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Old 09-05-2016, 02:41 PM
 
Location: NC
6,507 posts, read 7,897,650 times
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Exactly. Farming is NOT relaxing, except maybe in winter if you farm row crops. The weather DICTATES when you MUST do certain things. Long hours to beat the clock on planting, tending, harvesting, or feeding, cleaning, medicating. The wonderful thing about farming is being your own boss, but that means a high risk proposition each and every year. It ain't easy.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:22 PM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
3,853 posts, read 5,292,252 times
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These answers are spot on. I did not grow up on a farm, but know of those who did. We were visiting over the holidays one year when we were awakened early on Christmas morning to go feed and water the animals, which meant breaking the ice in their troughs and hauling more fresh water.
OP, maybe try raising a lucrative plant instead. Something like lavender to use in essential oils.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:06 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffaemily View Post
I read this question and really pondered it for a while, I hope I can be helpful. I was a farmer and a student for many years, so my life was one huge calender appointment it felt like.
It truly depends on what you are going to farm
The vast majority of people are talking about how dairy farming is very heavily schedule-oriented. I can assure you, though I have nothing against dairy farmers, that that's probably the very last type of farming I could imagine doing. Dairy farms STINK. Drive past any area full of dairy farms and the stench is unbelievable. Surely the farmers become nose-blind to it eventually but man.... yuck.

The type of farming I could see myself doing is a larger-scale version of what I'm doing now. Fruits, vegetables, chickens... if I were to raise any other animals, I'd have to figure on what could be done without generating a huge stink. I may be messy but I don't like being dirty. I can GET dirty, but I will always clean myself at the end of the day. When things stink, I feel perpetually dirty even if I did just wash up.

I have no experience with large animals and I probably wouldn't want to have them. I could see a work horse or two... maybe goats... but cows? I know nothing about cows or any other beef cattle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
So now you know - farming is not a relaxed lifestyle most times of the year.

But you don't have to give up your dream completely. Simply move to a rural area or small town and do what you do now for a living. The concept that there are no jobs in small towns is incorrect - just find one where you can find the sort of job that you can do - or are willing to do. It's easy enough to research available jobs - every American state has a state job board.

You won't have to fight traffic or crowds or deal with the other urban things that are bothering you now. Come home after an 8 hour day, put your feet up on the porch, and watch the grass grow. Very relaxing.
I really don't think I could ever entirely escape the things that bother me about a traditional working situation. I'm not thinking about doing a huge-scale farm... I don't need a lot of money and I don't really want to have a lot of expensive equipment that could break down. What I really want is to be able to weather any upcoming storm. To be able to feed my family into perpetuity, keep a roof over their heads even if I'm always the one who keeps the roof in good repair, and to make a few bucks here and there - enough to get by, with a bit to save, never having to be beholden to a boss who would fire me just to keep his job or other people whose often capricious decisions mean the difference between whether or not I get to make money. Generally speaking, in the current system, people don't give a rat's patootie about the strangers they don't know (what else could possibly explain road work zones that never have any actual work going on but still bottleneck traffic for miles, wasting untold man-hours of time every last day, and many other things) and I'm sick of having the quantity of money in my bank account being dependent upon whether or not other people feel like giving it to me in exchange for what I can do for them. I have a feeling that I'd be a lot more "okay" with something like that being the case if I didn't need hardly any money to live. I could achieve that if I can produce my own food and shelter, and gather or otherwise collect and purify my own water.

