Rooting DC 2020
Urban Agribusiness: Growing Money on Trees –
Mandela and I were honored to facilitate a workshop at Rooting DC 2020. Our workshop was titled Urban Agribusiness: Growing Money on Trees. Enjoy!
- Workshop Slides (with notes of most everything we said)
- Rooting DC Resources (links to everything we referenced)
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Thank you for listening to
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So, Peace and good morning. My name is Mason Olonade, a Mandela Jones. I’m the host of Jigijigi Africulture Podcast. I’m an urban farm journalist, passionate about the soil and the soul. I don’t have necessarily any experience selling what I’m advocating today, but I am in the process of developing my own value added products. I’ve compiled a whole bunch of resources. And I believe that the information is credible, reliable, it’s my honor to share it with you.
and I’m, Mandela Jones, excuse me, for the past few years, I’ve been working with small farmers here and abroad, bringing more light to their growing spaces through marketing and through different production techniques.
So like I said, Before, we the flowery language is talking about empowering the attendees to germinate their dormant seeds entrepreneurship, and they may be nice and attractive. But what does that really mean? We want to be able to have an exercise, we’ll repair you all up individually in pairs. And then according to ward, county, and state to work on a cooperative growing model for some of the crops that you will be adding value to.
And we’ll go into that later. But first, we have a couple of assumptions about how we’re going to conduct this talk. The first one is that we intended this talk to people who are familiar with growing, going for production and have ideally sold produce already. Now, that doesn’t mean if you haven’t done any of those things that you should leave. Because we will have there are people here who have done something like that. And ideally, that person will be able to facilitate teaching you how to grow that particular thing to make it to that next particular thing, so that you can make some of these particular things. This workshop also isn’t talking about marketing, or how to grow, we’re just here to generate ideas right later on in the resources will show a very iterative process slide this, this will take time. And I’ll share some of my failures that I look at with admiration with all of you. We have a limited amount of time. So please save your questions to the indicated questions things. And then you know, you can find me always f plus podcast.com. Email me at Mason at agriculture, podcast calm, or you can find me throughout the rest of today. So lastly, we want to just stay our intention. Our last intention, we want to quote from Dr. Nana Afrani, Dr. George Washington Carver, and his Bulletin No. 6 How to build up worn out soils, “we think it is wise to stay here that the chief aim was to keep every operation within reach to the poorest tenant farmer occupying the poorest possible soil.”
So we know that it’s difficult for urban farmers to compete with small farmers with larger farmers with, you know, grocery stores, you know, and that’s without even mentioning farmers markets, which is completely different beast in its own. You know, so the real question is, how do we get our money’s worth, you know, in smaller spaces? And that question, I mean, and adds to that is adding value to our products, you know, labeling, something that you grow as local, locally grown in itself is adding value, right with the associations with, you know, being around the corner with it, you know, maybe being a little bit cleaner, or, you know, having a little bit more care to it, you know, and that’s similar to those same associations that are, you know, when we label things as organic. And while those are similar, you know, put in pairing them together with something that you’re growing doesn’t always add, you know, an additional premium or, or price to your product. So, we kind of suggest sticking to just one. But in terms of the definition of value add, this is what we had here, and excuse me, and we have a change of physical state of form of the product, such as milling wheat into flour, strawberries into jam, you know, carrots into puree for baby food or something like that. And then the other is, you know, the production of a product in a manner that enhances its value. And that can be demonstrated in a value in a business plan. And we know that value isn’t always the route changing the physical form of state, right, there’s over 30 different elements of value for products. And these are just a few of them. We’ll be going through those, but
Unknown Speaker 4:38
but you know, when we’re thinking about what we’re growing, and we’re thinking about, you know, what we grow as a business and as enterprise, it’s also useful to think about value add more like value capture. And what we mean by that is something similar to this So this is a USDA diagram about every dollar that’s spent on food. So here we have, you know, 7.8 cents going to the farmer, right 15%. And then you have 36.7%, you know, going into food services. And in the end, if we think about how we’re growing and how we’re adding value, this is all, this is all, something that we can capture. So all together, we can gain at least 59% of $1 that’s spent on something that we’re growing ourselves without even thinking about packaging, you know, any type of transportation other aspects of, you know, the the enterprise, the business that we’re thinking about bringing together.
