Past Pages, June 20, 2011: Subscription farming provides valuable revenue streams

The cover of the June 20, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The cover of the June 20, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week in 2021, we will feature snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the June 20, 2011, edition of the NNBW.

Farmers welcome subscription sales

Northern Nevada’s cadre of small farmers — those with just a few acres — are finding that subscription farming provides a valuable stream of revenue when they need it most.

And the deals in which customers often pay an upfront deposit and payments throughout the winter and spring for boxes of produce delivered on a regular schedule give small farmers a solid way of gauging demand for their crops.

Some Northern Nevada farmers with subscription plans have as few as 15 customers, while others have more than 300 subscriptions. One of the biggest benefits of subscription farming, says Ray Johnson of Custom Gardens Organic Farm, is the vital income provided by winter and springtime subscription sales.

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

‘Nevada Connectors’ launched to link experts with entrepreneurs

It didn’t take long for questions from entrepreneurs to start flowing last week after the launch of the online Nevada Connectors initiative.

Among the first inquiries: A question from an entrepreneur who wants to establish strategic partnerships with other startup companies but worries about the potential for legal entanglements.

Like other questions to, the inquiry was farmed out to one of two dozen business, financial and legal experts who’ve agreed to provide one-on-one consultation, one question at a time, with entrepreneurs.

The website, a joint venture of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno, is the brainchild of Chris Howard, a longtime venture capitalist and business consultant in Reno.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer

Greenhouses emerging as opportunity for SunScience

Founders of SunScience Corp. thought they’d developed a terrific green-power technology for use by the military and disaster-relief agencies. But the technology appears to be gaining traction first in a dramatically different industry as SunScience prepares its first commercial installation at Lovelock-area greenhouses.

The privately held company founded in Reno two years ago projects 2011 revenues just under $1 million and estimates it will become profitable on a five-fold increase of sales next year. It’s raised capital through private sales of equity.

Like many of the plants that are growing in the Lovelock greenhouses that will use its technology, SunScience’s system is a hybrid; its solar array combines photovoltaic technology, which converts sunlight into electricity, with a solar thermal system to capture the sun’s heat.

— Page 2, by John Seelmeyer


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