Unplugging to Reconnect: A Journey Toward Full-Time Homesteading — Finances, Part 4

| 3/12/2015 11:31:00 AM

Tags: back to the land, simple living, Hawaii, John Atwell,

Kids (Of the Two-Legged Variety)

Continuing from the last post, also worth noting is the fact that the very day that we first discussed our future life direction with our four children, we tasked them to begin formulating plans for their own money-making ventures. Rearing an egg-laying flock was a natural pursuit for one ornithologically-inclined tyke, and she has since invested personal savings into acquiring, housing, and regularly feeding a group of heritage breed (Australorp) birds. We (the family) now buy eggs from her as she ramps up production in preparation for farmer's market and, possibly, door-to-door sales.

girl with chicken

Another child immediately began considering selling baked goods at the farmer's market and is now pursuing the necessary permit. A third focused on the profit potential of live, fresh cut, and dried culinary and medicinal herbs; he is now coddling several trays of starts in a makeshift nursery on our land. Our youngest recently decided to design and make simple jewelry, and she has already secured several sales at the farmer's market, learning much in the process regarding marketing (display tactics and customer engagement), inventory issues, and pricing.


Of course, the tried-and-true standby of odd jobs can supplement these efforts to teach skills for navigating the money world. After arriving in our new neighborhood, our girls secured some ad hoc cleaning work with a neighbor's business just a 15-minute walk from our place, for example, and our boy is paid by an another aging neighbor for various homestead chores just a few plots away from our patch of dirt.

This touches on another common theme that we frequently encountered in our readings: Get the kids involved in the business and production sides of family homestead endeavors through projects for which they have full ownership. This supports family efforts to get established and helps set up the younglings for future self-sufficiency. As a personal example, we recently became the only authorized distributor in our area for a particular brand of heirloom, non-GMO seeds, which we hawk at the farmer's market. Our four kids each put up one-quarter of the inventory start-up money to kick things off. Once sales have returned that initial cost, they will get their money back and collectively begin receiving one-half of profits (to be split four ways) with the other half going into the family company's coffers. (Of course, they are also involved in sales, inventory purchases, marketing, etc.)

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