I do need advice, lots and lots of it! I need so much that I have no idea what I should be asking yet, so this is mostly just an introduction. I expect to be using this forum a lot in the near future; you all sound like nice people.
My name is Hoke. I live in a semi-rural part of San Diego county. I'm a computer geek by trade, but thanks to my employer jumping on the "outsourcing" bandwagon, I've been laid off. And I believe I've finally decided that the corporate world of 8-to-5 business casual expendable cog-in-the-wheel drudgery is not where I want to spend 5 out of every 7 days of my life. (I hope I don't sound bitter, because, honestly, I'm past that...I think ;-))
Since my avid hobby has for years revolved around growing and propagating plants - houseplants mostly, but also landscape type plants and trees - I'm going to try making a living doing that. But I'm truly starting from scratch. I have no experience running a business. I have a few things going for me: I'm friendly, I like most people, I have lots of energy and don't mind working hard, and I have about 3/4 of an acre of land to play with and a few months' padding finance-wise. And I am determined to make this work, if at all possible.
But O there are SO many questions! What should I grow? Should I sell wholesale or retail? Should I grow a variety or huge batches of one thing? Is there a market here the "little guy" can break into? How big a greenhouse should I build? What should I make it out of? Do the big chain stores buy from small growers? Can I make enough to pay the mortgage and bills? Or do I need a part time job? Once my growing operation is ready to start, how long should I expect to lose money before turning a profit?
Obviously, I have much research to do. I've been doing it, but it's slow going. I'm not really asking YOU these questions right now (although I'll gratefully listen to any answers!), I'm asking myself. A few years ago, I posted a lot in the House Plants forum, usually to answer newbies' questions. Now the coin is flipped and I am the one baffled and befuddled... I'll be asking a lot of questions.
And here's one to start. I read somewhere that there's an "emerging" market for native plants, especially here in california. Anyone have any info on that?
Thanks! (and Hello!)