We started Mansfield Farm 8 years ago to be a source for local u pick grapes. We have expanded into grass feed Angus beef cattle and planted our first kiwi berry vineyard. Our goal was to have a diversified farm with crops that complement each other.
Kiwi berries are a new crop. It has been an experiment to see if we are able to grow them in our area. We have had some setbacks, but are excited to see our second large crop of kiwi berries this year.
Our grapes are sold mostly through our U-pick customer. Many people are looking for fresh local grapes for juicing and jelly. Once you taste it, you can never go back to the grocery store! However, we hope to make kiwi berries a product that we can distribute to more people through farmer's markets and grocery stores.
When people go to a grocery store there are many choices. No store has empty shelves that they are looking to fill. When our kiwi berries are on a shelf or at the farmer's market, we need the packaging and presentation to look professional and attractive.
Kiwi berries are a great new crop with lots of potential. They taste great and are a healthy snack that people love. We love to grow them, people love to eat them, but for the farm to succeed as a business, our product needs to successfully complete in the market place with other fruits and berries. Presenting our kiwi berries in an attractive and professional package is the first step!
Our basic budget is:
- Professional Design Fee $300
- Printing $200
- Packaging $250
- Rewards Costs $250
- overhead/unforeseen $100
- Total Required $1100
If our project is successful, our plan is to work with a local wholesaler that distributes to grocery stores all around New York State. This distributor will help increase our distribution to regional grocery stores. We also are fortunate to be within a short drive to many farmer's markets that are a great way to connect with costumers looking for great tasting local fruit and berries.
Risks and challenges
Some of the challenges associated with this project are common to all farming projects! The weather is always variable and sometime throws all sorts of problems. Disease and insects are another risk to any crop. One challenge that we faced last year was picking them all at the correct time. There is a short window of time to harvest and if for some reason you don't harvest them at that time, the crop is ruined or damaged.
While we can't control the weather, we have a large enough crop, that even if some are lost, we will still have a good amount to sell. To help with harvest this year, we are working on some ways to make it more efficient. Some of the picking boxes and sled we used last year will be modified to work better with the kiwiberries. Also, we have been talking to some friends and relatives who want to help. Many hands will get the job done fast!
- (18 days)