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Starting a farm

    • 1 posts
    April 24, 2009 9:33 AM EDT

    Hi Ewergreen,

    I gather from your words that you aren`t too sure about the project of  a farm.

    I`m in the US, but it really doesn`t matter where you live, farming for your own sustenance or for profit is a lot of work...some hard and some very easy and joyful.

    You first need to have a very clear understanding of what you want the action to produce.

    If, it`s for profit, then you need to figure out the niche that is most sought after or missing.

    Educate yourself on that niche and be prepared to do a lot of trial and error before you get it fine tuned to the profit stage.

    As far as hiring someone to do the work...not a profitable move, even if you can find and keep a good worker.

    My suggestion for someone with your thinking and lack of experience in the subject of farming is this:  Make it a hobby farm, grow what you like and want for your own use, if there is an abundance then find a market for that.

    This can serve two purposes: Do you like it enough to stay with it. And, it will help you find a niche by simply paying attention to the reaction you get from others.

    A high tunnel or/and green house are both great investments for beginners and a must for the more seasoned farmer. They give you a protected environment to grow in and cut down on time consuming activities such as weeding, pest control , watering, etc.
     
    We own and work a small family farm. We have about 3 acres in herbs ,vegetable gardens, and fruit and berry  trees/bushes/vines.
     
    We market the herbs, both fresh and dried.
     
    The niche for us is the products we produce from the dried herbs. Seasonings and blended teas and herbal tisanes.
     
    We are 6 years into the project and  it has been debt free from the beginning.
    Which means we made enough profit the first year to more than pay for the cost of start-up.
    ( the key to being profitable is to learn and practice the ways of doing things that cost you very small amounts of money.) Start small and add to as you can afford to pay for new additions.
     
    We were very prepared, both in knowledge and funds.
    My hubby still works full time and most of the day to day on the farm is my job.
    I grew up on a for profit farm and so I was knowledgable in the requirements.
     
    If you wish to know more about us and gather some useful info from reading...visit
    the website and the blog.
     
    Hope this helps and inspires you to go forward.
     
     
    Much success and enjoy your project..
     
     

    ---
    Bea Kunz
    Sage Hill Farms
    http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com
    EatWell-BeWell~

    • 8 posts
    April 20, 2009 12:37 PM EDT
    Ok, I live in Belgium. I`ve been thinking about starting my own business pretty much every day for the last three years. I`ve been a member for a couple of those years. I now finally have some (little) funds available. And more importantly, I`m starting to really know what I want to do.

    I love being outdoors. I love animals, I love growing all kinds of stuff... . So how about starting a farm? It seems to me like a lot of hard work, but also like something I`d love to do. My girlfriend is a travel agent and she would like a B&B some day. It`s too soon for her now, but the possibilities are there I guess.

    I really kind of found this out in a weird way. We were looking for a house in Belgium (we both have decent jobs). But Belgium pretty much has no outdoors space left. You`ll pay like € 200.000 for 800m²`s of land here... . Now, someone had misplaced an add. So there I was looking at this farm with 29.000m²`s of land for € 200.000 (it was in France).

    Now in not too much into the farm I saw in the example, but the idea is there. The only problem I have is that I don`t know much about farming on such a large scale. I`m guessing I could hire someone to do most of it. But heck, will it make a profit? Will we be able to live of it? How much land will we need to make it profitable? What is the easiest/best thing to grow? So many questions and not too many farmers on the interweb. So I`ll give this a go.

    Thanks for the advice!

    • 8 posts
    April 23, 2009 11:18 AM EDT
     I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be
    sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with
    everyone.
    The above thought is smart and doesn’t require any further addition.
    It’s perfect thought from my side.
    Tia smith

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    What the hell are you talking about?
    • 8 posts
    April 26, 2009 5:26 AM EDT
    Thanks a lot! Good practical info. I`m already growing some vegetables and berries. Just for fun. But in no way is it on a large scale. I just love doing it. I`ll about to take it a step further, but since I`m only 26, I don`t have the money to try a lot out. Especially living in Belgium, land is SO expensive here.