Right now I do have a certain amount of experience with farming work. I built two chicken coops this year and they were practically emergencies - as in, the first one was "these chickens are way too big to be stuck in these stock tanks any longer" (and even still, they had to be in for way too long on account of my work schedule preventing me from building the coop when I needed to) and the second one was "we just got these extra chickens from friends and I have to make them a separate coop, pronto, so that they will have a place to live which is bigger than a stock tank". I really didn't mind, though. I woke up really early and started working as soon as I could get away with it (I really don't like having neighbors for that reason even if I like them as people) and kept on working until as late at night as I could (again, because of neighbors not wanting noise)... for two days. I really didn't mind. At least I was doing what I wanted to do, the way I wanted to do it, and nobody was telling me, in any way, what I could and could not do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerFilms View Post
It's "laid back" in the sense that there's not the hustle and bustle of like, working in the city or something, but don't confuse "laid back" with "easy work." Farmers do work more at their own pace but there's still lots of work and animals and crop to take care of.
Which doesn't seem like it'd bother me. I've experienced the alternatives and found them sorely wanting - how could this be worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bygeorge View Post
Farmer is the last one to get a paycheck. Tractor/implement dealership, tax man, seed supply, fertilizer sales, consultant for soil testing, insurance company, bank, herbicide/pesticide folks, fuel supplier, veterinarian, hardware store, extra labor depending on crop types and more.

Good luck with your dreams.
Who says I'd have a tractor? (And if I did, I'd get one of those vintage tractors that would be substantially easier to fix myself. Something like an old Farmall which probably still has parts widely available. I can work on my own antique cars, so I imagine an antique tractor wouldn't be so bad.)

Who says I'd pay much in tax? If I don't make much money, there's not much tax to pay. But admittedly, the tax man is always there... because productivity must always be punished to reward idleness.

Seed supply? I have more seeds than I know what to do with, and I save some of my harvest every year for seed. Who needs to buy seeds?

Fertilizer? I'd be doing it organically, so the only fertilizer I'd buy is animal poop.

I'm sure there'd be a few expenses here and there but you seem to be talking about a large-scale commercial farming operation. I doubt I'd want to be that big unless I could do it organically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
OP, where are you thinking of doing your farming?
Right now, northeast Ohio where I live. Would I do it elsewhere? Yeah, probably. My wife and I have been looking into northeast Tennessee. Maybe Missouri. Who knows. Some place with a long growing season but relatively mild summers would be ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Do you have a reliable water supply?
Right now, kind of. We get plenty of precipitation on a yearly basis but for some reason, the last two summers have been really dry. We have a rainwater storage system which could be easily expanded to hold excesses of water that come during rainy seasons. Water is not a concern right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
You're at the mercy of the elements, a freak spring freeze can ruin a crop.
It all depends upon when you plant. But I grant that that has been known to happen. Where I live, it's fairly certain that after mid-April, freezes are few and mild (such as, maybe 29 degrees at night). That said, it seems to me that seeds just know when to germinate. I've had tomato plants grow in places where I never planted them, probably because some old seeds got left on the ground from the previous year's harvest. They just pop up when they're ready to pop up. The two tomato plants that grew in my compost pile this year have done better than any other tomato plants that I started indoors and then planted, and even better than the container tomato plants that I started outdoors in the last week of April.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
As someone else pointed out, substantial investment is involved, and untimely weather can send a lot of that down the drain.

I had an uncle who farmed, and he said the equipment was too expensive for each farmer to buy everything himself; he and his neighbors would go in on equipment together and share it, and help each other bring in their harvest. It's not practical otherwise, unless you're a huge agribusiness.
But who really needs that huge stuff unless you are a huge agribusiness? Anyone who cannot afford to buy or rent a combine doesn't have enough corn to warrant a combine. Don't they have various sizes of agricultural implements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
Sorry OP - I think if you have ANY question in your mind then it won't work. You obviously didn't grow up on or near a farm. Also, you don't take up farming to get into shape! Everything is hard work, as in "manual labor" and long hours.

Now, if your definition of "farm" is a large vegetable garden and a few fruit trees, chickens , and a couple goats on 5 acres, then by all means. Maybe you need to give more details.
You're right - definitely did not grow up on, nor near, a farm. I just decided that I like the rural life far better than the suburban life. If what you meant by physical labor is that you must already be in shape to be a farmer, I'm in reasonable condition as is. I'm talking about being able to keep my weight in check without having to diet or go to the gym.

