Ashtree Wildcrafting

From Frugality and Foraging to Small Business

It’s been awhile since writing another blog post here. Physical health has not been good for months first with a damaged foot and then with a broken collarbone. This has strained already tight finances and made it difficult to get out and forage. Even if mobility had been available, the Okanagan got socked in with heavy smoke so bad at one point that our air quality was worse than Bejing’s!

Ashtree WildcraftingBut all was not lost. Various friends began telling us that we needed to start selling the teas my daughter makes from some of our dried foraged wild ingredients. Being laid up after surgery was the perfect time to start researching necessary licenses and paperwork to get the idea off the ground. Ashtree Wildcrafting was registered with the Canadian government by the end of July, and our first sale of tea from the website took place this very weekend in September! Once the smoke cleared and mobility began to return, we got out there foraging not just for ourselves this time, but for the business as well, on property whose owners granted us permission for a wide swath of their property. What began as meeting a need to stay healthy on a limited budget, has morphed into a small business!

The beauty of online business was brought home to me in the first three weeks after my collarbone surgery, when I received a couple active sign-ups over at SFI! One of those is still active, and because of these two, I was able to upgrade my affiliate status for a month in August. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to repeat the upgrade for October or not, but we’ll see. These two people saw ads I’d already posted around the ‘net prior to my accident, and saw the opportunity the way I see it, BUT had money to do more with it than I’ve been doing.

SFI recently added a couple new features to their online empire as well. Astro Auctions is one of them, and I’ve been playing those whenever I win a T-Time contest to win T-Credits. T-credits are necessary to enter these online silent auctions. Because of making EA back in August, I was able to receive 10 T-Credits in September, and spent most of those on one daily silent auction entry for several days. Those drastically boosted my Rewardical stash, because each T-credit spent on a silent auction earns you at least 10 Rewardicals, if not more. I’m saving them to help me go EA in the future.

I spent a couple T Credits playing one of the games over at Eager Zebra, and they have a new word game there as of this month, called HIDDEN. Foxes are hiding letters of a word and offering clues to what the word is. But the hints aren’t always easy to guess. If you spot a red, silver or the rare white fox, you get extra game points and other rewards as well. I’ve spotted the rare white fox twice now and have a badge to show for it. I’ve also “outfoxed” the foxes once so far, meaning I successfully guessed at least 10 words before my 30 clues ran out. If you like word games, you need to check out Eager Zebra. They have trivia, card, and sports picks as well.

The one source that seems to send me sign-ups more consistently than others continues to be InfinityTrafficBoost. I get eyeballs from other sources, but ITB continues to be the one that sends me regular sign-ups. I even changed my SFI gateway to one that says income doesn’t come without work and effort. This means there are actually people out there who honestly do want to work, and this is a good thing. There are many more out there who want money for nothing, but that never works.

The Poor Man's BudgetI recently ran across an article claiming you can’t live on $75 per week for a 3-member family with two teenagers. If you’ve taken my course: The Poor Man’s Budget (or anyone for that matter): A 5 Week Course – Learning to live within your means, you will know that I actually do teach how to feed your family on what I refer to as LESS than a shoe-string budget! In fact, it was those thoughts that spawned this blog to begin with. Too often, people’s ideas of saving money or spending on a shoe-string budget assume you have more income coming in than I typically do. I felt it was necessary to start this blog to show how I teach this concept, how I live this concept, and what can come of this concept. The neat thing is when figuring out methods to feed my family better turn into a business concept like they did this summer.

It’s amazing how much money people find when they strip their expenses down to the bare essentials. For my household, that stripping down means less stress trying to figure out how to pay essential bills. it is my hope that my online endeavors begin to change our financial picture, but in the meantime, how we’ve learned to live will continue to be something we share with others to help ease their loads as well.