Just food for thought... IMHO it's time to revise the business plan for 2012.
I'm NOT asking here for anyone to give me answers.. just thinkiing out loud and sharing some mutual concerns. Please chime in if you want to.
However IMHO.... Time to look back at the success's as well as the bad luck. There's a cost related to all that good and bad... and all factors in to the business endeavors.
Then there's the goals [projections] for the year. What was the original vision, and how did it change from all the activity this past year?
Do I want to add another acre or more into the planted area? Do I need one or two ponds to continue growth of the aquatic side of things? What supplies/labor/seeds/tools do I need? How do I effectively budget for these expenses?
What about revenue? Where do I show that in my projections. How do get the best deduction on all of this on the IRS 1040?
Those are some tough questions not knowing your overall goals. All I know is I have planted a boatload wild simulated style and I really feel I do not have much to show for it at this point. Every year it continues to thin itself out as it will do when planting wild simulated style.
I am switching to woodsgrown from here on out. I know many disagree with this. I will use fungicide here and there and I will use round up the year prior to planting a new site to get rid of the weeds prior to planting rake and scatter method.
I have been at this for 4 or 5 years and it get frustrating when planting wild simulated. You will see your efforts dwindle down to some sparse plants here and there after 4 to 5 years. I hate seeing so many little seng plants simply not make it. I know this is the way mother nature intends it to be but it still takes the wind out your sails during the process to see the once carpet of green little seng plants turn into one little plant here and there. Left to mother nature it will happen this way no doubt about it!
I am not against planting wild simulated style at all. I am glad I have planted over 50 lbs this way. I am looking forward thou to planting some nice new seng the same way but giving the majority of the seng a chance to survive.
Not sure if this helps any but it may give you an idea of what to expect if growing it wild simulated style.
It's really about analysis of our personal efforts... as I mentioned in mine.
I appreciate your statements about poor results and changing your vision. In order to be successful, that's the key... adapting to change , dealing with the obvious reality tests that show up.
What I have found in my Life: the truth is that no-one is going to design your business plan for you as well as you will! No-one has the personal vision that you have, and certainly not the motivation for your goal(s). Agreement is useful, however sometimes it's not in the plan for things to go forward. I don't know if this is making any sense to anyone else but me, it's just that I find that stepping into the future w/ strong determined efforts is key to my endeavors.
I've recently purchased some financial software to assit me in tracking my business plan. Since I have a two-pronged effort in my vision... keeping track of it electronically is very useful!
Among my efforts and plans this year are: I'm going to do another acre of 'sang up in the mountains, +the entire area available to me closer to homw. I know more now, thanks to all you guys! Anyway, am contemplating wether or not to put two new ponds or only one this year... closer to home. I'll need to reroof my g-house this year as well.
Yes, growing Wild Simulated successfully is difficult.
I have found that once the roots make it through their third yr and into the fourth yr, I loose very few at this stage. I have about 6,000 roots in WI that are 6 and 7 yrs old. I lost very few once they hit the fourth yr.
I do have areas that have thinned down and are sparse. But the thinning out happened mostly in the first three yrs. Then I have some areas that have 3,4 and 5 yr olds that still have 3-4 plants per sq ft. I would call this success! Also just plain Luck!
I believe their are successful Wild Simulated growers out there. I know that there are alot of variables that come into play. Good area, bad area, good soil, bad soil, drought, deer, slugs, disease and the list goes on. I think that if Scott Persons, Bob Beyfuss and others can do it, then So Can I! And these guys have passed alot of their expertise down to us.
My Business plan is to keep planting and expanding each year. I only wish that I had planted far more seed than what I planted these last eight years.
Keep at it, and find what works best for you and make notes as to why some plantings fail. I have had alot of failures, but over all, I think I'm on the right track.
To some of you growers that have several good patches that are old enough to dig for sale:
I'm not sure that I've seen any one make a statement about this , but I know there are several out there who are running it around in their minds. It fits well into \"business plans\".
How much sang can one person expect to dig in a normal season by himself? Or to say it another way, when are you going to need to hire more diggers? I don't think many people would have a problem digging as much as 20 pounds in a season, but when there are enough mature roots to dig , say 50-100 pounds, can one man accomplish this?
You have brought up a great question that I have often thought of.
It depends on the soil. Rich loamy sandy soil will be much easier to dig in than soil with a clay base. Plus the amount of rain will have an affect on the soil and dig time as well. I have dug seng in Sept/Oct when the ground felt like concrete when we have had little rain in the fall and that's some slow digging.
I hope I have to worry about how to dig all my seng up someday. But I probably will dig all I can each year with the help of my three sons and what we do not dig will be left to grow until the following year. This would truly be great problem to have.
What is funny to me to is I can't wait for 10 years to pass so I can dig my seng. How many of the regular population looks forward to getting 10 years older like us seng growers do. Most want the years to go by slowly and I know I should too but I look forward to it getting here. lol
You probably already know this, but just as a reminder, or something you may have overlooked as an info source, and FWIW: In Scot Persons newest growers book, throughout the text, he offers several \"tables\". These could be used as a model from which you could use, modify, change into graphs, or any other format; in laying out a business plan to your liking. These tables cover quite a few catagories; ie: site selections, tools, methods, and right on thru to expenses vs. yield.
Just a thought, but you may find it worth looking into for reference.
Being as new to growing as I am, and focusing on the fundamentals, I haven't looked into a business plan as yet, but I did keep some fairly specific records as to my efforts this year. Hopefully in about the beginning of year 3, I'll have amassed enough records to start generating a plan package.
I've never tried it, but I would think digging even 50 lbs in a season would be really tough. If it's \"woods grown\" in beds and soft dirt, then sure it could be done. But, \"wild simulated\" in season would be hard. Maybe, if you dug every day and got just the right amount of rain during the season you could get 50 lbs. 100 lbs in my opinion would near impossible. Like I said, I've never tried it, but would love to have that problem. If you or anyone else has that problem, let me know and I will come help you dig.(For a small percentage).