What can I offer a local urban farmer?

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I want to get into urban farming as a side business. I'm still relatively new to gardening, i.e. only a few year's experience.

Anyhow, there is a local urban farmer that appears to run a business similar to what I picture for myself. They do some retail and some selling to local restaurants.

I would like to build upon their mentorship. Of course, that begs the question - what can I do for them? I'm a full-time accountant with a degree in finance and an MBA (for all that's worth, ha!). I have related certifications, including Quickbooks. You get the point...I'm good with money and numbers. If you can dream something up for a spreadsheet, I can probably create it. I have some experience with marketing and building websites too. I can learn just about any technical skill.

What's my best approach for working with them? What's the pain point I should focus on helping with? For those who are mentors/mentees in a similar situation, how do you build your relationship?

Thanks folks,
 
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Pain Point... Six Sigma BB on the resume too? :)

Are your aspirations for the hands on side or the business side.... both? What are you looking to get out of the deal? Do you have something to offer in addition to, instead of business and finance like time or free time?

You might be starting a possibly competitive business?

Do you grow anything much now? What is your overall horticulture knowledge?
 
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Pain Point... Six Sigma BB on the resume too? :)

Are your aspirations for the hands on side or the business side.... both? What are you looking to get out of the deal? Do you have something to offer in addition to, instead of business and finance like time or free time?

You might be starting a possibly competitive business?

Do you grow anything much now? What is your overall horticulture knowledge?

Yeah, sorry for the jive talk, lol. That phrase has been coming up a lot in what I've been reading and watching.

At this point, I only envision this as a part-time endeavor. A hobby that makes money, if you will. Picture somebody that sells the crafts they like to make on Etsy, while working a full-time job.

I'd also like to make it self-sufficient enough that my kids could get involved as they go through high school and college. I'd like for them to be able to make more than minimum wage. More importantly, I'd like to broaden their horizons into the benefits of entrepreneurship.

I've had a garden in the past, but it was kind of "set it and forget it." This season I'm getting back into the swing of thing with a handful of plants at my house. I don't anticipate selling anything this season. Just getting some experience growing and learning what I can.
 
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What's my best approach for working with them? What's the pain point I should focus on helping with? For those who are mentors/mentees in a similar situation, how do you build your relationship?
To me the best approach is to find their ---NEED. and to be willing to do anything, grunt work etc. to show them that you are worth their time for mentoring.
 
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The best person to answer what you can do for this urban farmer is the farmer. Even with the best of intentions, you can't help someone unless they actually need and want help. Almost everyone can benefit from an extra set of hands. If you're willing to get your hands dirty - and volunteer, I'm sure plenty can be found for you to do.
 
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The best person to answer what you can do for this urban farmer is the farmer. Even with the best of intentions, you can't help someone unless they actually need and want help. Almost everyone can benefit from an extra set of hands. If you're willing to get your hands dirty - and volunteer, I'm sure plenty can be found for you to do.

Sure, I agree. I ask because, in my experience, it's best to approach someone with something tangible. Show, don't tell.

I just wanted to get a little feedback from the community. I'm willing to do hands-on work for a bit if that's all they feel they need help with.

Maybe they're willing to provide advice for nothing in return. Most people aren't going to do that, though. Best to be prepared to bring something to the table.

Thanks,
 
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Agree with @ChanellG , actually. Do some research and try to target their needs/wants, and offer to help them that way.

Two years ago I saw in the news a local non-profit organic garden operation (they hire local "at risk" school kids all summer, and sell their produce at our very nice farmers market and to some restaurants) was planning on renovating one of their buildings.

Well I am a painting contractor, so I called and offered to volunteer my labor to spray the exterior. Just a mile from my house, yay. I also got my local Sherwin Williams commercial store to donate all the paint.

I actually did not do this looking for anything in return. Just to be a good neighbor. But one day's work got me in the news, several new clients/jobs, a new friend, and my Congress critter's personal cell number. :)

So, tl;dr...identify a need and offer to fill it.
 
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...in my experience, it's best to approach someone with something tangible...
Best to be prepared to bring something to the table.

In MY experience, most people have been approached multiple times by those who claim they want to help, but don't actually do it. All you have to do is ASK. Just introduce yourself and be honest.
 

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