Realeyes Farm Permaculture Design – Business Prospects/Products

Business Prospects/Products:


We’ve been exploring a number of potential products to fund this project. Some of the considerations are as follows;

  • No pollution! Keep it legal, and safe for humans and all biology.
  • Something of real value; don’t screw people or sell snake-oil
  • Quality and perseverance equate to success
  • Low infrastructure/start-up costs
  • Transparency; instead of investing in costly certifications, we’ll open our farm and practices fully to our customers
  • Local; Source materials locally and sell to mostly local markets
  • Minimal maintenance/management demands
  • Fit’s in to larger process of site development
  • Home-based; Allows us to be home to work on site most of the time

Pastured non-GMO Pork: [This year 2014] Based on Joel Salatin’s numbers, we should be able to support 40 pigs rotating on paddocks on our site. To cut down on feed costs, we’ll supplement as much as possible with organic food waste from the city delivered by Bay Area Recycling for Charity. Because keeping pigs through the winter is costly, for now we’ll focus on raising them through spring-summer-fall and slaughter in early winter. Then we’ll do a combination of selling half- and whole hogs direct to customers through a meat processor. And we’d also like to try taking some and selling it individually at the farmers market in Traverse City. The pigs also fit with our largest restoration work as they till and fertilize the soil, preparing it to be seeded with beneficial species; increasing the diversity and pasture health. Fallen fruits and nuts can harbor pests and disease, so the pigs eliminate this vector of infection by eating up all the fallen food.  

                Yearly Expenses: (not including infrastructure, which is around $5-6000 mostly fencing)

  • 40 feeder pigs – $100 each = $4000
  • Non-GMO feed (no supplemental, for worst case scenario) – $180 each=$7200
  • Freezer storage rental 6 months @ $16/mo/pallet (120 bushel boxes=3pallets) = $288
  • Processing $1.50/lb smoked, sausage,bacon (+$25 slaughter & skin/pig) 4,800lbs meat = $8200
  • Farmers Market Stand fee $12/wk for 6months = $312
  • Labor – Mine, Free! = $0


  • 4,800lbs of processed meat at Farmers Market prices $8/lb avg = $38,400
  • Minus expenses $20,000
  • Net: $18,400


Permaculture Plant Nursery: [Next year 2015] Since we’ll be propagating many of these plants anyways, selling them can serve as supplemental income. We could sell them at the farmers market with our pork, or sell them to a local plant nursery.

Mushrooms: [3 years, 2016-17] I wasn’t successful with my first batch of mushroom logs, but I’m determined to make them work because they’re such a great product. I’ll mostly focus on inoculating oyster and shitake logs from the wood on site.

Ginseng/Goldenseal: [7+ years] While it takes seven years to mature, ginseng has great income potential as it sells for $260/lb or more. It can be grown wild in the woods, like we have to the north with little management. According to this USDA/NRCS document on Agroforestry Farming, some sources cite a net income of $15,300-$16,500 per half acre of ginseng. []

Chestnuts, Apples, Persimmons, Berries etc etc: [10+ years] Once the major tree crops mature there will be an abundance to harvest from.

Money? – It’s an unfortunate fact of our current society that in order to own land and work it, you must be making a considerable paper currency income for land taxes, health insurance, etc. However we seek a simple life of modest means; providing a service or product of lasting value to others. Any surplus will be returned back into developing the land, and the community around us. Hopefully we’re all blessed with THAT problem.  đź™‚


Thanks BARC for composting food waste on our site, providing us with copious free organic matter and feed for pigs and chickens! Let's keep closing the loops!