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Microbusiness comes full circle

Whiz bang chicken pluckerWhen we moved to our farm seven years ago, both Mark and I knew the homestead would be a full-time job and working a "real" job too would slow things down dramatically.  Neither of us come from wealthy families, though, so we needed a source of income.

About that time, we went to learn how to slaughter chickens at a friend's farm.  They had a Whiz-Bang Chicken Plucker and Mark was very taken by its ingenuity.  When we looked the product up on the internet and realized that the inventor, Herrick Kimball, was running a small home business based on that (and other products), Mark wondered if we could do the same.

To cut a long story short, Mark ended up inventing a POOP-free chicken waterer that has reached thousands of chicken-keepers in the U.S. and around the world.  We had to tighten our belts for the first year because the microbusiness barely brought us above the poverty line, but then word of mouth helped Mark's invention take off.  Soon we had enough spare cash that Mark was able to hire another local homesteader to help me in the garden part time, giving him time to work on inventing an even better chicken waterer.

Idea Book for GardenersImagine how thrilled Mark was yesterday, when his role model wrote about the EZ Miser on his blog.  We'd sent Herrick a review copy just on the off chance he was willing to give our waterer a try, but his kind writeup went far beyond our expectations.  In fact, Herrick told me he plans to write a review of Trailersteading shortly as well, which prompted me to remember that I wanted to read and review his recent Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners.

Stay tuned for more tips from an inventor very much like Mark in a later  post.  In the meantime, be sure to add The Deliberate Agrarian to your reading list --- this is one of my top-ten favorite homesteading blogs and should be required reading for both the aspiring and established homesteader.  Enjoy!

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Hi Anna and Mark and all,

What an inspiring post.

You have got me seriously thinking of what I might provide as a product that might help.


Comment by John Fri Feb 28 13:23:37 2014
Hi Anna and Mark! Just wanted to say that I love reading your blog and I've learned such common sense ideas that had never occurred to me before. From reading other blogs, etc. I can tell you that you guys are rock stars in your niche market. Why just today someone said, "I love reading her books." Keep up the good work!
Comment by Julie Fri Feb 28 20:57:34 2014
I've got Herrick's book, and it's great. I'm keen to build his yoke, and have bought all the materials, but free time is proving elusive :-(.
Comment by Darren (Green Change) Tue Mar 4 18:51:58 2014

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime