Revenue stream is indeed a long way off from what I'm thinking as: \"the sang division\"... you're right.
However, cost center is certainly there. Travel, labor, tools, and last but certainly not least... seeds. Gotta include this component, as it's a huge factor.
IRS time coming up sooner than we expect as well. If done correctly, there's a nice deduction from total top line income.
When I retire in two years, three months and 21 days [NO- I'm not counting... LOL] I need something to augment the stipend from my \"real job\". I wanted something that would keep me outside as much as possible, and I am good at growing things. The fact that my growing things attracts deer is an unexpected problematic bonus. I have turned on the lights outside illuminating the ponds/greenhouse and caught them drinking from my ponds.
The problem with claiming deductions from IRS on the 1040, is that you have to get rather a bit anal with them. Unfortunately, they really mean \"Itemized deductions\" when they say it!
As I understand it, tools, mileage to/from, seed costs, and labor costs are all factors. Also, as I understand it, they want a named entity [your business name] to reflect on the deduction somewhere. Somewhere down the road we'll all have to have a tax number.
It's all complex, however worth it in the short run.
Visiting a Bee Apiery in January is like visiting a Ginseng Farm in January. Not much going on. But they would have a \"boat load\" of info, if you know what to ask for.
If you are truely interested in bees for this spring, you need to get your packages of bees ordered soon. Most bee package places start taking orders in Dec and are completely booked by end of Jan or mid Feb.
Fortunately your in an area that buys a huge amount of packages from the southern states, so you should have a wide oppertunity of getting some.
I placed my order for package bees yesterday and will arrive in Maine from GA on April 12. It's important to have all your hives set up and ready to install the packages before they arrive. The bees have had a long trip and it's important to get them installed into the hive and start feeding them sugar water. And allow the Queen to be released so she can start laying eggs.
Just a heads up of ordering the bees so you don't end up with a missed opportunity.
You guys can do my share of the beekeeping... I assisted a friend w/ his some 25 years ago, and that experience cured me of wanting to work w/ bees.
My buddy had only two bee suits. One had a tear in the back about 8\" long. He told me not to worry about it, it'd be OK. Long story short, I ended up in a ditch, with my back down so the bees couldn't get in. Took em awhile to quit buzzing me and settle down. I was very glad for the face protection and protective hat thingy I was wearing. I love honey, but not enough to keep my own bees....
My older kids were over at Christmas time and I told them I was going to start Beekeeping again. They all recalled the bee attack I had during my first year of bee keeping.
I had opened a hive on an overcast day and as soon as I opened it, they were up in my face and all over me. Well I was determined to inspect the hive and they would not leave me alone. Before I knew what was happening, I was under attack. They had found a small hole in my bee suit and started to sting me. I started running across the yard while being stung again and again. I finally was rid of the bees but by then I had been stung atleast 12 times.
My kids said that they never saw anyone run as Fast as dad did that day. A memory they will never forget!
Since then I have only been stung a few times. I became more Bee wise after that first year!
Most Beekeepers in the US have Italian Bees, which are very gentle and easy to deal with.
The secret to dealing with bees, is to work the hives when it's sunny and warm out. On overcast days, they are all in the hive and don't want a intruder opening their hive. They can become very agressive. But on warm days when they are busy with their chores, they do not notice that you opened the hive.
Then there is some sunny days that you open the hive and they are just in a bad Mood. Then it's best to just step back a few minutes and let them calm down. Sometimes they will calm down and sometimes you just have to close the hive and say \"Not Today\".
You just let the BEE'S decide whether it's a day to open the hive or not.
In the long run Bee Attacks will never be forgotten, just like Whitjr's attack 25 yrs ago.
I'm seeing the same high mortality in the first year, too, going for the wild sim approach. It does appear to be slowing by the third year. About half the seeds I planted that first year came up, then lost over half the plants that came up from that first planting, but I'm seeing quite a few 2 prongers from that second year lot just coming up. Second year (last year) did very badly, maybe 15% germination, but several people reported poor germination last year. I am seeing a few 1st year plants popping up this year from that seeding, so it would appear that several of us got less than stratified seeds. Went with five pounds last fall, just put out another 5 this spring when I found a deal on seeds. We'll see...
My initial plan was to get the 20 acres of n facing hillsides I have saturated, but now it has turned into a quest to just find out how to get this fussy little plant to grow. There is more to it than just tossing out seeds and raking in buckets of money.
Was thinking about bees, too. Until about three years ago, I had a wild beehive in an old cedar tree, that's pretty rare these days.
Well, I got out the written plan I developed, and am aiming to stay true to form to it. Sometimes it's good to review, yes?
So am squirrelling away the $$$ for this years seeds purchase', contacting sellers of same and reserving poundage. There's some thinking about that, as it just makes good business sense to get the best price on needed materials such as seed. That's likely our largest single cost, at least for me.
I'm planning on putting 8 lb.s in this fall, and if $$ permets, a coupel more.
Really enjoyed this thread, even if I'm slow in posting to it. The biggest drawbacks I see to growing ginseng as a business endeavor are 1) the 9+ year waiting period for steady income, and 2) the risk of poaching, rule change, or price collapse during that time. I'm sure those issues are why big businesses don't grow wild simulated, and any sound business plan should directly deal with them. One approach to managing risk is to diversify, and I guess for me that's where my business plan starts. I'm young and have a decent job, so my first goal in diversification is to save up enough money that I can supplement ginseng income with investment income (capital gains, dividends, etc). My 2nd goal in diversification is to come up with an alternative crop or product that generates income on a timescale of a year or less, but without drawing resources away from the ginseng operation. Ideally this would use land that's not suitable for growing ginseng, and for the bulk of the work to take place during months when ginseng labor is not needed. My hope is that this kind of diversification will make it easier to survive annual swings in prices, weather, and even health.