🌱to💰- Growing Money In Your Yard Series • {part 4.1} • Setting Yourself Up to Grow Money

in garden •  6 months ago

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Welcome all green-thumbs and gardeners to part 4 of the
🌱to💰- Growing Money In Your Yard Series!

Tired of growing a lawn? Grow money instead!

This is a STEEMIT-EXCLUSIVE SERIES that is intended to help you get growing and making money doing it. If you have a passion for plants and a green-thumb or two, then you won't want to miss this series!

This is part 4 of an ongoing series, created and written by Brandon Holsey / @grow-pro. If you are unfamiliar with the 'style' of this series - it is not brief, nor is it your average garden how-to. I highly recommend reading the published parts of this series before proceeding with Part 4.

PREVIOUS PARTS OF THIS SERIES:

🌱to💰- Growing Money In Your Yard Series - {Introduction & Synopsis}


🌱to💰• Growing Money In Your Yard Series • {pt1} • Learn the Laws, Plan & Prepare


🌱to💰• Growing Money In Your Yard Series • {pt2} • Grow What You Know & How to Find Profitable Opportunities


🌱to💰• Growing Money In Your Yard Series • {pt3} • In-Depth Look At How I Started & What You Need To Succeed!

🌱to💰- Growing Money In Your Yard Series Returns! Calling All Homesteaders & Green-Thumbs!

🌱to💰- Growing Money In Your Yard Series NOW HAS A DISCORD!!



You can also find all previous parts of the series HERE which is in the "PUBLISHED" Room on Growing Money In Your Yard Discord


Quite the introduction to get through, I know!

It is no surprise if you have followed the series, this series is not intended to be another "quick overview". The goal is to promote independence and financial freedom - it will require 'extra effort', but I want to show more people that it is worth it. This next part of the series will be an extensive look at how I grow money and how you can get set up to do the same!

What Readers Can Expect In This PART 4

SECTIONS:

1 • covering costs, improvising, and pricing appropriately
2 • establishing a market and defining your niche
3 • ways to help the community by doing all of this

I want to show my fellow gardeners that it can be done!

If the above is something that might interest you, please read on. This series is actually a book that I wanted to publish, so I figured why not put it on Steemit AND use this series in the book. I am offering a significant amount of content for anyone who wishes to read it. I am doing this voluntarily and if you appreciate what I am doing, let me know. That is my fuel.


NOTE: THIS NEXT PART ASSUMES ALL READERS HAVE READ THE ENTIRE SERIES THUS FAR

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PART FOUR: SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR BUSINESS

Once you have cleared the hurdles and flaming hoops of legality, if any, and you've got a garden - you can grow money. You do not need a ton of space to generate income by growing food. Everybody eats.

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It can be free

I can grow food and cover the cost of materials by selling some of the food that I produce and eat for free. That means just about anyone can do that too. We all eat, but not all of us grow food. What if more people were growing food? Would there be less hungry people? I'll get into ways that I help my community later in this article.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?

• land / growing space
• experience gardening (preferably several years - you're growing food people will eat!)
• resources / some working capital (not much, but some is better than none), information/instructors/organizations
• time
• tools, materials, equipment necessary to cultivate and maintain your garden / growing area
source: Part 1 • 🌱to💰• Growing Money In Your Yard Series • {pt1} • Learn the Laws, Plan & Prepare

1) COVERING COSTS

RECYCLE / UPCYCLE / REUSE / REPURPOSE

I use things that I source directly from my own property and things that I acquire while helping others. The saying holds true: "One man's trash and another man's treasure"

Old pallets, barrels & drums, buckets, appliances, scrap materials (*see how @aunt-deb put an old refrigerator to good use here!). I reuse coffee cans and carryout food containers to sprout seeds, make shakers for soil amendments and I don't need to - I like to. I also use professional equipment, but if it has a use, I'm using it - regardless if I bought it or found it next to a dumpster. Of course, common sense is required when reusing these things for growing food.

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How to Identify a Pallet:


IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT use wooden pallets that have been treated chemically - they will leach toxins into your soil. USE ONLY HT / HEAT-TREATED wooden pallets, that are clean, when using them in or around your growing environment. This goes for plastics and many other materials that may be toxic. Use your head and also refer to the ISPM 15 before reusing wood products and packaging.

