Hello from Huntington WV! Over the last couple of weeks we have really begun to invest time in education and learning. From Mushroom cultivation to business planning, we are educating our Veterans! Learning is a continuous objective, or should be, throughout life. And what could be better than learning about growing your own food, feeding your family, and selling the extra to line your family’s coffers!
We spent Saturday learning about basic business planning, pricing our products, and the importance of having a business plan. We were assigned a bit of “homework” that we complete and then come back to gether in a few weeks and start working in a business plan.
While not everyone desires to run a business, for those who are thinking about it, it is critical to have a good plan and basic knowledge of what it costs to produce your product and how much you can sell it for. Dr. Singh-Knights, from WVU, lead the class. Dr. Barbara Liedl from WVSU and Cindy Martel from WVDA also partnered in teaching this wonderful class.
Understanding what it cost to grow your food is also important. If the cost is too high, there might be a better source of your food. For example, I love strawberries and enjoy making strawberry jam for my family. But the cost and labor of maintaining enough plants to yield the amount that I need is just not realistic for us. So, I go to a wonderful pick your own patch in Louisa, Ky for my strawberries. However, I can grow all the butternut squash, lettuce, and tomatoes that I could ever need. I look at it through the “pick your battles” philosophy. After all growing your food should be more than just work, it should be enjoyable as well.
We also continue with our beekeeping training. WHile this program was going on before we began our partnership with GA, we have invited our GA/V2A families to come to the training days and learn about bees. We have had several take us up and they seem to enjoy learning about the bees.
There is always something to learn about when it comes to gardening and agriculture. Learning should always be a continued objective in life, it keeps us on our toes and benefits those we share the information with. Learning and teaching go hand in hand. We all have something of value to share with others, and we all can learn something from our neighbor.
In the spirit of learning, I will be attending the Brushy Fork Institute this week to learn about Social Enterprising. I am hopeful this will help me to do my job better and learn some valuable things that I can share with my Veterans. There are always opportunities, you just have to look for them!