I mentioned my new start-up business venture in my last post and I just wanted to expand on the it. Earlier this year I was trying to come up with a way to make landscaping a career. I studied landscape design as a student at The University of Cincinnati and worked as a gardener out in Boulder, Colorado for a short while. However, landscaping and mowing companies are abundant around here, so I wanted to find a niche that could be filled. So I thought about focusing on food production. The next step was to figure out how to make it happen. For a couple months I have been going through ideas, thinking about all the issues, trying to come up with a good name, etc. When it started to get warm outside is when I knew I had to get serious if I wanted to do something this year.
When I saw an article on Grit about a company doing the same thing I want to do in Seattle, I knew this could be a good opportunity for me. I did more research about the business model, coming across a couple other companies, one of which was in Boulder, to get an idea of what I should charge and what services they offer. So about a month ago I hopped on the fast-track, pouring whatever free time I had into brainstorming, sketching, writing. A flyer was born, business cards have been ordered, a website is up and running (although still undergoing tweaking). I even had my first email a few days ago inquiring about the services. But as soon as I told the lady the prices, I never heard back from her. I wasn’t surprised. I think my prices are good for what I’m offering. To some it probably seems like a lot of money though.
Anyways, I’m sure you all would like to hear more about the business… The main purpose of Cincinnati Backyard Farms is to help people get started growing their own vegetables in their backyard. In addition to vegetables, I want to help people grow their own fruit trees, grapes, and perennial edibles. If the client would like to raise chickens for eggs (or meat), I want to help them get started doing so. I’m also offering landscape design and installation for non-edibles, maintenance, and chicken sitting for when people go on vacation.
For the vegetables, I am offering two standard sizes of raised beds- 4’x4′ and 4’x8′. They will be built on the site, filled with soil mixture, and fully planted for $275 and $450, respectively. All seeds and plant starts will be organic or heirloom varieties and use square foot gardening. I am also offering maintenance packages from vacation care, where I take care of the garden while clients are away, up to full-care, where I do everything and the client only has to eat the harvest.
If all goes well, I may try to add more services down the road, like beekeeping, greenhouse construction, fence building and larger animals for those with room.
One thing I am trying to decide is if I should raise more chickens to sell laying hens to clients? Any other thoughts or suggestions?
Chuck From the Rural Side and now Cincinnati Backyard Farms!