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GIVE to the Community and the community usually gives in return

I donate and gift food to a lot of people. I love to share what I grow and as more people enjoyed the 'fruits of my labor', I began to receive support from them in ways I had never anticipated. Many of the things I needed for this growing season was given to me. That is another reason I am compelled to help this Steemit community by sharing this series. I cannot stress enough how creating this synergy with those around is absolutely vital to success.

My costs as a small-scale tomato grower were not huge, but this year I have nearly zero out of pocket costs. I needed seed - a neighbor donated enough for the next 10 years! I needed some caging and fencing - a neighbor donated a few hundred feet of fencing and friends gathered tomato cages. The support that I have gotten from just a few people that appreciate what I am doing truly makes it all worthwhile. Give and you shall receive.

Barter/Trade, Swap, Sell

Barter for things that you need with those who might want you have. I'm a tomato grower and I have no trouble trading tomatoes for various things that I need. Having a yard sale or selling stuff around the house that I don't need is a great way to fund the things that I do need.

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I learned from making these mistakes



STARTING TOO BIG
Start Small - smaller operations require less capital to start. Less material, less time. Until you have done it, refined your process, and streamlined your A-Z = DO NOT SCALE IT UP. This is a lesson learned the hard way. Scaling up should be painless if you start small, streamline, and scale.

SOURCE LOCALLY
Buying online is tempting and sometimes we think because there is free shipping or a discount code that it will be cheaper online. The truth is, many times it is. However, retail stores are businesses too. They appreciate customer loyalty and when you make friends with other businesses - you find yourself doing more business! Buy and source locally as much as you can. There is nothing like supporting your local community and as you read above - they will support you back! Partner and collaborate with local business and you get what you need and might even make a friend. That is something you don't get online shopping.

LINE UP HELPING HANDS BEFORE YOU NEED THEM
This goes in tandem with starting small, not doing too much at once. Gardening is only 'easy work' if you make it easy work. Even then, it still looks like hard work to a lot of people. For those of us that love to do it, we see it as relaxing. If you have friends that garden - ask them if they'd be interested in helping you! Believe me, when you grow for more than just yourself, you'll be glad you have an extra set of helping hands. It's hard to do it alone. I know! It really takes two (or more) people sometimes. Unless you plan on never taking a summer vacation and don't mind doing it all on your own - ask a friend for to help.


Hopefully, you can learn vicariously from my experience and avoid these mistakes

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PRICING APPROPRIATELY

How can you cover the costs without pricing appropriately?

It is hard to price your product until you know how much it costs to make the product. So, the best way to price your product is to research prices of those who are already selling similar products. Size matters. A large-scale operation is typically run very efficiently and higher volume business. You can't expect to compete with volume, so you must compete with the price.

Since you cannot do the same thing for the same price as the big farms, you simply need to focus on doing something where you can get a higher return for lower volumes.


Niche-based products are often smaller markets, but customers do not mind paying extra for 'uniqueness'. Don't set your prices too low or too high. Easy enough to tell you that, but let the market decide. Try a price and see how the market receives it. If you are not selling any product, lower the price. If you are selling out faster than you anticipated then raise the price. Always try to price appropriately according to your location, cost of living in your area, competitor prices, YOUR volume. How much you produce and how long it takes you/how much work is involved really matters if you plan to get compensated fairly for your time and effort.

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2) Establishing a market and defining your niche

So you have gardening experience and you are already gardening. Now you want to turn that love of growing plants into a system that generate money as an extra 'byproduct'. You want to make a little profit from your garden and you want to do that with little to no added 'work'. In order to do that you have to first meet two criterion:

• you are highly proficient in growing a specific product
• you have a network of people to utilize

Grow what you know (and grow) best

If you aren't so confident in what you are growing or are a hermit that does not communicate with the 'outside world' you will want to reconsider. You will need to be able to grow your product consistently and generally speaking, people that are proficient in growing are more efficient growers. If you are not a people person, maybe consider bringing on a partner to help with the 'human relations' part. I realize some of us are better with plants than people, so each of us must decide if this is within our 'comfort zone'.

Where you grow matters

Think about what you can grow best to maximize return on investment (ROI) and best utilize your available space. What grows best in your climate and immediate environment and how long does it take from start to finish? Indoor growing and greenhouse growing help to control environment virtually anywhere. If there is a gap in the market for a certain product - fill that gap!

Specialty = Opportunity

Specialty growers know that they do not have to compete with large-scale operations, nor do large-scalee operations do not try to compete with specialty growers (in my perspective). There is a huge untapped market for specialty growers and you just have to find what best fits your situation.

Chefs seek specialty growers out and often are willing to pay the grower directly to get a consistent, quality product. There is a big market in many areas and if there is not one in yours - it doesn't mean there cannot be one! Create your own niche and establish a market if there is not one nearby. That is opportunity calling with a bullhorn, but not everyone can hear it.
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I grow specialty tomatoes and I am surrounded by farms

Many farms in Maryland grow tomatoes, but I grow heirloom tomatoes that are a bit harder to find here. I saw a gap in the market for homegrown tomatoes and I filled it. Consumers around here have a deep appreciation for quality tomatoes and many have found that I grow them. I started out just giving away much of what I grew and everyone was raving about how I needed to start a business. Well, I did. I have people that have preordered plants and reserved tomatoes for this upcoming season, last May! I have some serious supporters already and this year my business will see a profit even though I plan to donate and gift nearly half of what I grow. I cannot express the amount of gratification I get from being able to do that.

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I source seeds from all over the world and I focus on what others ignore.

I live in America - the melting pot. People come from all over the planet to live here and that is the beauty of tomatoes: they grow almost everywhere. And each region and geographic location has slightly different tomatoes. With the internet, we can find and source seeds from all over the Earth!

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I stopped counting tomato varieties at about 10,000, so the possibilities are vast. Last year I experimented with 21 heirloom varieties, sourced from several excellent seed banks. This year I have a seed collection 1000x what I had last year, so it's going to be interesting. I can be so dynamic with what I grow that I can even breed my own varieties, so possibilities are vast. I grow what people tell me they like and I listen

Listen to your customers

They will give you so much useful information that you can use to really sustain a long-term business. When you give your customer what they want and sometimes more than they expect, it generates a lasting relationship. That is the goal, isn't it?

Take note of what the market wants in your area and identify where other suppliers are not paying attention to. Those customers who are not being heard are just waiting for someone to do business with!

Let people know what you grow!

I gave away bushels of tomatoes until I was well known as the "tomato man". Once I started a business and let a few people know I was in business, the ball started rolling. I did a fundraiser event at Springfield Hospital, last spring, where I raised plants to sell for the event. I donated a large portion of the funds to the program because they really did a lot of work to make it happen and it was for a good cause. I was invited back and plan to do it again this year. That sort of presence is helpful for young business.

Be genuine & generous - it's great for community and business

If you are just starting out then it is vital to let people know what you grow and that you are available to them. If people do not know how good your produce is - show them! Offer it to community-focused organizations in your community, share with friends & family, even setup and stand in your yard or neighborhood to offer it. There are​ so many ways to let people know you exist and a little generosity is a great way to earn business.

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3) Ways to help the community by doing all of this

I want to share a few ways to get creative and help your community because it is a good idea to do it! I am not talking about helping to get something in return, I am speaking about contributing to a greater good with no expectation of return.

It is important to give without expectation because a return should not be the objective. We give to our community because it offers us immediate gratification and we feel good knowing that what we do makes others feel good, too. That is more than enough.

However, I have found that many people support us because they truly appreciate what we do. There is most certainly a return, but I must admit it was not at all expected (although welcome). I have supported my community and my community stepped up and supported me back. It is a ​synergy that resonates. People have helped us to expand what we are doing and allow us to give more than we were able to last year.

Sharing is caring and caring about those around you can make this mudball​ spin a bit smoother.

