By Mauroguanandi (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I think most of us have heard the saying, you can't see the wood for the trees. Sometimes this occurs on farms such as mine and yours. We are too close to see other avenues of potential revenue. I read a story about a Taiwanese man who was looking for a way to make extra money. His story came to my attention because my neighbor has the same tree growing in his garden. 

Here in Brazil they call it a Monguba but its Latin name is Pachira aquatica. This Taiwanese man had been a truck driver but began planting 5 of these trees in pots and braided the trunks. This became very popular, especially in Japan and spread throughout Asia. This is often seen in businesses as a symbol  of financial well being. Sometimes it is called a money plant, although now many plants are labeled with this term. This now generates 7 million (US dollars) for Taiwan. Not bad when you think it all began with a truck driver, a few plants and an idea.
The point of the story is, we often think that the golden egg is either out of our reach or not for the likes of us. Let me tell you, that is nonsense. Set a time aside to brainstorm with people in your family about ideas which could be developed on your farm. Involve everyone, including kids. Often adults are jaded to possibilities and  it takes fresh eyes to see the potential. 

The key with any brainstorming session is not to be critical, just write everything down. If you do this perhaps once every couple of months or once a month, you and your family will begin to see potential where you hadn't before. 

When you have your list of ideas, you need to look at a few things such as how viable it is. 

  • Is there a need for what you want to do?
  • If there isn't can you create a need?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How will you get the end product to them?

  • What will it take, financially and time wise to get this going?

  • How much time can you commit to it. 

If you're idea is a product such as an artisan item, these are now considerably easier to get to market. For example, ETSY and Ebay are both excellent outlets for handmade items. Be aware, especially on Ebay you will be competing with cheap imports so you either need to make yours competitive or better quality. 

We had a mini-brain storming session a few days ago when I walked back to the house with a half of a coconut shell. It was the right size for an ashtray. This only needed flattening on the bottom to keep it from tipping over. 

That is just an example of what natural resources we have on our farm, what do you have on yours?

If you have animals, have you explored all the possibilities with those. If we take chickens for example, they offer eggs, meat, manure, feathers. Obviously you can sell the eggs you don't use and the manure is fantastic for your garden. Although you may think that feathers don't have a value, they do. If you look on Ebay there are people who sell them for crafts. They don't ask a lot of money for them, however. Consider making crafts from them. If you are stuck for ideas, go over to Pinterest, they have so many inspirational ideas. Be forewarned, Pinterest is addictive. 



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