Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
This is a survey to understand what companies/sponsors Farm Dreams should consider partnering with in the future, so please reply below.
In terms of any of the following categories (or more that you think are relevant to this site), who do you buy from at least once per year or so? If you buy from large retailers such as Amazon, don't list that but rather list what PRODUCT BRANDS you prefer.
As far as gardening I buy most of my seeds from a local nursery & farm supply store but I also order from Johnny's Select Seeds. Trees come from Lowes, most of my tools come from Craigslist and a this state only surplus & salvage store.
When we buy chicks we buy from Cackle Hatchery most I hatch myself using an incubator I bought on Ebay, Feed is from Poulin Grain, Other supplies come from TSC and my sister's work (A local supply store called Longhorn Horse & Pet Supply).
Food preservation: TSC & Cabelas
Pantry: BJ's Wholesale Club & local grocery stores
Prepping & survival: Cabelas, L.L.Bean, & Kittery Trading Post
Lumber, ect: Lowes & Home Depot
Publications & magazines: Mother Earth News, Countryside, Hobby Farm, Grit, Urban Farm, Backhome, Backwoods Home, and Backyard Poultry
I know as far as tools you get what you pay for but a lot of my best tools are someone elses cast offs, we got a great rear tine tiller thru Craigslist for next to nothing because it needed a tune-up and the guy wasn't mechanically inclined - hubby is, we got a front tine tiller free for the same reason. Same with the materials to build my permanent greenhouse, most were free the only thing we're going to have to buy is the polycarbonate panels for the roof even my big fan for it was a freebie.
I'm a firm beleiver in buying locally (and from Mom and Pop stores)... I like being called by name when I go into a place.
I buy (bought ) most of my tools, pots, pans, etc. at estate sales (I refer buying something bulit older that lasts), When I do buy somet new (and I bouth the Mathis tiller being shown as a ad and would be more than willing to write a testimonial for it) I prefer to buy locally (not only to support the local business but to have them service it if I have problems ). I also buy Husqvarna when I buy new.
Books etc., mostly I go to the next county's quarterly book sale. If I want something (like when Daisy suggested 2 books in her BLOG) I'll try going through the FD Bookstore first.
Sorry I don't use many things I can't buy locally. (I do hope you can use Husqvarna like Mathis as a sponsor.
For food? Locallygrown.net It is the most exciting model I've seen in terms of ease for grower and ease/choice for customer. Also it allows for a barter model among growers. Pretty sneaky/cool actually.
Seeds: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Fencing, lumber, equipment: Craigslist
Other stuff: N/A
Johnnys Selected Seeds, Murray McMurray, Tractor Supply, and yes.....Locally Grown.net.....started right here in Athens Georgia! I think like many I have more stuff from second hand stores, and yard sales.....and even the dump! My truck used to weigh more coming out than going in! It is amazing what you find in peoples barns and shops, especially older folks who have great older stuff they no longer use. Trying to wrassle it away from them is another story! Books.....Amazon "used." Mother Earth News, and Grit. I have picked things up put out for the trash man...used to embarass my children to no end. I always keep a shovel in my truck too....I have dug up many a plants from abandoned properties. I am cheap....but I also like the challenge!
Gardening, seeds, plants trees: home depot unless a local nursery has it. Rare Seed Catalog, Gurneys or Burgess Seeds.
Prepping, food storage, survival: Honeyville Grain
Livestock health, vet, hatcheries, supplies: Tractor Supply and McMurray Hatcheries and of course - my vet
Fencing, infrastructure, egg cartons, weed control, farm supplies: Tractor Supply and Amazon
Food preservation, panty: I can usually catch the jars off season at Big Lots
Precious Metals: n/a
Magazines: Grit, Mother Earth News, FD, USDA reports
Lumber, wood: we are blessed to have our own saw mill, but green wood is bought from Home Depot
Tractors, ATV;s, equipment: private party, Kubota, local dealers
Beekeeping: too scared to go there, but I purchase lots from Amazon
Meat Processing: Hampton Meats for processing our angus and pork sausage,
Vegtables: "The Farm" which is the local distributor/supplier for local grocery stores and some people from the farmers market
Big Sprinkler has the best sprinkler in the world for small farmers. One sprinkler has a 1000' garden done!
Dirt: most times we call a local trucking company that supplies various products for that one big load. Sometime I collecting bags of good soil when I catch it pre-spring at Home Depot
Fertilizer: find a co-op
If I cant buy local I try to at least buy made in the USA.
Got to check out this locallygrown.net from Eric.
Recently got a great deal on Tattler Canning lids from Mark Down.com, found out about the deal through Tattler's Face book page. Purchase seeds from High Mowing and Territorial. One Green World has some wonderful edibles to grow, I like them better than Raintree . Rhul Bee supply is near Portland Oregon and is a great sorce for bee keeping supplies. Bob's Red Mill is close by and if you purchase their large bags you can get a pretty good deal, their oats are on sale this month, I love their thick cut, old fashoned oats! I also order some things from Azure standard, they deliver once a month.
Local, small and independent guide our shopping as much as possible. There are also some really good big brands that are supplied by and/or that support independent farms and businesses too, so I'll throw in a few those below.
For veggie seeds I pretty much stick with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and Baker Creek, although this year I ran across High Mowing Organic Seeds and I will be ordering from them in the future. We do a lot of Tractor Supply Company shopping (I love the Dumoor layer pellets and Manna Pro rabbit feed there) for feed and other animal necessities, but we also buy from the local feed store (Layena and Purina rabbit chow) when we can't get to TSC. I almost always get my new chicks from Murray McMurray-never had a problem with them and my chicks are always healthy; never lost a one! I buy long-term storage food from Thrive and Emergency Essentials. I really like the Thrive food. As far as magazines go, I couldn't do without Mother Earth News, Cappers, Grit, Countryside and Small Stock Journal, Backyard Poultry, The Herb Companion, The Herb Quarterly. Lehman's has a lot of great stuff for homesteading type people or for those who need food preservation supplies. Ace Hardware also carries the full line of Ball canning jars and equipment at the cheapest price around here. We use Craigs List A LOT for many things we buy. We also hit garage and yard sales whenever we can for older tools and storage items.