Today I'm going to tell you about an idea that I had recently for a business, particularly as the idea arose out of the things I've been discovering through the course of this blog.
My idea is to start a not-for-profit business designed to help low-income moms provide their kids with healthy food. I picture a ten-acre plot of land subdivided into little 'crops' of vegetables such as green beans, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and squash. The first year, the vegetables will be sold fresh in a roadside stand. The second year, we'll get into canning.
The building will feature a childcare facility. This is critical in that in order to be a source of additional income to low-income moms, paying for childcare can't be a requirement. The way it will work is this: as with any farm operation there is a certain amout of work to be done with each kind of vegetable, for example, weeding or transplanting seedlings. The work to be done will be divided up into worklots, and as each person comes to do work, they will earn money based on how many work lots they complete. I feel this system will enable people in need, particularly low income moms, since studies have shown that single mothers and their children are amongst the most disadvantaged in Canada, to come down for two or three hours and leave their children in a well-staffed daycare so that they can work for a few hours and take home a little money when they leave.
The additional advantage, of course, is that they can also take home a basket of healthy vegetables to feed to their family.
The reason I feel this type of business is important is because the way that Canadians currently purchase vegetables, well, stinks. The vegetables and fruits we buy as 'fresh produce' in grocery stores have been shipped all over the world. They've been chemically treated to withstand that long journey and still look 'pretty' to consumers, but they contain very little actual nutritional value.
With canned vegetables, it's even worse because of the preservatives that are added to prolong the shelf life of all that shipping.
As readers of Self Sufficiency will know, I am not a fan of carbon - emitting transport truck traffic that all this shipping entails, so my goal is to build a business that takes over the vegetable sourcing in my area. I don't want to ship elsewhere, I just want to provide a local, healthy option for struggling families (and provide them with a place where they can earn a little extra income if things get tight without having to pay for childcare.)
This idea is in the beginning stages right now, but the working title I'm thinking of calling it is "Earth Mama." Follow me as I document my journey towards making it a reality on my blog.
Garden Patch Update
These are just-sprouted cabbage seeds, they'll be going in my garden as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
Calendula flowers, once dried, are an excellent addition to home-made balms and soothing lotions, as well as a co-habitating plant to grow with tomatoes to keep pests away.
Check out how much these babies have grown in one week!:
Last week's total - $438.77
Sandwiches savings - 32.25
Total - 471.02
In addition, I attended an anniversary party in the family last weekend and took as a gift a batch of my homemade lotion, which I had prepared and poured into a glass candy dish with a lid that I purchased from a consignment shop. The total I spent was under $2. The couple seemed pleased with the gift, anyways as much so as if I'd have purchased a store-bought bath set, so I'm going to add another $25 to my savings column as I ordinarily would have spent at least that much, bringing my new total to