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Starting Small

first_imgBackyard gardeners thinking of turning their hobby into a business should start small, according to University of Georgia consumer horticulturist Bob Westerfield.Westerfield has advised home gardeners across the state for more than 25 years – first as a UGA Extension agent and for the past 20 years as Extension’s home gardening expert. He manages research gardening plots on the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ campus in Griffin in order to study the pests and diseases that home gardeners tackle. He and his wife, Carmen, grow vegetables for their own use and to sell through co-ops and online markets in Pike County in addition to growing blueberries in south Georgia.Westerfield advises gardeners who want to sell their produce to begin small. “Think small to begin with, unless you have a lot of help and equipment,” he said. “I recommend a quarter- or half-an-acre plot.”Planting, maintaining and harvesting a garden take time. Determine how much time you have to devote to a garden before you plant a big plot, he said.“You have to pick okra and squash every day. It takes a non-stop commitment,” Westerfield said. “You have to have time to do it. It can work you to death if you’ve never done it before.”In addition to time, resources are a must when caring for a garden of any size.“Smaller gardens may get by with just shovels and hoes, but for large plots of okra and corn you need some equipment to help you. Tillers, small tractors, a small hobby farm tractor—we’re talking thousands of dollars in equipment,” Westerfield said.Even with small-scale equipment, someone has to tend the garden, pull weeds and pick vegetables at harvest time. “Everyone loves working in the garden in May, but not in July and August. I hire summer helpers, and it’s hard to find folks to work in a garden in August,” Westerfield said.Access to water is essential for success no matter the size of the garden plot. The cost of water has to be worked into the small business budget. Using public water will result in a higher water bill, and a well costs about $5,000, he said. Buying transplants can also be expensive. Westerfield recommends gardeners grow transplants from seed. “It’s hard to make a living if you don’t grow your own. It’s going to get really expensive if you don’t grow them yourself,” he said.Just like other businesses, a small farm business needs a business license. “In most cases for a roadside stand, you need a business license. If you are selling processed foods, like pickled okra or jellies, you need a cottage food license,” Westerfield said.Organic vegetables are a niche market, but Westerfield warns small farmers not to label their produce as such. “If you are you are selling vegetables, your farm has to be inspected on the national level to get organic certification,” he said.Pick-your-own farms should have liability insurance to cover accidents and taxes must be paid on any income made from small gardens, he said. Like all businesses, a small farm business needs customers. Westerfield recommends small farmers sell their produce through online farmers markets and local farmers markets, to friends and relatives and, if supplies are large enough, to school systems. Westerfield also recommends small farmers look for specialty or niche markets. “Offer unique crops like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, colorful lettuce, Italian and hot peppers, and herbs,” he said. Small farm owners have to balance the costs to determine if a profit can be made. “If you sell three tomatoes for $2.50, but you bought an $80,000 tractor, you should be charging $150 for those tomatoes to break even,” he said.last_img read more

‘Fixing Kingpin’ Chawla likely to be flown on Monday, top bookies jittery

first_imgNew Delhi: The UK Home Department is expected to give a final go-ahead to extradite cricket betting kingpin Sanjeev Chawla to India on Monday.The UK High Court had dispatched a sealed envelope to Home Department to take a final call on Chawla, whose appeal against extradition was turned down by two judges of the High Court on Thursday, highly placed sources in Delhi Police told IANS.London based businessman Sanjeev Chawla, who turned a major bookie for the D-company in the late 1990s, would be the second person to be extradited from London since the UK signed an extradition treaty with India in 1992.Sources said Chawla is expected to be flown to India on an Air India flight reaching Delhi early Tuesday morning. Ram Gopal Naik, DCP Crime, Delhi Police, is presently in London with his team to take custody of Chawla, once the UK Home Department issues the order for the bookie’s release.”The High Court has already given its orders. Now we are only awaiting certain extradition formalities to be carried out by the Home Department. It seems by Monday afternoon we will have the orders in hand,” said an official of the Delhi Police Crime Branch.Sources said that Chawla operated one of the biggest betting syndicates in the late ’90s under the patronage of Mumbai-based business tycoons and operatives of D-Company. While Chawla fixed matches through top cricketers in South Africa, India, Pakistan, and other countries, D-Company ensured that bids are settled smoothly through overseas hawala transactions.”Though Chawla is being brought to India after 19 years, his interrogation in Delhi would expose several big faces in the cricketing world,” said Ajay Raj Sharma, who was the Delhi Police Commissioner in 2000 when the match-fixing scandal rocked the sporting fraternity. IANSAlso Read: Royal Challengers Bangalore will come hard at us, need to be alert: Piyush ChawlaAlso Watch: Protesters, who walked all the way from Tinsukia-Guwahati to protest against CAA 2019, Detained!last_img read more

Clippers’ bench is standing out on defense

first_imgOKLAHOMA CITY >> Doc Rivers had plans for the Clippers’ bench. This, well, this wasn’t one of them.Eight games into season — essentially 1/10th of the regular season — Jamal Crawford, Raymond Felton, Marreese Speights, Austin Rivers and Wesley Johnson are defending better than every other bench in the NBA.Even crazier, the Clippers’ staring unit is the only five-man lineup with at least 60 minutes together on the court holding opponents to fewer points per 100 possessions.“I knew we’d be one of the top offenses in the league. We have so many scorers. … The combination of us fits perfectly,” Austin Rivers said. “On defense, I didn’t know how we were going to be. I thought we would maybe struggle. The fact that we’re second in the league right now is (expletive) shocking.” But, so far, the group’s ability to cover has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season despite some individual defensive weaknesses.“Mo’s been good, though. You don’t have to have great individual defenders to have to be a good team defense,” Doc Rivers said. “I think that’s what the second group has done. The key guys, Wes has improved more with his weakside and awareness, but the key guys are Raymond and Austin. They do things to make us a good defensive team.”Just another cityBlake Griffin is from Oklahoma City. He played his college basketball for the state’s beloved Sooners. And, that’s why the people inside Chesapeake Energy Arena cheered when Griffin was introduced pregame.But even as he enters what could be the final season of his current contract, Griffin didn’t expect to hear much from his friends in family in town about maybe joining the Thunder down the road.“When I talk to my friends and family from back home, I think they’re, I would say, true friends and family. They know that my main focus is this season and this team,” Griffin said Wednesday. “They know I enjoy playing (for the Clippers) and I love this team, coaching staff, everybody. They know that’s my main focus. They pretty much know not to bring that up.”Doc Rivers, who said he never wanted to play professionally in his hometown of Chicago, said he doesn’t see much of a difference in Griffin’s game in Oklahoma City.“I think he just wants to win,” Rivers said. “Usually when you come home, you want to win because you see your guys and friends that summer, you don’t want them to have anything on you.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img The Clippers’ bench has been good on offense — its’s 12th in the league in efficiency, ahead of 11 different starting lineups.“Our offense has carried over to defense,” Austin Rivers said.Because the Clippers trust each other when they have the ball, they’ve taken to each other on the defensive end, playing a frantic style reliant on perfect rotations. And, it’s worked.“It’s not always like this,” Jamal Crawford, a veteran of plenty different benches, said. “…We cover for each other. We fly around.”The group wasn’t as sharp Friday, with Oklahoma City’s bench giving it some matchup problems because of OKC’s size in the first half and with some unexpected 3-point shooting in the second half.last_img read more