WAYS TO HELPHow it helps
Grow plants to donateMore people grow food and fewer​ people will be hungry
Donate SeedFuture generations benefit from you donating seed to programs and seed banks
Donate FoodReduce hunger and starvation
TEACHEmphasis due - this is an overlooked and undervalued way to truly make a difference in world hunger.

Some other things that I do to help:


Donate the highest quality product possible

Why? Because it shows that I take pride in what I do and the people I intend to help deserve my very best. Some might get the impression that I am speaking about donating ‘half-spoiled’ produce about to go to waste when I mention donating, but it was entirely opposite! I grade my tomatoes according to federal standards (although I am not required to at the scale that I grow). When I give food to my community, I ensure that it’s my best.

Synergy is the way

Last year we 'synergized' with a local gym and the owner was awesome enough to let us market our fresh produce and meet reservation list clients. When patrons of the gym enter and exit, they had a chance to get some fresh & local produce. Which you might have guessed is a great way to gain new business and help other local business. We attracted new patrons tot he establishment and introduced our client base to the gym and the gym did the same for us. That is truly a synergy that can enhance BOTH businesses with one simple partnership. We even allowed people to taste test our products just like a gym allows you a trial period or day pass.

Reservation lists are powerful

When you have a limit to how much you can produce in a season, you have to make the most of your season. If you are throwing away food that you grow because you have nowhere to go with it - that's not good. Ok, so what do you do? Set yourself up for success and do this very simple task of creating a reservation list. Regardless if you grow plants, produce, food products, or similar - this can help you tremendously!

Never doubt the power of exclusivity.



When supply is limited and the demand is growing = success is on the horizon. I simply inform people of my capacity and current spots available. People like to reserve things that they know are limited in supply and will sell out fairly quickly. Think of how concert ticket sales work. This is an effective method to ensure you have a 'base' of clients and it will give you a great bit of data about your market.

Reserve lists ensure that your loyal customers are happy

Last year at the spring plant sale in May, I put out lists for produce signup and plant signup. I had people ask to be put on this year's list, last year. That is customer loyalty and simple lists can help you track who loyal customers are. I believe that sort of bond is priceless and I greatly reward those who extend that loyalty to me.

Create a way for people to sign up for a list that way you can contact them when you have produce or products to sell.

💸🌱 You can grow money in your yard if you can grow plants 🌱💸

I intend to continue this series and cover as much material and my personal experience I can. If you would like to contribute to the series with your own original content, please contact me. I would love to get more authors and experienced growers interested in expanding this simple concept with me. If you can grow plants, you can grow money.

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Let's grow something good, together!

Contact me below or in the Growing Money Series Discord
to find out how you can contribute by writing your own content to be featured in the series OR curate steemit content to be worked into the series.

This part 4 has been modified/reduced and a second Part 4.2 post will follow. This helps me in two ways, first by allowing me more time to collaborate with fellow steemit gardeners, and secondly, this part is already a lengthy read. I realize the length of it might deter some, but I can assure that readers can take away something of value from the published portion of this series. There is much more to come • [see what is upcoming in the future parts of this series!]

Why should we expand this series?


• Feed the world better food, combat starvation and grow healthier communities
• Empower with Knowledge & Encourage others to seek independence and freedom
• Show the power of the Steemit community to the world - let's build a place that empowers users beyond financial metrics. I am talking about improving the human condition by sharing knowledge and encouraging the freedom of information
• Strengthen and unite the gardening community on Steemit

SPECIAL THANKS


Without the following support, this series might not be what it has become. I must give thanks to all of you who have supported this effort and special thanks to @locikll and @curie for the first real push when I was new to this platform. I am eternally grateful to have Steemit as an outlet and I hope to grow with this community. It really only takes a few kind words to inspire something beautiful. Tremendous thanks to @goldendawne for curating awesome garden content of Steemit and the admins of The Homesteaders Online site and discord: @greenacrehome@pennsif@farmstead that is a go-to hub for so much media rich content geared toward garden and homesteading. Without that, this would be so much more difficult to find the quality I find for this series.


Helpful Content Relevant to This Series - By Fellow Steemit Authors!