So how do we determine what actually we’re trying to make into our crops? What we’re advocating is the concept of niching down and adding value. By that what do I mean, we need to find something very specific that we want to grow and something very specific that we want to sell. Right? And so what that means is that I like to say I’d like to grow captors. Okay, then I need to further down into hot peppers, and then each further down into those peppers. Right. And from there, I can then determine some more things to make spices, seasonings, hot sauce, whatever. In the past, I tried to even make ice hot out of peppers, because the main ingredient is the same ingredient. Right? But if you’re going to do that, although you won’t be able to get any masks because it is Coronavirus, please get one because I started grinding up my peppers. in everclear turned my whole house into a pepper spray bomb. It was it was it was a mess. But the thing was added to some shea butter, peppermint oil, you know I’m saying and it’ll work. But I didn’t figure out how to have that. So I wouldn’t then touch my eyes after there’s something to figure out what this is, is an entire process. And that’s not something to be discouraged. So when we’re talking about this, we say, What do you grow? Well, of those, what do you enjoy growing a lot of, of those, what are the most reliable crops meaning which crops can withstand DC, where DC also means different climate, and five different climate. I mean, we’re going to get a bunch of rain in April, we’re not going to get any rain until August. And then we’re only going to get rain from August until September, and then it’s going to freeze. So what crops Can you grow that will withstand that, and produce right and will be able to withstand insect pressures, the deer that we have out here, the cast that we have up here, and the other people that we have on here. So then from that, there’ll be only like three cross write, you’ll then know what kind of technologies you’ll need when you need Piglet mechanical equipment, when you need a dehydrator, a freeze dryer, a mill, you’ll definitely need a scale because we have to, you know, we have to do math now. Right? All these equipment will be found agriculture, podcast.com, site food, etc. I have all these resources available for you already. So the niching isn’t just one of determining what we are trying to grow. But it’s also one of determining how we’re going to market our products, right? Because we can’t just be out here just hot sauce I got. So what is Tabasco, Louisiana, even people our advocate here also growing hot sauce. So how are you going to differentiate your hot sauce from the very beginning because nobody cares just because you grew. Right? So Andew W Lee in the backyard market gardener says, but each of us has a profitable market niche, and our local or regional community that we can fill, all we have to do is find that niche, if we can fill it properly, it will be profitable. filling a niche properly requires us to become marketers. Look for the niche that you feel will be exceptionally fun and profitable for you. Let your imagination roam through the possibilities and keep an open mind. be receptive to new ideas, you can create a new marketing system that will give you a tremendous advantage over the competition. This is an intensely artistic exercise, right? But it’s not artistic in the sort of like, then just killing it right? You really have to really dedicate yourself to these things because like we said, nonprofit money will run out, right? Nobody cares about you necessarily. Right, your mom, your dad, your significant other, but nobody’s buying your products because of that people buy for their reasons, not yours.
So we know that farming and growing is hard work. You know, it’s gratifying, but but it is hard work and and you know, as we’re developing that skill set, you know, we know, we start to realize you know where we’re getting in our own way. And with that, you know, we’d like to remind you don’t work too hard. What we mean by that is, you know taking what people are asking you to grow, you know what they might mention to you what others ask you what they are similar what they’re mentioning, when they’re growing. Excuse me. And then lastly, listen to yourself. You know, people, as Nathan said, People do five for their own reason. And it’s not always the fact that you’re growing it. So take that into consideration, about pulling from what people already asking you about from that customer demand. You don’t have to do as much time educating somebody about what you’re growing, you can kind of spend more of that time selling and really finding out what the customer really, really wants. So in that same light of listening and not working too hard. We have a few different publications that are that I think we’ll share at the end of the presentation also on the on the website. But one is from Booker T Whatley, who was a pioneer in sustainable agriculture. In the 1980s. He developed, he wrote a book called farming making $100,000 on 25 acres. And that concept in itself has been utilized all the way down today, where people advocate for growing for making $100,000 on a quarter of an acre. So one thing that he mentioned is, you know, for too long the prevailing wisdom among farmers, it has been to get bigger, get out, right, and we still hear that today. But what he says is, stay small, get smart, and start thinking about marketing over big traffic, excuse me start thinking about marketing over big tractors, right? Other implements that we see people utilizing, right, that marketing piece is the biggest piece because in the end, you know, if we can’t sell what we’re growing, what are we really going for?
