Tag Archives: business

From a “Still Skeptical” post: Founding a Business

10 Jun

Check the date! This post was written over two years ago, in fact almost three. In it I outline accurately plans I still have to this day.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2008
Founding a Business
I have been thinking a lot lately about the plan of what I want to do after college. And things may be coming together quite interestingly. There are big changes happening in agriculture, especially toward sustainable farming. Some ideas I have:

Found a non-loss, non-dividend Social Business.
Goal: Get organic into the lives of all rural families living below the poverty line for self-sufficiency and empowerment.
2. Market and sell organic produce in the US to ensure that small producers always have an outlet for excess production.
3. Research and disseminate best techniques for high-yield organic small farms.

Dealing in: high yield, direct trade, commercial organic fruits, vegetables, commodities, and herbs: banana, pineapple, cotton, corn, coffee, sugar cane, plantain, cocoa, dairy, livestock, name (root), noni (experimental), oregano, basil, etc.

Direct Trade: Microsupply/Microdemand.
Imagine buying a pack of bananas (organic and directly benefitting farmers and the environment, etc), from 4 different farms (individual farmer here could== coop region) in different regions/countries/local varieties. Say that bananas are not a uniform taste, as the clone seeds are—designed to be big and yellow on the outside and distributed by a single company. But organic actually taste better. How much better? You decide. Vote thumbs up or thumbs down on our website to let us know for each one, and look for your favorite in singles next time you go to the supermarket.
–> Some types sell out quicker and are higher rated… stores notice and request more from that farmer. Farmer can produce more funded by higher price. Exceptional examples could hit a “genetic jackpot” and maintain exclusive or sell seed.
–> Range of sticker prices based on ratings, with the best taste costing more and the low-range still a few cents higher than standard quality plantation banana.
–> Would give local farmers incentive to experiment, they may strike it rich! Would lend itself to organic non-gm farming, which already represents a large benefit to family ownership/livelihoods. With many small plots, could even find out what your farm is best at producing by rating against other small farmers.
–> New market for seeds can be grassroots-based in constant evolution and locally variant. Microsupply, microdemand for seed market as well driven by the larger research farms.

How? The internet can manage this quantity of data!

Local Campaign:
-With organic farms can do Community Shared Agriculture shares to benefit from added diversity of production, for any size farm even those that can’t make it international.
-Uncertified organic “gardens” can be grown in backyard for family or market, if seed is made available that doesn’t need fertilizers or pesticides. Reduce dependence on (costly, external) food and boost family income.
-“Preserve your environment and stand up for your livelihood because their economics is not working.” Support local farmers. Support organic. Organize and lobby for fair laws (while using the existing ones)
-Once you’re big enough, join your local coop for shared investments and shipments. Coops can work with us for finding buyers, brokering deals, farmer education, flyers etc.

Scattered, and still some things to work out, but well on the way to becoming the material and flesh of venture capital. Just need a team of impassioned individuals– consider this an invitation to ask more.

-Eddie
Posted by HP at 9:40 PM
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How to start Sheep

6 Jun

From the Rural Living Handbook, Published by Mother Earth News. 115-116

It hardly pays to buy young lambs and feed them to adulthood for strong-flavored mutton. The trick, instead, is to raise your first lambs into adult breeders, then slaughter their offspring as fat, tender lambs. With an acre or two of pasture, a shade tree, a third of a ton of hay for winter and a handful of grain a day, a ewe lamb will mature in a year and, if bred, produce a lamb or two of her own, plus five to eight pounds of wool. After maturing on its mother’s milk and a little grain and graze, each of your new lambs will provide you with a wonderful fleece hide and around 50 pounds of delicious meat.
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A Systems Perspective 3: Nature and Econ

26 Mar

Post! Executive Outline:

Economics as a guide to policy|discipline|business|development typically undervalues Marginal Cost.
1. Resources *Natural capital to make manufactured stuff*
2. Oil is artificially low
3. Other environmental inputs= services
4. The commons

An increase in Marginal Cost would universally better off society.
1. Reduce | Reuse | Conserve –> Lessen material dependence
2. Reduce Energy/person –> Secure our country from Middle East
3. Focus on efficiency –> Reduce waste which hurts services
4. Produce less corn.

Finally, a policy solution without silly cap-and-trade or clean energy, which generates revenues by being harsher on unsustainable businesses.Increase the marginal cost of resources, to decrease their use. Read on, dear reader. But be prepared to comment if you finish it all.
-EM

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A Systems Perspective 2: Oil, Energy, and Recessions

24 Mar

A recession is defined as “a significant decline in [the] economic activity spread across the country, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP growth, real personal income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.” (New Bureau of Economic Research) It’s a little vague, and I remember Bush not wanting to announce an official “recession” back in 2008. Well, it was (is) one, and here’s the related chart:

For some of my background on recession writing, view:

This will be a post about oil and energy: what I used to write about optimistically (MaPSblog) but now see the extent of our fucked-ness. Read on, dear reader. As promised, a new economics post will be up Friday. This is post 2/3 of “A Systems Perspective”: Environmental Implications of America today.

What’s different?

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The Next Globalization is Local:

19 Dec

Like any good Economics student, I start this article with a quote by Thomas Friedman in his definition in awkward-titled essay on “Glocalization”: “To absorb influences that naturally fit into and can enrich a culture: to resist those things that are truly alien and to compartmentalize those things that, while different, can be enjoyed and celebrated as different.” I now proceed to show the Economic justification for a more stable next generation of destructive free trade policies… [yes, it’s more than just a trend.]

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Julio

28 Apr

Check out the crazy new format! Inspired by twitter (follow me: http://twitter.com/eddiemill/), let me know what you think of it. Do you have time to read long posts?

Today’s post is about Julio, the man with the most beautiful farm in the world, my good friend and co-founder of a model farm that will change the world.
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One to the team!

29 Dec

Just this Wednesday, I got a positive word from a long-time friend Jake Mercer. He studies Economics and non-profit management at Baldwin Wallace college, and is in to make this happen. This brings the team to two currently, and adds valuable fund-raising and farm experience to the venture. Let’s do this, Jake! Thanks for reading!

Things are happening very quickly now. The planning has passed the agriculture test, passed an economic analysis, with me in all the right places to make it happen. Next is deciding the structure: venturing into supply chain and cooperative design. This will be very well suited for my planned 7-month stay in Costa Rica, where I want to start. (For more information on this, visit:
Plan

This is an open invitation: do you want to join the team and work on this? There would be job options domestically or abroad, in any number of areas still to be defined. Please let me know on this, or any advice now before I go.

As an interim project, I’m taking a class with Oberlin College students in January on permaculture, an interesting variant on Organics. More on this soon!

-Eddie Miller
BU ’10
https://eddiemill.wordpress.com/