Mountain Oysters and Blue Hairs for Money!
Yes, those are my dog's balls. I'm posting them because of a recent discussion we've been having here about protein farming. What about studding and raising dogs for profit? Also: Hostas. But first, dogs.
I've studded dogs for profit before, or rather, my folks did when I was a kid. Dad's memory isn't so hot anymore, so I can't really ask him about it, even as I remember he said he stopped breeding them because of "snooty buyers who wanted X-Rays of puppies' skulls." Still, this is the New Depression. I have an intact male dog of very high quality with papers (Rottie) and it's a popular enough breed I know his sperm is worth money. Have you bred an animal for profit recently, and if so, how did that go? Are you thinking about it? If so, why; if not, why not? Lb and I are on the same page; we can't easily slaughter even fish and birds for our own use and profit. Breeding is so much more DFH, right? Making life, not consuming it? Anyway, your thoughts are very welcome.
Hostas: you have to forgive me, I can't find the link I meant to post here. /long rant about PCs, fumigating, being poor/ But anyway, here's what I wanted to say about "urban" and small farms for profit: don't be stupid. Go where the money is.
On my other, now not functional computer, I have a link to a guy with 1/20 of an acre, in a suburban community. He claims to make $25,000 a year selling just hostas. With little to no effort, in a twice a year splitting sale out of his driveway, with no advertising. I believe him because we have local garden folk like that here. "Everyone knows" when home garden person X has her annual sale of $2 split plants, and apparently, she sells out of them every year. Barb, my nemesis in this 'hood for title of "Most Fabulous Garden" doesn't even dig hers up when she has her sale. She just puts out a sign: "Plant Sale: Tell me what you want, make me an offer, and I'll dig it up, and split if for you." She has a lot of exotic plants and this totally pays for her mulch and fertilizer, as she related to me when I stopped by.
But getting back to simple: in case you don't know: Hostas are America's #1 garden plant. Almost no one lacks one, in their landscaping or beds. Certainly I have many...
yellow, striped, "lily," etc. They grow almost anywhere. Here in 5b land, you can't kill them, and you can't fail to grow them without the most egregious of abuse. The best part? You only need one to start a farm. They the most easily split plant I've ever known. I'm not sure if they're a hot weather favorite, but it hardly matters. Where ever you live, no matter how much space you have, you can put in a densely packed bed of them, or whatever landscaping staple is common in your area, and sell them at your local CSA/farmer's market. One Hosta farm link.
If you had the time, money and opportunity to do serious cultivation of one species, but were equally worried about future income streams, what natural flora or fauna would you cultivate on your space, and why? I'm pretty lucky right now; I don't have to do this to feed myself. But I may someday soon! Hosta farming and dog breeding are two things I can do to generate revenue in even Hard Times. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments.