The great California gold rush miners made money from a precious metal that was free.
Here are some ideas to help you get started for free or that has a very low cost.
~ Tumbleweeds (Russian Thistle)are extremely sharp, poking through leather gloves and lacerating horses’ legs as they bounce by. They scatter up to 250,000 seeds per average-sized tumbleweed during miles of tumbling. Seeds can germinate in less than 30 minutes, with just a little moisture and then suck nourishment out of the soil that could be used by decent crops. Tumbleweeds catch fire and burn quickly and wind easily carries them over fire barriers to spread fires....yet...
One woman in Kansas is selling tumbleweeds around the world for up to $30+ each for something she gets for free!
In western Oklahoma there are lots of tumbleweeds.
~ Mistletoe Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, growing on the branches or trunk of a tree and sending out roots that penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients. But mistletoe is commonly used as a Christmas decoration that many people will pay well for. (Pportioned off small bundles, and sold them door-to-door or to a store.)http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1985_November_December/Mistletoe_Money
~ Eastern Red Cedar which has been considered a real nuisance can now be a huge money maker for the state of Oklahoma, since they realized all that they can do with the wood! http://www.angelfire.com/ok5/winningteam/EasternRedCedar.html
~ Wind energy has rapidly become a thriving business in western Oklahoma – thanks to Oklahoma’s windy plains.
~ Biodiesel & Ethanol Plants-
* Guymon will use animal fat from area slaughtering facilities.
* Durant will use soybean oil.
* Enid plant will use corn and milo.
In Temple, NH they are making biofuel out of sawdust from the sawmills!! The pellets burn in a stove and last for a long time.... We have Weyerhaeuser in Southeastern OK...and seventeen sawmills have opened across the state to utilize the products eastern red cesar trees provide, which include: cedar oil, litter box chips, lumber for hope chests, and insect repellent.
Wright City, Broken Bow, Idabel, Stilwell, and Spavinaw
~ Only one of the wineries of the many in Oklahoma is growing lavender. HINT: a REAL moneymaker...if anyone is paying attention!
Lavender in Oklahoma
~ Fresh green mint thrives without care, even when unattended for years- grocery and butcher shops, during lamb season, mint sales boom. Grocers stock mint jelly and mint sauce. Pay them a 20 per cent commission on anything they sold.
(Mice hate mint so it could be sold in winter if advertised the right way.)
In a tea room a bowl filled with water and fresh mint. Hot or iced tea with crushed fresh mint, open sandwiches of steamed homemade brown bread spread with homemade butter, cheese, and a slice of mint jelly were the only things served at this tea room.
African violet plants at Easter,Christmas, Mother's Day, and Valentine's Day. different varieties growing in jars that stand on tiers of metal trays at a room temperature of 70°. Violets do not thrive in direct sunlight, so windows should be curtained with thin, white material. Sell plants wholesale to dealers and florists and retail to friends and acquaintances. Water from the bottom about every other day, and once a month use a homemade fertilizer, made by pouring water over cow manure. The plants are grown in almost every color except yellow.
~ Manure...look what these young kids did! http://manuregourmet.com/testimonials.htm
(Can you offer to clean a stable?)
~ Fruit trees and vines
~ Vegetables corn, squash, from a roadside stand
~ Grow plants in pots for landscaping in spring and summer.
~ Decorate eggs for Easter, if you are talented.
~ Great mulch for landscaping around trees can be found from the "shavings" around trees that were sawed down.
~ Pecans and other nut trees from a pecan tree in the back yard
~ Huge rocks when removed from your property others will buy for landscaping
~ River rock found.. yep, along the river, for landscaping.
~ Sand if it is on your property.
~ Top soil from your property
~ Driftwood for landscaping
~ Leasing out your property to farmers or ranchers.
~ Dirt shirts
~ Dig up Spiderworts growing by the side of the road.
~ Cut Flowers such as sunflowers and other pretty wildflowers for a bouquet.
~ Chicken poop for fertilizer, from poultry growers.
~ Specialty Foods (sold to upscale restuarants, gourmet shops, grocery stores, and health food stores)
~ Organic foods (sell between 20% and 100% more then non-organic foods)
~ Sell Herbs for medicine and spices
~ Christmas Trees (1100 trees per acre)
~ Rent Bee Hives to pollinate farms
~ Bed and Breakfast
~ A "pick your own vegetables" or fruit operation
~ Rent out a patch of ground for the city dweller to grow their own vegetables.
~ Berry farms can be used for juice, jam or can be dried.
~ Take things to the Farmers Market or have a roadside stand for your pumpkins gourds, squash, and wheatstalks in the fall.
~ Grown plants in pots for landscaping in spring and summer.
~ Raise sheep for their wool and specialize in tradional methods of spinning and dying their yarn. Their yarn is popular with Civil War reenactors and folks who make tradional grab.
~ Organic unbleached clothing or material
~ Honey in Organic food stores
~ Pumpkin seeds or spiced pecans..sell at Farmers Market
~ Make wooden furniture but it has to be high quality.
