Dateline: 2 August 2013
|String-trellised tomatoes on a Planet Whizbang T-post trellis span. Can you see the red string? (click for an enlarged view)|
I have created a brand new web site. It's called The Planet Whizbang T-Post Trellis Instructional Web Site. The purpose of the new site is to introduce gardeners to the T-post trellis span idea that I discuss in my recently-published Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners.
Along with introducing a bit of what the book teaches, the web site serves to introduce a new Planet Whizbang product...
|A pair of handcrafted Planet Whizbang T-post trellis Y-holders|
If you already have a copy of the Idea Book, you will recognize the Y-holders from page 12, where I provide specifications and how-to for making your own.
It was my intention to make and sell Y-holders when I was writing the book. That's because I realize that a lot of people just don't have the time or the inclination to make something like Y-holders themselves. I never expected, however, to be making them so soon.
The reason I can bring this new product online much quicker than I ever anticipated is a very good story
The Back Story
As many readers of this blog know, I have written before of my desire to develop a family economy. What is a family economy? I'll let Allan C. Carlson explain it:
"Before the rise of modern industry... virtually the whole of humankind lived in family-centered economies. The family was the locus of the most productive activity, whether it be on largely self-sufficient farms or in small family shops... husbands and wives relied on each other, shared with each other, needed each other, so their small family enterprise might succeed."
That quote (with more than I've posted here) can be found in in, my book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian, right before the chapter titled "Returning to The Family Economy," wherein I wrote:
"It is my strongly-held belief that in order to build strong families and reestablish a vibrant agrarian culture, individual families must rediscover and deliberately work towards reuniting the entire family into some sort of family economy."
And later in the same chapter I wrote:
"For new agrarians in the 21st century to reestablish family economies, we need to, first, get out of bondage to debt. A key part of doing this is to simplify our needs and wants; we must tame our tendency toward materialism and consumerism. Then we must endeavor to supply as many of our family's needs as possible. And finally, we must also create family businesses that generate enough actual money to pay the most necessary of living costs in our very expensive industrial economy.
All of this is an enormous challenge. It is not something that most people can do overnight. But it is something that most people can begin on a small scale and slowly, deliberately, bring to fruition."
Well, I started Planet Whizbang with that vision of developing a home-business as part of a family economy. While the business has slowly grown and prospered, and Marlene and I have worked together at it, our three sons have only been marginally involved...until now.
You who read this blog regularly know that my oldest son served his time and was discharged from the Army a few months ago. He wasn't sure what he would do when he got out. He just wanted to get out. That's understandable.
He and his wife and my grandson live in the house and land we bought a year or so ago. It is just down the road. It's close. We bought the property debt-free with money generated by the Planet Whizbang business.
Prior to my son getting out of the Army, I quit my government job to be home and work the Planet Whizbang business. I believe the timing of these events to be providential.
To make a long story short, my son has no job, I need help, and I have the money to pay him. So he has been working with me for the past six weeks. It has been a good experience for him and for me.
I think he might be a little surprised at the amount of work I've been doing by myself to keep this business going. It's not all stuffing boxes and envelopes and putting postage on the outside. We have a small manufacturing business here...
|My son, cutting mortise ends on Whizbang wheel hoe handle spreaders|
|My son, wire-brushing chicken plucker drive shafts so they fit easily in the bearings.|
|Bending the hook on T-post trellis Y-holders|
Having my son around, helping with the business every day, means that our family is together every day. My grandson and daughter-in-law, and our other sons (with their girlfriends), are here much more often for meals. This is how the family economy should work, and why it is such a good thing.
I don't know how much longer it will go on because I can't pay a lot of money to my son, and he has GI educational benefits that he can and should use. But even if this example of family economy is only for a season, it's a good and instructive experience.
Seeing as we have this time, and things with the business are getting caught up, I figured that I'd put my son to work making Y-holders. I saw this as an opportunity for an entrepreneurial object lesson. We would take the idea from concept to completion...together. He would get to see and experience the process.
It took about two weeks, all told, as time permitted, to bring Planet Whizbang T-post trellis Y-holders to the market. The final task was to create the web site. I showed my son how I create a free blog in a matter of seconds, then shape it into a web site in a matter of a couple hours. He watched me and I could see that he grasped the concept.
The internet allows creative, entrepreneurial-minded people to bring their idea-products to an enormous marketplace very quickly, with virtually no marketing investment. The internet is a remarkable tool that can help families break free of wage slavery and industrial-system bondage so they can reestablish vibrant, home-based family economies on the land.
There is no guarantee that a lot of people will buy Y-holders. But some will, and that's good enough. Those who do buy them, and who put them to use, will be pleased with their purchase. Their friends will see the intelligent trellis structure they have made, and want to make one too. Then more people will buy the Y-holders. Some will buy them to give as gifts to gardening friends.
We don't need to sell an enormous number of Y-holders our overhead is very low, and Y-holders are just one of several products we offer. It's an agrarian business principle—don't put all your eggs in one basket.
So that's the "back story" on the new web site and the new Planet Whizbang Y-holders. If you buy Y-holders in this month of August, the shipping is free.