Aquaponic Gardening

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I have a meeting coming up with a local resort that is trying to incorporate local and fresh veggies in their menus. Initial phone conversations have been very good and the fact that I could also provide some fish for them as well they were even more excited. The system I have at my house is very undersized to provide just for them much less anyone else. So I would need to expand to a more commercial type system and land seems to be a big obstacle since I cannot go any bigger on my current property.

 This resort has some space set aside for a garden they are trying to get started and I was thinking I could put a greenhouse on their property and trade for product that they use. Anybody have any ideas on the value of using their property? I know I cannot give them product for free or atleast not all that they will use as they will be my largest customer and have to pay for the system somehow.

Any ideas on what kind of arrangement should be worked out,or the value of land lease for a 2000-3000 sq ft greenhouse?

Any other ideas?

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You should look at the model that Bright Farms has on supermarket roofs. They put up the investment in building the greenhouse in exchange for a long term contract with the supermarket. Remember businesses love not to outlay $$$ to start unproven ventures. A garden will cost them in labor and supplies and there is not guarantee of success. Providing a resort with premium food is a service for them and you should not sell yourself short. In addition it could be an attraction for them as agro-tourism is hot these days.

I would definately be putting up the cash for the system.  This resort was trying to hire someone to garden for them, also a large expense. I am trying to be as prepared as possible before I meet them. Maybe I could take care of their garden in exchange for space to put a greenhouse. What do you think?

Where is the resort? Are you experienced in business? With any business negotiation do not put all your cards out on the table. Find out what they need and what they are trying to accomplish and take some time with a proposal. For sure if you are doing a large greenhouse and you want to stock a reasonable amount of fish you will definitely have fertilizer left over for the garden. You could even run drip lines from your system.

I wouldn't pay anything for the land use but do get a lease and get a guaranteed contract for them to buy from you where you set your pricing to make your money back for the outlay in less than 2 years. Doing business inside of another business has lots of risks and considerations involved that you should think through with a lawyer. If you are going to outlay capitol by all means protect your interests .

Have you looked at what I'm doing? 

I would first define what you are providing (service/ expertise)and what your goals are ( please don't say "making money"). What do you actually have to offer? Now define what you think they need and the value of that (products/ services). Who needs who more? Can they do without you? Can you do without them?

Maybe you are qualified to be grounds keeper. As grounds keeper, you can prob negotiate not only free use of their land but like mentioned above add an attraction to their resort, esp. if you are putting up the building and everything. In my contract, I am responsible for providing a certain amount of food every day. They pay this rate whether the food is actually used or not. Unused food is processed in the kitchen to be sold to visitors as value added products.

Be creative but know your own limits.

Cheers 

The resort is in the same small town that I live in (only 1000 pop.) in SE WI. It is definately a tourism town and the population goes way up in the summer. There are two other resorts in the town both are smaller but I would definately like to provide for them as well as the five or six other restaurants in town. There is also a larger and more prestigious resort only about 20 minutes away (4 star, 5 diamond). I definately need to know exactly what I can provide before I even think about approaching that resort. I plan to start on the smaller side and provide for this resort and see what I have left and then go to the other resorts and restaurants after I get a better idea of what I can produce.
 I should know more of what they are looking for as far as quantity of veggies after we meet. As far as the fish go, I will have no problem selling those, every restaurant in the county has a fish fry on Friday nights.


 Jonathan Kadish said:

Where is the resort? Are you experienced in business? With any business negotiation do not put all your cards out on the table. Find out what they need and what they are trying to accomplish and take some time with a proposal. For sure if you are doing a large greenhouse and you want to stock a reasonable amount of fish you will definitely have fertilizer left over for the garden. You could even run drip lines from your system.

I wouldn't pay anything for the land use but do get a lease and get a guaranteed contract for them to buy from you where you set your pricing to make your money back for the outlay in less than 2 years. Doing business inside of another business has lots of risks and considerations involved that you should think through with a lawyer. If you are going to outlay capitol by all means protect your interests .