~ Grow herbs (and aloe vera)for those who like natural remedies
~ Grow Bamboo in pots to sell. Bamboo is a very expensive flooring now.
~ Build furniture out of pine logs with a chain-saw. One sold in a specialty store in for $800.
~ Furniture, picture frames, and other knick-knacks out of old barn lumber and make a killing, considering the raw materials cost basically nothing.
~ Duck hunter or other hunting guide
~ Strawberries, canteloupes, watermelons in season
~ Potpourri from rose petals
~ Kindling wood for starting fires come from aged heart pine (stumps and limbs), contains a sticky concentrated resin that can easily be ignited with a single match. Find it when looking for mistletoe and sell it to ones buying mistletoe as “delightfully convenient and easy to use kindling wood—sure to warm your hearth, and your charming home.” (Kindling wood, you crackles and burns very quickly making it an excellent fire starter.)
~ Sell unusual rocks and fossils (old Indian arrows)
~ Build furniture out of wicker
~ The Amish started woodworking after they ran out of new land. www.amishacres.com www.visitamish.com
~ Children's rocking chair made of bent sticks
~ wooden rocking horses or anything for babies will always sell... just like things for weddings.
~ Amish sell blankets and quilts, vegetables, pies, jellies, breads, lumber, eggs, hand-churned butter, and livestock.
~ Echinacea Purpurea, commonly known as the purple cone flower is extremely easy to grow. Every part of the plant (roots, stems, folige, and blossom) have a medicinal use. All the parts of this plant can be used in teas and herbal remedies
~ Build log furniture
~ local "flea market" sells all sorts of "natural" and "organic" items
~ a black walnut tree farm is extremely inexpensive to start if you have the time to pick up the seeds, or you can buy a pre-started tree for about $35. In a few years they start producing walnuts, which can be used/sold as food, and you can use the shells in a wood burning stove to heat your house. After about 20 years, you can sell some (one acre with a few straight black walnut trees can bring up to 1.5 million dollars (Eastern 3/4 of Oklahoma)
~ a little patch of garden for one man has now turned into a three acre field of agriculture, that he still can not keep up with the demand for his products- homemade jams, jellies, peppers, tomatoes and homemade pasta sauces.
~ Set up a greenhouse and grow exotics of various kinds, and you could make $50,000 a year. (Tightwad Gazette at the library explains how to make a year round greenhouse out of old stuff you have laying around.)
~ Aquaponics is labor intensive, but you may find niche markets with restaurants, health food stores http://www.aquaponics.com
~ Shiitake mushrooms now the rave due to scarcity and demand, tend to sell for quite a bit. http://osuextra.okstate.edu/pdfs/F-5029web.pdf
~ Ginseng -grow medicinal herbs, flowers, and tubers. http://www.motherearthnews.com/menarch/archive/goto.asp?article=135/135-038-01&ID=4572&Num=33
~ Certain rare herbs that even government sects are funding to be grown by everyday people!
~ Scrap materials can be transformed
~Vintage clothing... “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure”
~ Cleaning up messes and hauling things away can be a business unto itself. Now that eBay has created the world’s largest garage sale, people have found that they can sell just about anything. (Some individuals do not have the time, interest, or technological proficiency to use eBay, and these persons offer a potentially rich and virtually endless source of products which you could acquire and sell or sell on their behalf, for a fee).
One disabled gentleman offered to clean out a lady's garage and then she asked him to clean the attic, having him take the stuff to the junk and allowing him to keep all of it he wanted....he sold it...and more people asked him to clean their garages and attics....and to haul away the junk...he has made a nice income from some of the antiques he was given to do with as he wanted.
~ At Christmas-
*Sprays and wreaths of pine and spruce
*Pine cones, plain and painted.
White pine cones, when chemically treated and packed in colored net bags, sell well at Christmas time. (The best of the chemicals are copper chloride and copper sulphate. A flame series ranging from greenish-blue, bluish-purple, to purple when the cones are tossed in the fire can be obtained by treating the cones with these two chemicals. Buy the salts in finely ground or pulverized form from the drugstore. Then, to treat one bushel of cones, melt half a pound of paraffin wax, the same type that you use to seal glass jelly jars. Mix with the melted wax two ounces of copper chloride and two ounces of copper sulphate. The paraffin wax is highly flammable and should be melted over low heat, preferably in a glass or metal container, over a pan of hot water, or in a double boiler.
The cones can then be put into a large container lined with newspapers. You can use an old whisk broom or a stiff brush to sprinkle the wax mixture onto the cones, or you can dip them into the mixture or pour the mixture over them, stirring them thoroughly so that all the cone surface will be treated. The wax hardens immediately and the treated cones may then be put into a gaily colored bag and stored in a cool place until needed. The wax will not melt from the cones at ordinary room temperature.)
Regular old thistles?" Take a look at how anything can be "staged":
Making soy candles....we now know how dangerous paraffin candles are!! Don't burn those things!!
How about a call reassurance business where you call elderly people every day to check on them?
You are only limited by imagination and ambition...
US Dept of Agriculture