Monday, December 1, 2008

Managing Money

Money…money…money… It doesn't grow on trees and it truly was the root of most evil. It was certainly at the root of many of our problems. The stock market had taken a nosedive, which negatively affected our retirement savings. We were fortunate enough to have decent jobs during a time when so many people were unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. We also had two children in college. They had developed the unique ability to suction money out of our wallets as though they were vacuum cleaners.

The Mission: 2 Mars urban farm would need to be put together as frugally as possible. We didn’t really want to invest any more money into our current property when our dream was to move to a five acre farm. We set a goal of $1000 to get started. That’s right! $1000… Not much, but it would force us to think carefully before making any expenditures and seek out freebies when possible. The costs broke down as follows: Securing an area for chickens and/or quail would cost about $200. The gardens were allocated $300 because we would need to truck in additional soil and possibly build raised beds. The aquaculture of tilapia would require another $300 for the equipment, leaving a whopping $200 to pay for fish, birds, seeds, a few plants and the inevitable problems or miscalculations. Any additional money required would have to be raised by the farm itself through the sale of its products. For now, a hobby greenhouse was way out of our budget. Ideally, we would find ways to locate recycled materials to cut our costs down and find a way to add a greenhouse to extend our growing season in time for next winter.

Armed with an outline for both the urban farm layout and a plan for the finances to create it, the real work was to begin immediately. It might be winter, but there was a lot to be done right now.

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