difference between taking a leap of faith & jumping off a cliff

pinettaMarch 9, 2013

i'm a new, very small mostly veggie plant grower for retail customers who find out about me on FB & craigslist. they come to my place or i deliver to them in an arranged spot.

a couple of days ago, i had a hardware business owner an hour's drive from me contact me re: would i be interested in selling wholesale plants to him--a variety of veggies, flowers, herbs, hanging baskets.

when i asked him the volume, he was like, "well my last provider, who's now gone out of business, would bring me whatever would fit in the space & i'd pay them for it."

he's a real nice man, just doesn't focus on this area. he faxed me their price list, which i can meet.

he finally pulled out a list of what was delivered one day in July of last year, and it was waaaaaayyyyyyy more than i could provide!!!

i don't even have my big greenhouse up yet (will have it up & going in about 2 or so months). i DO have about 200ish tomato plants that will be ready very soon, but that's pretty much it for right this minute.

there's another nursery owner nearby who i'm friends with who might go in with me.

there's NO way i can meet this need on my own this year.

i also found out that a local feed store also uses this same out of biz nursery & THEY would ALSO be interested in plants.

so, my question, to restate: what's the difference between stepping out in faith and jumping off a cliff?

haha!! i just don't want to get overwhelmed and not be able to meet their needs with excellence. but on the flip side, here's an open niche in our area.......

AND are there other options to providing the plants? like me buying from a wholesaler & selling to them? is that ok to do?

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It seems like if you could find a good wholesaler or two, you could broker some plants from elsewhere, while you build you own capabilities. Even if it were not as profitable you would be holding your spot with the contacts you are making and selling what you can grow yourself.

Who knows, you might always like that business model? A man I know who supplies smaller retail chains quit growing altogether and just plays middleman. You have a better deal than he does from what I see. He has to take a loss on plants that don't sell...at least from some of his locations.

If you wanted to go that route for a while, can you find a producer of seedlings that can meet your standards?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:18AM
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You may want to find out why the other guy went out of business. Not always as profitable as you first think.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 5:11PM
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I agree with PAFlowers, so many people don't figure all their costs, and eventually go out of business.

I would check with your friend and see if you can work together.

I took on a fellow this year that wanted about 700 tomatoes, 500 peppers along with cukes, squash and onions. Well everything was progressing fine, then suddenly the plants started to slow down and when he wanted to plant in his greenhouse, they weren't ready. Lucky for me, I have a greenhouse grower friend that help me out with some of her special plants. Enough to satisfy him. Thank goodness for friends.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:06PM
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re: seedling producer---yeah i think so. even if this friend of mine doesn't want to do it, she's been in the biz super long and would know of ppl who might that would be trustworthy.

thx for sharing about the broker you know! very interesting!!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 7:57PM
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pafflowers---yeah i wondered about that. i'll talk to the 2nd shop owner to see what he found out.

myfamilysfarm--re: plants & friends--so true! you just can't set a deadline on plants. they're ready when they're ready and that's it!! i had advertised that my tomato plants would be ready for the 15th, b/c we were SUPPOSED to have some warmer nights this week. BUT.......errrrrggggg.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:04PM
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I'm doing alot of errrrrrgggg lately.

I bought a different soil, and am wondering if that might be part of the problem, but the friend is having trouble also (and she has over 40 years of experience).

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:33PM
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myfamilysfarm: i know what you mean!!! i did one batch of several different lettuces earlier this year and they did GREAT. this 2nd batch, same soil, same everything, and they all came up, but they're just sitting there looking at me like, "well what are we supposed to do now?" they're just sitting there, not growing!!! wassup w/dat????? the weather hasn't been worse. yes we've had some cold, but dang, lettuces ARE a cool weather plant! (and not super freezing cold. we've had 2 slight freezes in 3 weeks, one night each. that's it. and cooler during the day, but again, not freezing type weather.) errrrggggg

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:49AM
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Be glad you're in FL, even northern. We're still getting below freezing nights. A 40 is celebration time if it's a daytime high.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:12PM
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i hear ya! every time i hear about ppl having snow or all those freezing temps, i am thankful!!! i'd like to see/play in the snow like one day, but not have to live in it for months!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:32PM
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I lived in Tampa for 8 years until I inherited part of my grandmother's farm. Still want that 'southern' weather, but home is here. If I had enough money, I'd snow-bird, but be nice.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:40PM
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