I have not seen what you are doing. I looked at your profile and some of your old posts but did not get a good idea of exactly what kind of arrangement you have.

I am providing high quality vegetables that are fresh and locally grown with no pesticides. So  I am providing them with a product. I am using my expertise to create this product.

My goals are to provide fresh local food all year around and help fill a need for Yellow Perch or a similar type of fish.

I have to say that being profitable is definately  one of my goals, I certainly am not interested in losing money.

I have the knowledge and the interest of taking on this type of business to offer them the products that they desire but cannot or are not willing to produce.

Their culinary department desires higher quality and fresher food to draw in more customers. As far as a value that is what I do not know.

Who needs Who? Well I know that I cannot afford to buy land to build this greenhouse on but Idont think they are able to produce the food that they want and I know that they cannot do it all year around. They may be able to hire someone to work in their garden but if I have a greenhouse right there the garden is less valuable. I see the advantage of having both.

 I think they can survive without me but without the quality of products.

I also think that i can do this without them but it would be much more difficult. Having a contract with a buyer as Jonathan said above is really advantageous and really gets things started on a positive note. I obviously cant agree to a huge discount for the use of the land. I know there is other land available but it is certainly not free.

I feel this can be a win win situation for both of us with the right agreement. I just need help figuring out what that is without losing my shirt.

 


 
Carey Ma said:

Have you looked at what I'm doing? 

I would first define what you are providing (service/ expertise)and what your goals are ( please don't say "making money"). What do you actually have to offer? Now define what you think they need and the value of that (products/ services). Who needs who more? Can they do without you? Can you do without them?

Maybe you are qualified to be grounds keeper. As grounds keeper, you can prob negotiate not only free use of their land but like mentioned above add an attraction to their resort, esp. if you are putting up the building and everything. In my contract, I am responsible for providing a certain amount of food every day. They pay this rate whether the food is actually used or not. Unused food is processed in the kitchen to be sold to visitors as value added products.

Be creative but know your own limits.

Cheers 

I hope I don't seem too harsh but I am very worried about your ability to fulfill your end of this proposed agreement. Farming isn't rocket science but there are tricks to every trade. Learning from/ working with someone experienced would avoid many lessons. Lessons learned through the school of hard knocks is very costly.

I know you are excited to get started and hopefully make some money. However, I would really suggest that you might try raising a small batch at home before attempting anything of scale. That way you will have a better idea of what is expected and what might need improving.

You mentioned growing year round. How are you going to heat your greenhouse? What kind and how much supplemental lighting would you need to grow veggies. What kind of veggies do you plan to grow? How much can you sell them for? What kind of volume do they expect to use in the winter?

Over the past twenty years, I have experimented with a variety of methods to heat my greenhouse/s in an attempt to grow 365, however, for the time being I have chosen to give up on winter crops. If you are doing an isolated aquaponic system, it is much easier to buy fry in spring and do one complete grow-out season and be done with it come fall than it is to struggle through winter with dismal results. It is already difficult enough to produce crops when conditions are favorable let alone when they are not.

Like I said above, I'm not trying to put a damper on your project. I'm hoping to relay that it's not as easy as it may seem and everything needs to run smoothly before one can hope to break even.

Cheers

PS please check out: http://aquaponicscommunity.com/profiles/blogs/one-more-step

Thanks for your concern and the info on your project, seems interesting.

I am not sure what kind or how efficient your greenhouse is but with a properly designed system and a very efficient greenhouse there is production, all year around in this part of the world.

I do have a home system that is a mini version of the potential commercial system. I believe I have addressed the other isues that you have brought up so I did not ask those questions. My main concern was how to arrange the initial business agreement to use the resorts land for my business.

I have since met with a business consultant and have gotten some creative ideas from him on how to progress with this project.

Thanks

Steve

Sure thing. Break a leg!

Cheers

Great! I'm glad your reaching out to folks to assist your in having your deal be rock solid. Looking  forward to seeing how you proceed.

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