So we have some examples coming up next. This is these two examples are from beyond fresh, a food processing guide for Texas farmers by the National Center of appropriate technology. They have a separate extension arm called ATTRA in the show notes later. So this is all those you can’t see. This is from Larry Butler, and he has a urban farm while he’s since passed me as an urban farm in Austin, Texas. He told a story about how he had an acre of tomatoes ready for harvest the next day, what happened is that a 60 mile per hour wind storm came knocked over all the tomatoes rained on them. And then the Texas sun came up the next morning, scalded 60% of the tomato itself, right. So we harvested all these tomatoes, smoked around for a couple days. And then remember that he’s in Texas barbecue steak, he built a smoker and smoke dried his tomatoes. From this enterprise, he was able to sell two ounce packages of tomatoes for six bucks and continue that for 15 years. Right? He hired somebody just to do that. Right? So then a pecan tree had fallen in his house. This is an intensely industrious man. He then made $10,000 selling cutting boards that he made himself up for the pecan tree that fell on his house. Now with all the different regulations that we have here claiming that in Texas, but I don’t I wouldn’t even recommend something like that. If you’re not a woodworker, however, there’s a different story here, it flew off the tables, fewer interested in buying fresh cooked basil, but the pesto flew off the table. And out of the stores. We never had enough Suzanne and Tony Piccolo, Piccolo set these we never had enough. That’s the kind of problem that I want you to have. Right? One is I can’t feel I can’t fulfill demand. Because then you can increase prices. I can’t build them and I can’t you know, and then people be like, yo, yo, what’s your name? Robert, Robert, Robert. Hey Man It’s $9. Now
this is why we’re all here today. Right? Because like I said before, you know, things are getting iffy in terms of how to derive all these things. But people do want to eat healthy people do want to eat clean. Like we said before you growing into yourself automatically means it because you’re not somebody with these weird farms out in the Midwest. Next slide, please. So there’s these are some different value added examples here. This is my friend Laura Blackwood, of Eternile in the Bronx. She grows her own ingredients to make her vegan soaps. She had previously suffered skincare issues. And then she had made these soaps healed herself and then started promoting this and started selling it so this is our geranium rose gold. So as gold flakes in it and the roses from our own backyard. This is like something that you can do.
This is a very different enterprise here for many conference aloe vinegar. If any of you all are familiar with Korean natural farming or bokashi composting, my man Marco Thomas has saved us an inordinate amount of time, right? He’s grown to comprehend aloe fermented them with brown sugar and rainwater over time. made this vinegar they can be then diluted when and without Apply it to stimulate the microbial activity and build your soil right now I have done this also making lactic acid bacteria fermented some milk, right? A gallon milk, but then understanding that this has to be diluted out 1000 times, and I only had a 10 by 10 plot when I was living off of Hawaii Avenue. What the hell am I gonna do with all this stuff? I just added it to my compost, but now seeing what Marco is doing, I can sell it right so I just bought it for like five bucks. These are very different enterprises this what do you think of, you know, what are we thinking about?
So then in this area here, a lot of us should be familiar with Xavier brown Soilful’s Pippin sauce. He grows these peppers cooperatively from the eastern shore, Harriet Tubman’s land, all the way to ward eight and everywhere in between, even throughout some other parts of the country. He buys back the peppers from the people that he grows from at a above market price, and then makes these over in Brookland at tastemakers DC and envoy involves a lot of the youth in his operation, he’ll be giving a talk at 2pm in room 2173 Seedkeeping and value added production. If you are further compelled by this information. I appreciate you joining me there.
