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011 – Making the big bucks with permaculture, part 3

This podcast is part 3 of a recorded presentation Paul gave in Missoula, Montana about farm income. It concludes his talk about Making the big bucks with permaculture!

Paul continues in this podcast by taking audience questions. A discussion about regulated versus unregulated sale of foods ensues. Paul gives an example of a small town who takes control of their own rules on what small farms can sell to the consumer and how that may create problems at the state and federal level.

He then gives an example of how expensive the equipment can be to meet certain federal regulations. Paul points out that 96% of most foods consumed are not inspected and how some farms are disgusting and how pathogens can get consumed regularly. He talks about how he does not feel that the distance food travels is as important. The massive food chains can transport food via train or tractor trailer much more efficiently.

Paul moves to talking about how local food is better for a huge reason, which is to KNOW your local farmer. Locally grown organic or nearly organic food grown properly and processed cleanly is an important part of permaculture. Farmers should not be invisible. You need to look for certain things if you visit your local farm.

Paul briefly discusses where he worked previously and some of the software projects he worked on. Paul does believe that he can make more money through Permaculture than he did working in the software world. He talks about some current lease prices for flat land, sloped land and grazing land. Paul plans to hire people, and having partners and also working with volunteers once he makes his land purchase. He mentions that the most important person on the farm will be his cook. Paul plans a large scale operation and within a decade he hopes to me making a million dollars plus a year. A question comes in about how much money can be made on eighty acres. Paul says “It Depends”, which is a standard Permaculture answer when answering questions.

Paul then discusses his experience raising hogs. A food forest question comes up and Paul explains the difference between an orchard and a food forest. He explains how nitrogen fixers, fruit and nut trees are mixed in along with some annual crops. He notes that creating “EDGE” is important when designing the food forest for many reasons. Paul explains how a black walnut can have a negative effect on certain plants but then discusses other things that can grow around the black walnut. Paul answers questions on bee keeping and napweed and discusses the advantage of polyculture and how bees do not need to be moved if a different approach is taken to growing almonds.

A lengthy discussion ensues about bees and bee keeping and Collony Collapse Disorder. Paul concludes the podcast with a review of his video on Bee Keeping and points out that his video shows how bee keepers are managing mites and how CCD can be reduced by managing mites using different methods.

Relevant Links

Is permaculture economically viable?
Permaculture Business Ideas
Farm Stands and Farmers Markets

Credit: Kevin Murphy

You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.

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