5 acres sounds good. Maybe 10. I doubt I'd want to do more than 20 or so - by that point you need to have huge tractors and what not. I'd prefer to have an amount of property I could farm with only small motorized machines... or, heck, just work horses.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Virginia
3,908 posts, read 2,001,832 times
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Oh lawdy. You don't want to FARM - you want to be a "gentleman" farmer. Two entirely different things.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,098 posts, read 8,432,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
Oh lawdy. You don't want to FARM - you want to be a "gentleman" farmer. Two entirely different things.
Exactly! Just drive the El Camino around the property and inspect it!
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:08 PM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,495,889 times
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about 50 + years ago there was a TV show that resembled the OP's dream.


Green Acres
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:17 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
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Yep. You want to be a gentleman farmer, or hobby farmer of leisure who doesn't have to get dirty except when he feels like playing at "farming" on weekends. You need to have an outside income for that too but being a part time hobby farmer might be feasible and more leisurely for you with less responsibility.

A work horse or two??? All horses are expensive, they're for people who have money to throw away, they cost a lot of time, special care and hard work on your part and plenty of money to keep them. Even work horses have special needs over and above what hobby horses require to maintain their good health. Then there's vetrinary and farrier costs on top of that. It all adds up and they are just as big a responsibility as cattle.

If you don't like the stink of animals I'd suggest you not have any because all animals produce strong smells and stinky manure that has to be shovelled up and cleaned away every day. If you have chickens then you should already know that. All animals needs lots of space and freedom of movement, good dry, reliable shelter and good food if you want them to stay healthy and productive. They all have medical needs and they all need to be well taken care of.

If you ever get animals again make sure you already have their proper, roomy housing prepared for them ahead of time. Keeping chickens in a stock tank before having a chicken coop prepared for them is neglectful and shows lack of foresight, it's a prime way to lose them all to disease or from them all killing and cannibalizing each other.

My suggestion is stick to growing plants on a small acreage, start off small and work your way up to bigger responsibilities as you become knowledgeable through trial and error and expense. Don't expect to be self-sufficient nor to make money from it.

.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:43 PM
 
5,034 posts, read 2,206,581 times
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you'll do fine..........
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Alaska
417 posts, read 223,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
, though I have nothing against dairy farmers, that that's probably the very last type of farming I could imagine doing. Dairy farms STINK. Drive past any area full of dairy farms and the stench is unbelievable. Surely the farmers become nose-blind to it eventually but man.... yuck.

If you are going to live rurally it's going to stink, most people do dairy or do some type of animal agriculture, and it stinks. If you are going to buy rural I assure you, when the wind blows the right way it's gonna stink up the high heavens. .


The type of farming I could see myself doing is a larger-scale version of what I'm doing now. Fruits, vegetables, chickens... if I were to raise any other animals, I'd have to figure on what could be done without generating a huge stink. I may be messy but I don't like being dirty. I can GET dirty, but I will always clean myself at the end of the day. When things stink, I feel perpetually dirty even if I did just wash up.

I don't know how you think you are going to get rid of the smell, have you ever seen horse poo? It isn't small. Animals are dirty. I have been knee high in poop, I have been pooped on by cows, chickens and pigs. You will get pooped on, it will stink and it will suck, but its life on the farm

I have no experience with large animals and I probably wouldn't want to have them. I could see a work horse or two...

Do you realize how much work and time, "work horses are" you have no experience with large animals, let alone horses and you want to have work horses







I'm sure there'd be a few expenses here and there but you seem to be talking about a large-scale commercial farming operation. I doubt I'd want to be that big unless I could do it organically.

Small scale farming is still expensive, you have to buy land, seeds, farming equipment like shovels, pruners, and with your workhorses you'll be paying for feed, saddles, training, vet appt. Which can cost up to 20K a year


Right now, northeast Ohio where I live. Would I do it elsewhere? Yeah, probably. My wife and I have been looking into northeast Tennessee. Maybe Missouri. Who knows. Some place with a long growing season but relatively mild summers would be ideal.

somewhere without stinky farms right






You're right - definitely did not grow up on, nor near, a farm. I just decided that I like the rural life far better than the suburban life. If what you meant by physical labor is that you must already be in shape to be a farmer, I'm in reasonable condition as is. I'm talking about being able to keep my weight in check without having to diet or go to the gym.

