.

When looking for information to help you market your products, don’t limit yourself to only the state you live in.  For instance, people in every state can get some useful information from this Wisconsin publication  New Directions in Marketing for Farmer’s.  It is free as a PDF file and available in print form for a price.

 

 

The President’s 2014 Budget Proposal: A Challenge to Readers

Consider the following three statements:

“It is our generation’s task to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth—a rising, thriving middle class. It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country— the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, or whom you love.”

and:

“By making investments in our people and infrastructure, we will strengthen the middle class, make America a magnet for jobs and innovation, and grow our economy, which will in turn help us to reduce deficits.”

and:

“In order for our country to continue leading in the 21st Century economy, we need a 21st Century Government. We need a Government that is lean, efficient, and continuously striving to do more with less, ensuring that every taxpayer dollar is used wisely and to the maximum effect. We need a Government that is responsive to the needs of its citizens and businesses, and is willing to embrace the rapid pace of technological innovation underway, ensuring that we remain globally competitive.”

The above quotes are the words of the president in his 2014 fiscal budget proposal.  If you want to read along with us, you can download it in PDF or you can read it in parts here.  Sounds good, right?  Let’s just talk about that. 

The engine of America’s growth was free enterprise.  Investing in people and infrastructure means government spending.   A lean, efficient government means less spending, not more.  A government responsive to the needs of its citizens does not achieve its goal by circumventing the Constitution of the United States.

These three paragraphs seem mutually exclusive.  How can there be more government spending and more government agencies created, and still claim to strive for a “lean” government?

The comments of the president are contained in the first fifty-seven pages of the document.  All of this in just the first pages, before any real number crunching begins.

While someone would argue that the president didn’t write all those pages, or that he had others crunch numbers and actually do the work, true.  But, he did in fact put his name on it and take credit for it.

Now, with all that being said, when you look at what the government will fund, reduce funding, or eliminate funding, one could say, “Good.  It’s about time”.  At least some of the time.  And there’s the rub.  No one wants his piece of the pie cut.  They all want someone else’s cut.

The budget seeks to get rid of unnecessary payments to redundant parts of government.  Why fund nearly identical education programs of four or five agencies when only one is needed?

And how many agree we don’t need Potato Breeding Research?  Isn’t that what universities and private business does?

It’s the advice of The Daily Prepper News that you don’t listen to the broadcast stations until you have read the budget yourself.  It will take some time, but what do you bet your representatives won’t actually sit down and read it themselves?  It is only 244 pages long, and some of those have no words on them.  It’s the size of a novel.  One thing is for sure, all preppers read because they know the value of information.  This information is important because it will drive how congress responds to the president’s proposal, and those responses will effect us on the state and local level through everything from housing to food supply.

So, here is the challenge to DPN readers:

Read the budget.  See what it says.  Tell us what you think and why.  Be sure to reference your page numbers so we can look at it with you and see what you saw.  We will publish at least one article for each of the parts of the budget.  To join the challenge, first register on this site, second use the contact form to tell us you want to join the challenge.  You will receive instructions by email.