First the disclaimer: I haven’t done this! But based on the amazing work of Will Allen “The Urban Farmer” who has done better than that I know it is possible!
So who is this “Urban Farmer”? Well he is an ex-pro basketball player for one thing, he is also an activist, reformer, pioneer and author.
He is passionate about local food production, helping kids and growing and eating organically produced food. In other words a visionary and leader for the world to come.
Here are just a few of the things that are happening at his Milwaukee headquarters:
- six traditional greenhouses growing over 15,000 pots of herbs, salad mix, beet greens, arugula, mustards, seedlings, sunflower and radish sprouts. These greenhouses also host production of six hydroponic systems growing Tilapia, Perch, and a variety of herb and salad greens, and over 50 bins of red wriggler worms;
- two aquaponics hoop houses with two independent fish runs and growing beds for additional salad mix and seedlings;
- seven hoop houses growing a mixture of salad greens and mushrooms;
- a worm depository hoop house;
- an apiary with 14 beehives;
- three poultry hoop houses with laying hens and ducks;
- outdoor pens for livestock including goats and turkeys;
- a large plot of land on which the first stage of the organization’s sophisticated composting operation is located including 30 pallet compost systems;
- an anerobic digester to produce energy from the farm’s food waste;
- a rain water catchment system; and
- a retail store to sell produce, meat, worm castings, and compost to the community.
The importance of growing high value “spring mix” type greens cannot be underestimated, as anyone who follows prices on veggies knows the difference for young lettuce vs. a whole head of lettuce is amazing. I have seen organic spring mix go for upwards of $30.00 lb!
So can you really make $50,000.00 year on only one acre? Yes you can! In fact Anne Edey of Solviva fame says you can grow up to $500,000 worth of greens on one acre in Martha’s Vinyard in the winter!
Here is a direct quote from:
Research Report No. 5
THE POTENTIAL FOR COMMERCIAL FOOD-PRODUCING GREENHOUSES IN THE NORTHEAST:
A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
By Norman L. Marshall
“Five to six dollars per square foot of greenhouse per year is a realistic goal for revenues.”
So do the math. If you have 5 x 2,000 square foot geodesic greenhouses or poly tunnel style greenhouses then there is no reason you should not be able to bring in $50,000.00 or more per year! And because you would be using aquaculture to get the best yields you would actually be producing protein as well as veggies in the form of vegetarian fish!
S,o while the claims made in Will Allen’s YouTube video may be shocking to some. There are numerous case studies where people have made the kind of income that I refer to in this article and they get the added benefit of striking a blow for food freedom, saving the climate and eating better too!
So what are you waiting for? Start growing food!!
But wait… You don’t have a geodesic biodome greenhouse of your own yet? Click here to solve that problem!