Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hey, I'm a farmer!

I decided to pick some avocados. We have lots of avocado trees. I picked them with a very long apple-picker. It is made of a long, telescoping pole with a wire basket on top. The wire basket has prongs that bend over on one side. You position the basket with the prongs around the fruit and pull down. The fruit falls into the basket.

I picked a large box of avocados. Then I made a collection box out of a shoe box. I cut a little slot in the shoe box so that people could put their money inside. I taped the shoebox to the big box of avocados. Then I made a homemade sign announcing BIG Bacon AVOCADOS 50¢. Because Bacon avocados are different from the Haas avocados most people are used to, I also put another sign near to the slot indicating that bacon avocados are ripe when green and soft. Bacon avocados really are huge so they tend to be popular. That's a lot of avocado for the buck!

I put the box down on the sidewalk. People driving or walking by can easily see the box. Anyone who wants to buy avocados can plop a little money in the box and take a few avocados. It's on the honor system. It's a win-win because even if someone stole all the avocados at least they would be eaten. Unless someone eats them they fall off the tree loudly enough to wake me up in the middle of the night. Then skunks and raccoons eat them instead. It would be sad if someone stole the money, but I check every few hours. Even if someone stole the money, it's not a lot of money and still the avocados would be eaten by someone.

So far I've made over $15 in just one day.

We also have Haas avocado trees. I will fill a box of those next. We also have a Valencia orange tree. I might try that. I suppose you could do something similar with squash or tomatoes or whatever garden bounty. And if you didn't have a garden of your own, any fruit tree that has branches over the fence into an alley or other public place is fair game for harvest. I know where there is an apple tree, plums, loquats and walnuts. I'm sure with a little stealthy bike riding I could find a lot more.

Passive income. I made the money while going for a hike, while relaxing in my home and eating dinner. It's not a lot of money but it's enough to enjoy a little treat.

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