AuthorArticle
@crescendoofpeaceWhy you should be growing Chaya, aka Chayamansa, aka Tree Spinach, and more, for your health, and for profit!
@sylviamillerHome Made Plum Jam - Step by Step Guide.
@biohackerproYou CAN Homestead in Suburbia! And I am Proof!
@mountainjewelHow We Got Paid $$$$ To Plant Fruit and Nut Trees in Our Food Forest
@mountainjewelHOW TO Get A $Grant$ to Plant Fruit & Nut Trees (DETAILS!)
@carpedimuGrow Your Own Food! 🌱🌿🍓 - Easy to build DIY hydroponic system low budget

If you grow a garden and generate income - please contact me if you'd like to collaborate in the future portions of this series

What readers can expect in the upcoming up in the future parts of this
🌱to💰- Growing Money In Your Yard Series:

• Strategy​, strategic partnerships, offsetting costs, time efficiency, creating demand, fail-safes & why you need them, + more

• Marketing: Pricing, advertising creatively, using media, social networks, selling your products - where to sell and how, +more

• Commercial Growing, scaling your operation, how it's different and what you need to know as a hobby gardener before going commercial, maximizing yields, resources for commercial growing, risk/reward, benefits to community, + more

• An Overview and reader questions - where I will try to support all that have followed along in beginning their own operation. I will be answering any questions and will help to network and provide resources that will aid in more people actually making money from reading this series. I am growing, grow with me!

• COMMUNITY IDEAS - I want others to create their own series sharing how people can grow money food and their piggy bank. The more of us that can offer the resources and encouragement for more people to take this step toward freedom, the better we will be as a human race. We were created to be free and it's time to act like it.

THANK YOU FOR READING & SUPPORTING THIS EXCLUSIVE STEEMIT SERIES!

@grow-pro is a proud member & supporter of PAL / MSP & QURATOR, STEEMGIGS, STEEM FREELANCER'S GUILD, STEEM-QCI, SMART MEDIA POCKETS, LIBERTY PROFESSIONALS, LIFESAVERS, STEEMIT QUALITY CONTENT INITIATIVE


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Wow man I am all for community gardens! I think if more people grew their own food, we could get around the problems we have with all the ill treated food we consume so much. I don't have good land for this, and I get a lot of deer and bears that would be hard to fend off from eating my veggies, but it would be so cool to start seeing more sectioned off areas in neighborhoods for community run gardens. Thank you for providing such a great reference for the community! Definitely resteeming this. I'll revisit these because I would love to get into gardening down the road

Does family get on the list? I'm hoping to start posting more soon!

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

@grow-pro the post is quite interesting...well frankly i have note read it compketelly but whatever i read it make some sense. I am planning to switch to farming and the ppst is quite helpful. I will read it again quitelly and come up again..i already joined the discord group.

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Thank you @steemflow, it is a series that I have recently expanded to include more content from my fellow Steemit Authors who are gardening. Growing food is a rewarding endeavor in many ways; the gratification alone is worth the effort. However, I want more people to understand that growing food can also be monetarily rewarding as well. It is an opportunity that awaits...

We all eat, but not everyone grows food = that is an opportunity for those who accept it.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to chatting in discord. ✌️😎

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@grow-pro surely I will look forward to gain some fruitful knowledge ..thru you. Currently I am into my parents home..and will contact you sooner.👍

Havent absorbed all the content but its bookmarked to come back and refer to. Id love to be able to get some ROI on my fruit and veg that i grow fo reinvest 👍thanks for putting this out there

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There is a ton of info in the series, even how specialty mushrooms can fetch $14k in 10ft x 10ft area, indoors! I have seen some people growing on an apartment balcony and it's inspiring to me. I feel like I should put my yard to good use instead of just mowing grass. Feeding ourselves is a worthwhile endeavor just to provide that independence for yourself, but to provide it for others and make a few bucks - well, that is a sweet deal!

I will be putting this all together in a free e-book once I feel like I have covered all the material I wanted to. Appreciate the support, @digitaldan ✌️

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Congratz, your post has been resteemed and, who knows, will maybe appear in the next edition of the #dailyspotlights (Click on my face if you want to know more about me...)