And then this is Stephanie Freeman’s operation at Savor at Studio 3807. 3807 Rhode Island Avenue. She has a stand over there and she grows her own herbs and seasonings and peppers and everything like that she’s got a whole bunch of varieties and stuff. And she’s also selling Xavier’s Pippin sauce. This is the cooperativity that we’re talking about. Right? Each one of you has access. Ron, with man, what is your name? Iris. So Ron and Iris, if you guys live near one another, right and you were growing, the two of you who don’t presumably don’t know one another, then has would have access to each one of your markets, right? Because you all are growing things, the market has doubled itself already, right? And then think about this, now you are going to go your job and go to work blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, is saying Hey, man, I’m doing this, you know, and then there are other things that so I’m just getting excited. But she, she sells it to so yeah.
So with with these examples, you know, think about your life, think about where you visit on a regular basis. You know, and think about those people that you come in contact to come in contact with on a regular basis. You know, we challenge you to ask them and talk to them about maybe the value added products that they have experienced with or lack of experience with that, you know, they’re looking to either find, you know, in the area that they don’t know about as much. So you know, among other examples, you know, we have spiked these teas, soaps, times and incense. Last season, Mason and I grew holy basil, we grew some ginger tumeric. And through that, I mean we split our share. And I think Mason will be talking about his incense. But, you know, I started to think about what type of blends of what we grew could be used for a tea. Of course, edible flowers and greens for salad mixes, season’s seasonings, and powders as well. And then lastly, we have like amaranth and these two in bold are between greens and amaranth and grains are what we kind of really found interesting last year, you know, amaranth is something that grows fast, it grows well in a lot of different places. From you know, the high, high nutrients and you know the grains all the way to the seeds that can be used, hopped and turned into kind of like a rice krispie treat on steroids. I don’t know if you guys have ever heard of like alegria but it’s basically you know, pop amaranth seeds, you know, mixed with raisins or pumpkins, you know, and agave, but in this type of situation, y’all could use it you could, you know, partner with someone and use local honey, you know, and make your own. So
yeah, those are a few examples. Of course, we have perennials as well, you know, from fruit leathers, all the way to, you know, nutrient bars and powders. So, yeah, so we’re growing holy basil just because of the name and some of the associations but anybody who’s growing it knows how fragrant it is immensely fragrant and it is an adaptogen so it’s supposed to replace the hormones that you’re lacking stuff like that. But I know that for me when we would drive down, out and shore to go to our plot, and we had our holy basil growing at the center of what we called our sweet potato clock. And you know it would be left from this summer heat and then I’ve wondered start wondering everything and then immediately you know, it would perk up and bathe the entire place in all of this wonderful fragrance and I forgot about the Wednesday I forgot about the idiot on Georgia Ave I forgot about all the other stressors. And I was like, Damn, you know, can this be something pardon my french? Can this be something that I can then make something into. And then when I was learning about instance, people make, like, the Japanese tea ceremonies have incense that they burn to create this entire environment within which to enjoy and heal yourself
“maybe i might try something like that,” so I tried to make these incense cones, and I’ve formulated them, I think that I need to partner them up with something more aromatic, right, because I ground them up and made them into the cones. But in order to bind them, I use water, which immediately took away all of the fragrance. I also incorporated into honey to make like incense pellets. And I tried that just this past weekend, but I’m not sure if it works. I try it, you know, but this is this is the whole thing. And once I get it, then I’ll be in these I’m already in these environments where instance matters. So then it’s just then positioning myself as the plug or the provider. So we also have black corn, which was awesome. definitely recommended corn and amaranth. Both of these are see for crops, their stocks can be shred down, cut up, and they provide a scout scaffold for compost because they’re basically just pure cellulose chains, right. But the the, on my Instagram africulturepodcast, I have some pictures about the black corn and foliage specifically. Now after it dried, I was realizing that this could be used almost as a corn-fetti because it has all these purple streaks some of these green streets and stuff like that, then you could package your products within this corn Fetty and the recyclable Priority Mail package, right. Also, we had planned to grind up the grind up the corn and make some sort of black corn Doritos like some lavender seasoning basil, oregano time, you know, and then the spice suite in Takoma. So this purple Merlot Sea Salt, it was like, wow, we could have a like a healthy, relaxing Dorito. That’ll be crazy. But we had some drama. So we didn’t get be able to really produce like that. But this is this is farming.
