Home Business Entrepreneurs: Carving Vegetable Markers, Guest Ranch and Wheatgrass Juice Business

The Bootstrap Businesses column showcases home business entrepreneurs: carving vegetable markers to sell at a local bazaar, turning a homestead into a guest ranch and running a wheatgrass juice business.


| November/December 1982


Home business entrepreneurs enter into new businesses, including carving vegetable markers, running a guest ranch and creating a wheatgrass juice business. 

If you now operate, or have ever operated, a successful home business that was inspired by an article you read in MOTHER, tell us about it in around 500 words (write to THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS Hendersonville, North Carolina): Be sure to mention when and where you started your venture and with how much "seed money"; what you make (net), and anything else that might be of assistance to other entrepreneurs. If your story is used in this column, you'll receive [1] the satisfaction of knowing that you may help someone else start a business and [2] a free two-year new or renewal subscription to THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS®. 

Last Christmas I was short of cash . . . and, while in a quandary as to just how to earn some extra money, a friend and I rented a table at a local bazaar without having first decided what to sell! Somehow, though, our "cart before the horse" method actually turned out for the best: You see, while skimming THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS ® (issue NO. 69, page 30), I came across Julie Driscoll's article about making garden row markers. I knew right away that I liked the idea and figured that if a youngster could do it, so (probably) could I!

After receiving a gift of wood scraps from a carpenter friend, I set to work carving vegetable markers and made ten sets of five vegetables each . . . all painted with bright colors and happy faces. I found the activity delightful, and was all the more pleased because I was turning out (I believed) a definitely salable product.

Sure enough, I took five sets of markers to the bazaar on each of the event's two days, and sold them all. Each bunch went for $20, and the rented table and the paint cost me $50, so I came out $150 ahead!

Now carving vegetable markers to sell at a bazaar may seem like a small step toward entrepreneurship to most, but to me it was remarkable: My first attempt at making something to sell provided me with fun, profit, and a sense of pride. I'm in the process of producing more garden ornaments to market in the spring (when people are thinking hard about growing their summer food, and some of them are wondering just how to label those neat rows of green shoots more clearly and attractively).





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