Cheers for being greedy and taking possible profits from everybody. It never ceases to amaze me the people who put big last minute bids in to ruin it for the rest of us

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You mean the bid I put in at 11 minutes before round end? We can handle this like adults. What would you like me to do? I hope you downvoted the bidders that bid ACTUALLY last minute, not just my post. Cheers for that, I'll send your downvote value back if you remove the flag. Thanks for reading the 4,000 word post before flagging, took me quite a bit of time, so cheers for that as well.

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I would love for you and all other bidders to not be so goddam greedy! This ecosystem has enough upvotes for everyone, it’s all based on how greedy we are. Because you felt the need to put in a 12sbd vote last minute, we all end up losing on our ROI. All I want is for people to stop thinking about only themselves, is that too much to ask?

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Losing 2.3% should be viewed as a cost of buying upvotes! Almost all my bid bot experience is negative ROI, and don't trust those that show a maximum loss. @estabond shows a (10%) maximum loss, but I lost 20% my last times using them

Now this is negative ROI! - This I understand getting upset about.
A bid of 526.97 SBD for bot with only 284.54 in total vote.

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I agree @senstless, it is calculated risks that we take. And it is ROI - an investment - but some think it should have no risk and blame others for their loss. Don't want to lose? Don't gamble. My friend that has never used a bidbot has never lost a cent. 😉

I already sent @jasonshick 1 SBD as a gesture of good intent. I got a flag and the comments of my post that I have been putting together since mid-February trashed. Fair trade, huh? LOL Oh and I lost the round too. Should have stayed in bed is what I think I should've done.

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This topic hit home, and I am really looking forward to re-reading once I get time I just started gardening last year, and really want the kids to be more involved this year.

I applause you temperament, I fear I would not be so level headed and just start a flagging war.

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Full-time dad here of two and four year olds, so I have learned patience..LOL

I appreciate the support and I do hope this information is helpful to many. The current series (what is published thus far) is about 80+ minutes of reading, so it should have something of value for just about everyone.

I want more people to realize there is freedom in independence and we can find both financial freedom and the gratification of doing something for ourselves.

I think getting the kids involved in gardening is a great way to spend quality time as a family, we all learn from that experience, and it teaches youth a spectrum of skills that can greatly benefit them and society in the future.

I really appreciate you dropping by and feel free to join me in the discord anytime! STEEM ON! 🚀

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Greed has nothing to do with my intention, friend. I have been creating the media and content for this for weeks. I have been working on this series for nearly 7 months now. I have no idea how you get your posts read, but this ecosystem seems to favor only content with higher value - regardless of quality. I am spending my own hard earned dollars on SBD to bid on my own posts - not sucking it from the community. I am not putting 12 sbd in there in hopes to get 20 back!!!

I AM TRYING TO KEEP FROM GETTING BURIED IN THE FEED BY USERS WHO FEEL THEY SHOULD GET DOUBLE ROI ON EVERYTHING THEY BID ON - GREED? Maybe so. Sure looks strikingly​ similar to me. I am trying to keep my posts from going unread.

I am sorry you lost WE lost. Like I said, I would be happy to send you some sbd as a gesture / apology if you decide to remove your flag. I am not interested in making enemies. I would like to say that if you lost - I lost. There is no winner here. Let's simply be adults about it.
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Accept that as a gesture and please understand that I lost right along with the rest, plus some.

You got a 23.81% upvote from @dailyupvotes courtesy of @grow-pro!

Wow, I wanted to redeem, but then the chapter went on, then on a gf ain, then I scrolled, and, I really don't think my bandwidth will handle this tonight, and I haven't finished reading, and have yet to read earlier parts. I might just end up going to library and printing for easier perusal, if I can work out how. I don't actually garden much nowadays, as for one I've no longer got a garden, and two getting down on the ground is easy, sometimes painfully fast, but getting up again Is a pain. Ah well. If bandwidth says no, I'll put it up in early morn Thursday - about 10hrs. Keep on keeping on 😇

You got a 6.24% upvote from @postpromoter courtesy of @grow-pro!

Want to promote your posts too? Check out the Steem Bot Tracker website for more info. If you would like to support the development of @postpromoter and the bot tracker please vote for @yabapmatt for witness!