So. So by now, the cotyledon emerges, the ideas are brewing our cotyledons have penetrated the ceiling of the soil. And we’re in a new life. Does anybody have any questions? Great. So what is a value added product product? Rather value added crop? What is
something that you? Are you doing something that’s unique at the customer that they can’t get from this anywhere else but you
absolutely evaluate a crop is anything that we can grow and capture value in or processing into something more valuable. So to make a you’ve been intensely participatory with your emotions, to make a value added product out of the crowd, we need what?
Well, you need to know what the value is to other people.
That’s an excellent point.
And you need the raw materials. And we need some kind of transformation of this.
Correct? Absolutely, we need certain technologies, depending on the crop that we are producing. Would anybody give us an additional idea about an urban oriented value, and that we can grow?
Rosemary’s a really good one,
Rosemary is an excellent one. There’s a very good particular variety called barbecued rosemary, and grows like this tall. The stalks are like this thick, and people cut them up when they grow them. And it’s a perfect shish kebab already. Right? So then you start putting stuff on there, and you start growing your own mushrooms, pepper, onions, whatever, put those on the grill, and you become the king of July 4, right? On July 4. So what we’d like you to do now is to prepare for our next exercise, right? We’re going to give you two minutes to get familiar with your neighbor, and want you to be able to figure out ideally, it’s not somebody that you already know, but I know that there are people here that know people already because for our next next exercise, so we need my phone is over there. Please pair up in the next few minutes. All right. Get familiar. anybody needs anything, I got no cards for you. I have any pens for you. But if you need no cards, I got it. But in the next five minutes, we want you to write down what you grow. What you grow. Well I enjoy drawing the most and which of those are liable in DC remember those two meetings in DC. And then in pairs, we would like you to write a potential value added product to be made from what your partner grows, that when you grow from what your partner grows. Alright. And then we’d like you to write a potential value added product to be made together. All right, so you have five minutes, one minute per question. Don’t worry about being exhaustive. Don’t worry about even keeping it neat. It’s just about idea generation. Okay, ready? Five minutes go. I’d like to hear from somebody who’s excited about what they discovered today about what they can grow with a one in a row and wants to share their idea. Keeping your idea to yourself as you’re afraid somebody can steal it is amateurish. Nobody cares about you like that. Good morning, everybody.
How’s it going?
What’s your name?
My name is Aaron. Okay, my partner Lauren. I am Islam. I live in Mount Rainier, right on DC Maryland border. She is from Virginia. Back to the area either way, we discussed my growing Papalo. For those who are not familiar with Papalo, it is an earth it’s got a flavor similar to cilantro may be mixed with like arugula. Very popular with quite a few populations that live in this area. It’s grown up mainly in Central and South America, and Caribbean. But either way, it grows like crazy, it’s really tall. I’m six foot it gets about as tall as me or taller by harvest. Either way, I mainly just growing but it sell it to people give it to people, we talked about a young Sorry about that. We talked about maybe using those stops drying announces I don’t do anything with the stocks trying them out using and selling and similar way that people use bamboo within the garden, excellent trellising. Maybe cutting stalks and drilling them. And giving them the restaurants is like biodegradable or natural straws since straws are not allowed in this region. or creating like a pesto an alternative to a traditional chimichurri pesto.
So with those stocks, and you’re probably also make something even if you have it right, and can package it marketed. Right? You probably sell it as some sort of home decor to is that thing. So did you have one to come in? Can you save it for his compensation afterwards? Because we were running out of time. All right.
