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Establish Yourself in Horticulture…Basic Advice
Horticulture is always interesting! Before even starting, many people already see each other in their vineyards or in their greenhouses harvesting the fruits of their labor! he is possible to succeed in horticulture, but certain conditions must be respected so that the future business becomes prosperous and sustainable.
Many people think of horticultural projects but have no training relevant. The first step to take is here. There are many possibilities for form; it is essential to take time for this! For those who do not have still bought from land, we must think that the sites close to the cities offer more opportunities that sites that are remote, even if they cost more. Soils that are suitable for horticulture should generally be quite light and well drained.
On this point, many people are too eager to plant. For example, on land that has been a little neglected, one should take one or two years to proceed with the various land improvements needed like the drainage, leveling, control of perennial weeds, etc. It is not necessary to forget to consider protection from the winds and snow cover adequate. A minimum of adequate and relevant equipment is necessary so that the work can be done on time and properly. The availability of manpower is increasingly an important issue. You will not be able to do everything alone.
Else On the one hand, given our climate, irrigation is an obligation. You must know how to surround yourself with competent advisors. This will save you a lot of errors and you will advance much faster! You can join a club technical supervision in horticulture.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food continue to provide, through the Réseau Agriconseils de la Chaudière-Appalaches, financial assistance for those who want to use competent resources.
There is also the Ministry and the private sector (eg input suppliers) who have experts to support you. Expect to work very hard! Work is the trademark of agriculture; you will not escape. You also have to be versatile in order to be able to perform all the required steps, from to the sale of products. In horticulture, there is no joint plan or marketing board.
Everyone does himself selling his products. It must be prepared because it assumes that your site risk of becoming a public place with all that that implies: kiosk, parking, toilets, etc. You must be ready to “see the world” and interact with them. As elsewhere, money is often the nerve of war. To convince financial institutions to lend to you, you will have to disassemble the relevance of your project and your ability to complete it: so have a good business plan.
TYPE OF COMPANY
We have very few large vegetable farms in the area. Most of our companies aim at a certain diversification of products and direct sales consumers in farm kiosks or public markets.
CONVENTIONAL OR ORGANIC?
There is room for everyone! … as long as it’s done! For the time being, the attraction of organic farming is present in the region. Several projects are in progress. It is still possible to aim for profitability with a smaller farm than in conventional mode, which requires less investment. The formula for selling “food baskets” directly to families attracts many new horticulturists. This concept of weekly baskets is put by Équiterre and its community-supported agriculture (CSA) network.
IN WHICH PRODUCTIONS?
We could talk a lot about it because there is a lot of information that relates to this subject. Let’s just say that in a retail business, it’s a benefit to offer several fresh products. Some productions attract even more customer base; this is the case of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and sweet corn. A market gardener is not obliged to do everything either. He can sell the products of another colleague and for his part, to sell him that he succeeds better. There are also productions in emergence as elderberry, sea buckthorn or medicinal plants, but before producing something, we must always ask who we can sell and what price.
In fact, is there a market? It is certain that there is still potential to develop in horticulture in the region.
With all the benefits they can bring to health, fruits and vegetables are well positioned for the future. However, it must be done with producers, competent and innovative, who love their profession and their customers!