Skip to main content

Just learned from a very reliable friend about a local start-up business project Flora's Organics by Mona Twocats-Romero, in Bakersfield, that only has until August 21 at kickstarter. Even if pledging is not something you can do, please consider posting positive comments at this kickstarter page and "share" this project around to help move it up into better visibility at kickstarter. Here's most of the information in blockquote, further details at the actual page including Kickstarter website links and others you may want to use, information about seed-packet rewards for funders, etc.

Help gardeners, homeowners, and the planet by
funding Bakersfield's first USDA certified organic nursery

You can view my video here:Flora's Organics

Market Situation: Non-organic nursery stock has been shown to kill or damage individual bees, beehives, and native pollinators.  Beehives are collapsing at an unprecedented rate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that beekeepers have been losing approximately one-third of their hives each year.  But word of hive losses in the 70-90 percent range were reported last winter.  Of the 55 nurseries in Bakersfield and Kern County (8,161 square miles), none are certified organic. This leaves a dearth of certified organic nursery plants and seeds for the local organic gardener to choose from.  This lack of access to certified organic nursery stock leaves the whole county's bees vulnerable, and local homeowners and gardeners without options.  Here in the breadbasket of the nation, this is just unconscionable.

Our Solution: Stop killing native bees and other pollinators due to the use of conventional nursery stock.  By using certified organic nursery stock, seeds, and supplies you can eliminate the risk of your garden poisoning native bees and pollinators. Organic, open-pollinated varieties of native and pollinator attracting plants will bring new wonders to your garden, increase the nutrition and decrease chemicals in your food, and let the bees and other pollinators thrive.

Market Definition:  Bakersfield and Kern County area (population 865,000). Organic gardeners, homeowners, environmentalists. We will obtain a USDA Certified Organic License.  USDA certified nurseries are non-existent in Kern county at this time.  We will be first to market with such a concept in this large metropolitan area.

Market Size: A recent survey by the National Gardening Association showed that approximately 17 percent of America's gardeners use organic methods only. Many others use a spectrum of conventional and organic mixes. According to the 2009 survey, almost a third of American households intended to grow food that year, a 19% increase over 2008. So if one-third of people in Bakersfield and Kern County garden, and 17% of those do so organically, that would be approximately 45,000 organic gardeners with little to no access to certified organic nursery stock in their local area. Ordering organic nursery stock by internet is expensive, especially when shipping costs are added. I can provide a better local product at a comparable price. I hope to gain 25% of the organic market in Kern, since there are no current operators; the internet is the primary competitor. If each of approximately 11,250 customers purchased $10 worth of products that would equal a market value of $112,500 per annum.  

Market Plan: I will establish vendors in Bakersfield, including Farmer's Markets and retail establishments. I will use these vendors until I make enough profit to rent my own retail space.   I will begin the start-up by buying supplies September 1, 2014 and begin selling plants October 15, 2014. There is a long fall gardening season here, and in fact it is year-round if one so desired. I will raise the plants on my own 1/4 acre property.  I will use the cash flow from plant sales to purchase seed and supplies for the spring 2015 planting season.  I will also buy certified organic seed in bulk, repackage it, and resale it.   I will begin selling Spring plants and seeds in early March or April 2015, depending upon the weather.   This fall/spring cycle will continue, with increasing sales and stock each year, as I plan to reinvest a minimum of 50% of profits into the business.  If necessary, I will reinvest more.  I will keep the remaining profits for my salary for the first two years.  After that, I will reassess my budget, as business and cash flow increase.

Startup Budget:

Nursery License -       $150

Organic Certification - $1,500

Supplies -                 $1,800

Postage -                    $100

Fees, taxes -               $400

Rewards. -                    $50

Total Budget -           $4,000 first year startup costs.

Risks and challenges...

Obstacles that I will face are those that all farmers face: weather, pests, and disease could strike. I will mitigate some of the weather issues by growing starts in a small greenhouse. I will combat pests and disease through organic means only, which means possibly discarding infected plants if they pose a danger to the rest of the crop. My 40 years experience with agriculture and horticulture will serve me well if these problems strike.

I will also not expect to reach my full client base until at least the fall of 2015, so there will be little profit for the first year. Once my superior, premium products are being marketed throughout the county, I will be able to start a larger crop, and reach many more customers.

Bad economic times could also be a factor, though Bakersfield and Kern County are both experiencing job growth at this time. I have 20 years professional experience working with budgets, including government contracts. I understand the concept of budget projection and revision, when necessary. I was also in personnel management, so if I am successful enough to hire someone eventually, I am well versed in employee law, taxes, and employee management.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly [scroll down at this project's kickstarter page to the link to]
Ask a question

More details at the project's Kickstarter page.

Originally posted to Central Valley Kossacks on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 09:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing, DK GreenRoots, Meatless Advocates Meetup, and Saturday Morning Garden Blogging.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site