So this last or last concept cooperativity moving into leverage, constructive interference? There’s a concept in physics called constructive interference. What does this mean? Those of you who have sung especially in choral arrangements, be familiar with this particular situation, if any of you have sung a note, like a four if this is a four a right and if somebody right beside you is also singing the same note a, what happens is that those the frequencies of the two, same frequencies then stack, and we interpret that as them getting louder, right? This is what we’re asking you to do. So Mandela and I grew, say, 24 square feet of corn, black corn right? Now, that’s not a lot of space, right? Then could rob, could you also grow that same corn, then that means that I had 24 square feet times to write on the same amount of space, corn doesn’t really need that much work, because we’re not in the middle in the, in the Midwest, I was going to call it something different. So there’s, these are the sorts of things because like we said, this whole physics thing can be broken down into this very simple equation of your splits, yours equals more of yours, meaning yours was yours. It was more of yours, right?
So it’s like if you can get somebody in your immediate area to grow also when you’re growing at the same time, and then you can grow with their drawing at the same time because both of you have niched down so much, you guys can double your yield with less of the work, right? And you’re learning about a different product and also fortifying your own economic resiliency in case some goofy bug comes, some cats come all these different stressors that we have, because you you you set yourself up, right, this diversifying your portfolio, so to speak. So what we’d like you for you to do now is going to take a little bit longer, might have to get up, but we want you guys to organize yourselves and according to different wards, counties, situations, states if you’re further out than that, because we’d like for you all to then in these situations, if say somebody offered an award one, all these one one people get together and then they can all start growing together because the environments are similar in these particular places. Does that make sense? Is that something that you’re excited to do? You want to have a choice? All right, so we’re gonna give you about three minutes to two minutes.
You’ve got more time I’m sorry.
Oh, okay. Yeah. So we get Yeah, give yourself Five minutes to get organized. I’ll let whoever is the loudest about each particular ward, figure that out. And then and then after that, then we’ll do our next exercise. Okay. Great. Sounds good. Like DC, Maryland, Virginia, cuz Yeah. So let’s do this new DC over here in Maryland, in the center here in Virginia, all the way over here.
So you guys, now we have a little bit more time than we thought. So you guys can spend more time working on these questions, however, right? We want you guys to really think about this. And I’m glad that you all are enjoying and getting familiar. So in the next five to 10 minutes, we want you to find out who is growing, what you’re growing and how you’re growing it. I’m not advocating for any particular farming techniques, we all have our particular predilections right, with some people do us want to use synthetic fertilizer, some people do want to use these things. Some people don’t want to use these things. There may be people in these regions who grow like how you grow, right, then, can you determine if you all can exchange? Then can you determine if you all can grow cooperatively? And then can you determine if some of you all can then partner to make a value added product out of what you’ve taken from your first exercise? That sounds good? Yeah, these questions will be up here for the next five to 10 minutes. Let’s do 10 minutes, right? Because you guys won’t stop talking. Let’s go.
Alright, so I’m glad that, you know, it took me three prompts to go back in focus because we’ve done our job appropriately today. And everybody’s excited about it, at least to meet some people. I know that some of these conversations went left and right, up and down and into the z axis. But I want to hear now about some of the ideas that you’ll discuss. I know that the DC group they talked about they all contain the ingredients to make a salsa. So pretty intense to have, you know, the whole diamond district salsa and that’ll be sick, coming up with a particular name, probably more attractive name. But what else did other people come up with?
Just comment there.
