Well, three of us met last night (over wine and munchies, of course) and decided that we ARE going to step out and try our hand at producing on a larger scale. We basically came up with this:
A. We're going to primarily grow food for our families but package and sell the rest at market
B. We're going to have a portion of the garden to grow a few plants in large numbers that we know are prolific and will have a large yield (for example: cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers) and have a portion of the garden for things we want to attempt or grow only for our personal consumption/ use (ex: loofahs, black tomatoes, yellow and red bell peppers)
C. We'll take the spring growing season to possibly recruit a few more folks, get familiar with how many plants it takes to produce enough for our personal consumption and selling
D. See if we can sell our excess produce at a local Farmer's Market maybe once a month or once every other month
I think this is great way for us to start. While we all want to jump right in and go gangbusters, we were able to restrain our enthusiasm and approach this rationally and realistically (surprisingly).
Hoe Heather and I were talking after our meeting and we both agreed (and I am sure the rest do as well) - gardening is our "fun" thing. All of us work full-time and have family and other commitments, and the last thing we want is for gardening to become "another job". If we can maintain this attitude and keep gardening "fun", then I think that any growth of this idea will come out of the passion we have for what we are doing, rather than a sense of obligation to what we've committed.
So, our next step is to meet this Saturday and decide what we want to grow. We're each going to pick a few things that we want to grow for us, then agree on what we grow on a larger scale. Then we start the real work: prepping ground, buying and sowing seed, organizing a schedule, etc...
Fun times in 2009!