pick your own berries patch design

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by tantric, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. tantric

    tantric New Seed

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    i'm in N GA, zone 8a. i have a few rows of blueberries flanking a doddering stand of pine trees that i'd REALLY like to disappear. the area is about 1 acre.

    here's my plan: a pick-your-own berries patch with kid appeal. i plan to offer mixed berries at $6/pint. i'll plant blueberries from early, middle and late fruiting types. i want a briar patch with thorny brambles and i'll base it on Brer Rabbit's briar patch.
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    there'll be a statue of brer rabbit in the center and if you can bring it to me, you get a pint of homemade mixed berry and orange marmalade swirl ice cream, which is not for sale at any price (parents, is that bad? they will get scratched). i have a few scuppernog vines and i want to add muscadines so that their trellises from an enclosed area, just big enough for kids to sit in. for variety i plan on having a few hardy kiwi vines, gooseberries, elderberries, jostaberries and mulberries - just one or two plants each. i can't compete with big orchards, but i can offer something special. every visit you get something different.

    value added items include mixed berry wine, potted fruiting blueberry bushes

    this is still in the planning stage - any hints? possible disasters?

    thanks
     
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  3. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    I won't let anybody on my property to pick as a for profit venture. I can't afford the insurance to allow for it. there isn't enough profit to cover the premium for the policy. I allow a friend to come help me, but that is it.
     
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  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    I see several possible pitfalls, aside from the insurance one, which is huge!
    "Mixed berry wine"-will you need a license to sell wine?
    Children picking berries--not all children are well-behaved, and some will literally destroy your bushes and vines. You can't count on parental supervision since there has obviously been no supervision up to this point, and epiphanies usually don't happen in a berry patch.
    Constant attendance when the patch is open. You need to be there to collect money, supervise, and explain. Do you have the time to be at the berry patch about eight hours a day, and get everything else done, too?
    Now that I've rained all over your parade, if you decide to do this start slowly, maybe with just a weekend "pick your own" for the berries, and then if that is doable, add the other features. I do sincerely wish you luck, but I also want you to survive the experience!:fingerscrossed:
     
  5. tantric

    tantric New Seed

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    insurance???? oh, man - okay, how does one go about pricing such? weekends are a good idea, along with mandatory parental supervision and consent forms. i want a local farm that draws visitors, where each area is separate and interesting in its own right...heck, i'm planning a dandelion patch, just big enough so that you can bend your knees, stare at the sun then fall backwards and watch the explosion of white merge with the clouds (also likely a cemetery for pets). why aren't there dandelion varieties? i like the yellow flowers, but colored puffballs would be cool, even if only in green->yellow. plus, it's food and jam material.
     



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  6. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Do you have an insurance agent handling your home and car policies? That is the person to ask about insuring a business venture.

    Making and selling wine will have to licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives formerly ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) dept of the Federal Gov. You are allowed legally to make a few gallons for your own consumption but the minute you put a price on the bottle you become a brewery and that is a whole new level of regulations and expenditures. And find out what your state and/or county requires too.

    You might have to check into what constitutes an amusement park in your county/state. When you include fun stuff for the kids to do that might put you in another category of business type...which means more permits and regulations.

    The blueberry u-pick farm we visited last weekend doesn't have consent forms but that is something that you and your insurance company will have to work out.

    If you plan on making any edibles, either to sell or give away, you will have to have a permit from the local county/city health department which will require inspection of the preparation facilities. And those facilities may well have to be on site, not in your kitchen at home.

    You will need to designate a portion of your acre for parking, most counties will not allow parking on the public roadway. You might have to provide bathrooms, depending on county requirements.

    So you will have to run your business plan by a state, county and possibly a city official if your land is located in a country area but still inside an area annexed by a local city.
     
  7. tantric

    tantric New Seed

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    hmmm - in the 90s when i was one of those dreadful rave monkeys with the cat-in-the-hat hats, i started a nonprofit lab, just giving it to my friends so they wouldn't poison themselves with street drugs. when i got busted, i got off an on invalid search warrant. decades later, after dropping out of ecology grad school due to a personal crisis that led to a suicide attempt, the DA slapped me with four counts of 'assaulting a peace officer' because i frightened the cops who tried to help me. he pulled strings and denied me bond/bail for 1.25 years until i took a plea bargain to go to prison for another .75yr and go home a convicted felon, the other option being to sit in jail for three more years waiting on a trial i could only win if the cops defied the DA and told the truth about what happened. i took the deal.

    what i learned is that i can get away with standing up and fighting, it's giving up that gets me tortured. so yeah, permits....right. i'll look into it ;-) i'm doing what i'm going because my state government decided that i could better serve society as a slave working in a factory making street signs than as an ecologist/epidemiologist - i had a postdoc position at the CDC waiting for me. now i'm going to be a farmer, but i'm DONE with the usgov. what are they going to do? put me back in prison? i'm a zen buddhist, locking me up in a cell and feeding me like a monk doesn't significantly impair my spiritual progress - i *am* stone cold tantric, after all... :cool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2015

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