I think we got the idea you. Earlier in the discussion we talked about like cooperative farming. Right. And I really liked that idea never really occurred to me to use that in the city. Yeah. And we don’t have a lot of space. We’re in the city, right? But if we work together, we could grow enough to make a product. There was a there’s an article that isn’t that isn’t a notes. This farmer wrote this article called small family farms find the answer. I read that article, my ego felt attacked, so I was ready to decry this article. Right. And then when I read it, what he was talking about is at least we trade like in pursuit of these small family farms and get our hands dirty fingers, you know, dirt up underneath our fingernails, what we’ve traded is economic freedom, for economic martyrdom. Right now we’re beholden to the soil. Now, we can’t do anything else. But being there. Now we have to drive out from cessful hana to Dupont Circle and spend an entire Saturday in transit and with nobody buying our products, because we haven’t marketed what we’re doing correctly. Right. So that’s, that’s sort of so when I saw that I was like, wow, this is really powerful content. And then we’re like, oh, so that’s where that came from? What’s that article? It’s write this down Africulturepodcast.com/rootingdc reading the article is titled aren’t the answer. Who else has an idea that they’d like to share that one more time of what you just that I use? So fast anyways, that africulturepodcast. I see you
know, you know, z
culture podcast, comm slash rooting DC. Thank you, Morgan. Thank you. And so, yeah, all this the work. The slides themselves are there with the script that we had originally had for this. Links are available there. And then eventually, this will be its own podcast for you to listen to, again. Alright. And the park is already on iTunes, Spotify, Google everything. So one more idea before we move on.
Nobody this room full of brilliant people
dehydrated microgreens. Yes. Please elaborate on that.
Our friend Alicia is growing microgreens and we just elaborated some ideas around that. And we found out that you can actually get fry microgreens and preserve their nutrients.
you just you know, can sell a four ounce little bottle of just pure power.
Right? Yeah, that’s exactly what we were sort of talking about even with, because he’s high in vitamin C, iron, all these sorts of things, you can dry down these greens and make them into powder. Right, you can dry down these greens in the oven and make them into chips, right? There’s all sorts of things, there’s no limit to your creativity beyond what you put on top of it. So that’s what this whole thing is about, about removing that, often, we’ll find that our ego is holding us back from really getting into our own creativity like we want to. So we’re at the true leaf formation. For all of us who are familiar with growing, we’ve taken all the sugars out of our cotyledons to shriveled up and now the finely sculpted serrations of our true leaves have shown themselves. we’ll summarize his talk when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade perfect.
This is the first value added product that we’ve come into understanding about now we’re talking about niching down further, you have to have a lemon tree of what you can do is by by ginger at mom’s put in the ground 19 maybe ginger lemonade, right? You can get strawberries, you can make strawberry ginger lemonade, right? There’s all these different things that you can do. I you know, Mandela and I we grew, we grew the sweet potatoes that we had this year from mom’s grew squash from moms, right. So you can do all these things where you don’t you just buy the thing, oh, hey, this is dope, I want to grow it. And then you grow it, right? Cuz that’s how you got in the first place because it was grown. So think about these things that you eat. And then it’s like, oh, I don’t ever want to buy this again. Right. and preserve it.
That’s what we did with the sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes, we bought that I bought it in November of 2018, we grew summer 2019. And now they’re ready to be put in the ground again in March of 2020. So the takeaways that we have, we want you niche down further and value add. But for on our side of the game, we want you to capture that value, right, those 60 cents. Now you’re gonna do other things, like I said was with the corn fed and stuff like that. But assuming the cost of capturing the cost of the food services, meaning retail outlets and grocery stores or restaurants, you can take some of their value for yourself, you can take some of this value. So this is what we’re talking about value and capture now with the cooperative garden, we want you to mind or constructively interfere with our neighbors business. Right? Especially if you’re considering growing this idea with the amaranth seeds. So you can you know, in an urban situation, you can grow you can get yield from goji berries in about two years. Right?
So you can have this this amaranth seed the orange giant amaranth from Baker Creek seeds, they say that you can get a pound of seed from one seed. Right? Right. That’s a lot. Now with that with that grain, you can grind it down with a mill. Right now you have a gluten free flour, you got a pound of flour. amaranth doesn’t mean much of any fertilizer at all. And it doesn’t care about these cucumber beetles either. It’ll keep producing. And the footprint of it is small. It’s about is it like its like me, right? Right. It grows about the same height. And you can cut it down. Try to do all this sort of stuff. The red dye amaranth has beautiful pink flowers. You can then grind up the seeds and save the flowers and add them to your flour. And now you have the speckled flower. Right? Wow. Wow, wow. Right now, you can either pop those seeds, combine it with the goji berries, vigor Creek also has the pumpkin seed thing. So you don’t have to know it’s a shell list variety of the seeds. So now you can grow this whole thing for free and you find your neighbor who has the the honey, you can bind them together. But with bees, they’re a whole living thing. So you might need to apply some elbow grease to your bee’s knees.
