Growing a Food Business to Become More Self-Reliant

| 12/7/2016 1:10:00 PM

Tags: cottage business, home based business, food business, farm to table, Susan Tipton Fox, North Carolina,

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Homesteaders, farmers, gardeners will often decide to take that next step: taking their food product to market. This often provides more income or a complete income. It can allow for more self-reliance.

When we started out, here at The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms, we decided we had to make the farm sustain us. We started out selling fresh mushrooms at farmers' markets. Then, we started getting requests for dried mushrooms. We were working with the state "food inspectors" and were approved to sell dried mushrooms. They called up and said, "oh by the way, regulations have changed on the dried mushrooms. Because of moisture content they now have to be "sampled" and approved before selling".

So, that put a stop to dried mushrooms, because the cost of sampling didn't warrant what sales were made. Anyone who decides to "grow" a food business will realize you do actually "grow" it. You find the markets and demand changes from year to year so you have to diversify to stay in the game. Not necessarily be competitive, because that is hard for a small farmer, but have something different to offer.

Some of our diverse products are Shiitake Mushrooms on logs, hops, heirloom tomatoes, potatoes, berries, honey, Bloody Butcher corn, maple sap, sorghum, aged cheese, crafts and more.


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