Thank you. Alright, that’s the last one for the day. This is the daunting image. This is from beyond fresh. Also, this shows the real process that it takes to produce your value added products. Today we’re here at the conception of opportunity, right? The self assessment is what we went through the identifying crops is also what we went through. Now, you are left on your own to brainstorm your products, do some market research and continue with this iterative step wise, baby step development. Till you get to release your products.
You don’t have to worry about trying to grow everything this year because the grocery store has everything you can spend this time before you start growing. To start to research develop these things. You can buy amaranth seeds at moms or blood or wherever you can buy all these things. start forming them together, because you already know that when you start going, something’s gonna taste better than anything that you get in the grocery store. Right? So at that point in time, it’s just a matter of packaging, determining you doing this math so that you can become successful. One sort of thing, you’re going to fail, like I talked about, and you can’t be afraid of that this is just data that you’re collecting, right?
A pound, I heard this in a pocket somewhere, what kind of data is an ounce of information? A pound of information is an ounce of knowledge, a pound of knowledge, is an ounce of wisdom, a pound of wisdom, is an ounce of new understanding. This, among many other things, will provide us with new understandings, because this particular thing is a complex problem. How do I derive more income from my operation, that’s a complex problem. It’s not that complicated, but how you figure it out is, there’s some complexity in that, that you can dance with, that you can move with, right. So ideally, you got to move through these things in suppress as much of your ego as possible, so that you can get to this new understanding as quickly as possible. So and this not just within growing, but throughout your whole life, because these new understandings will lead to a better life for all of us, all beings on this planet.
So this is the what I talked about this is the this is an old situation of how many links are there, these are all the links that you got available to you many of these links contain many more links. Some of these links are to my own podcast, where I’ve sort of talked about this Eternile, Microbes by Marco, relish market, Pippin sauce, there are videos, links to some of the technologies, all these things are here, africulturepodcast.com/rootingdc. If you go to the slides themselves, click this and that will take you to this link, you go to this slide, you can click either one of these pictures, and it will take you to this link. Any of the pictures that are on the slides will take you to wherever you’re supposed to go, right, and then come back here three weeks from now. And then this will be available to you again, to listen to. I know you’d like my voice so far.
So in closing, I just want to say a little bit about Jigijigi Africulture Podcast, and then Mandela will share about new research group, and then they’ll really be the end. So at Jigijigi Africulturepodcast we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul. We share strategies for how to do both. We do to do both, we ask two questions, how you grow while you grow kale, collards, tomatoes, and melons? And why you think the healthier soils are black? We’re interested in interviewing any and every black farmer or gardener who wants to talk about plans. I’ve you know, I reached out to people and people. Yeah, it’s a doable idea, man. You know, you’re I mean, I’m, we don’t have time for that. I want to share these stories about how we grow. Right? So find me afterwards. Go here, email me Mason@afrciulturepodcast.com Find me on the gram, Twitter, on Twitter like that. But I’m Mandela.
Yeah. So new re research group is a group of professionals, economists, scientists, and other business professionals. And what we do is we work with homeowners who are looking to grow their own food, we’re looking to make a connection or a closer connection with nature. And in between that we also help homeowners find a easier way to garden or farm without making it feel like there’s backbreaking labor on a regular basis. So I mean, you can find me as well on Instagram, and open to give me my number email as well. So yeah,
yeah. So we hope you found this information informational, constructive, and productive. I look forward to hearing about using especially consuming each and every one of you as value added products in the future. When they say Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O, thank you for being a part of Jigijigi