How did you decide rural life was better?

5 acres sounds good. Maybe 10. I doubt I'd want to do more than 20 or so - by that point you need to have huge tractors and what not. I'd prefer to have an amount of property I could farm with only small motorized machines... or, heck, just work horses.
It be cheaper to buy a combine then to get work horses.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:06 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,724,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Yep. You want to be a gentleman farmer, or hobby farmer of leisure who doesn't have to get dirty except when he feels like playing at "farming" on weekends. You need to have an outside income for that too but being a part time hobby farmer might be feasible and more leisurely for you with less responsibility.
If that's a euphemism for farming for subsistence rather than for a full family income, yeah, that's what I'm looking at right now. I lack the knowledge to do large-scale farming, and even if I had the knowledge, I lack the funds and the property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
A work horse or two??? All horses are expensive, they're for people who have money to throw away, they cost a lot of time, special care and hard work on your part and plenty of money to keep them. Even work horses have special needs over and above what hobby horses require to maintain their good health. Then there's vetrinary and farrier costs on top of that. It all adds up and they are just as big a responsibility as cattle.
Possibly. It's more my wife who wants horses... I was really never into animals. I didn't have pets growing up, and the only animals we had in the house were a parakeet (in its cage) and a ferret (usually in its cage). I didn't get my first cat until age 22 and my first dog came at age 33. I know I'm done with cats... when my cat dies, that's it... dogs, well, the jury is still out. They seem to have benefits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
If you don't like the stink of animals I'd suggest you not have any because all animals produce strong smells and stinky manure that has to be shovelled up and cleaned away every day. If you have chickens then you should already know that. All animals needs lots of space and freedom of movement, good dry, reliable shelter and good food if you want them to stay healthy and productive. They all have medical needs and they all need to be well taken care of.
Yeah, the chicken coop does get stinky... even though it is mobile and we move it from time to time. We keep the pine shavings relatively fresh but even at that, it stinks. I wear a respirator when I clean out the chicken house. But it's nice getting fresh eggs in the nesting boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
If you ever get animals again make sure you already have their proper, roomy housing prepared for them ahead of time.
The chickens we kept in stock tanks were babies. The stock tanks were "brooders". They just grew faster than I expected. I don't know what's up with these chickens... they weren't supposed to start laying until about 6 months, and one is already laying eggs at less than 4 1/2 months. Maybe this breed (Black Australorp) grows unusually quickly.

The two adult chickens we got, and had to put in a stock tank for a few days, were essentially "surrenders" from friends in town whose schedules changed to the point where they could no longer care for the chickens. We took them with little notice and put them wherever we could put them, because anything was better than their previous situation. It's not that our friends were unusually negligent - they just couldn't take care of them. We were supposed to get three, and the night before we picked them up, a raccoon got in and ate one. They'd started with nine in April and were down to two by August. They said they had a coop they would be willing to give us, so we thought we had the shelter thing taken care of - only trouble was that it was not as easily dismantled as they thought, and the wood was weathered from having been exposed without having first been weatherproofed. The fact that I had to build these two chickens a new coop was totally unexpected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Keeping chickens in a stock tank before having a chicken coop prepared for them is neglectful and shows lack of foresight, it's a prime way to lose them all to disease or from them all killing and cannibalizing each other.
Who has time for foresight when a friend says "hey, we can't take care of these chickens anymore and raccoons are eating them - do you want them?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
My suggestion is stick to growing plants on a small acreage, start off small and work your way up to bigger responsibilities as you become knowledgeable through trial and error and expense. Don't expect to be self-sufficient nor to make money from it.
We've been doing that. And I do enjoy most of the work - maybe just because it feels more relaxed than a lot of the other stuff we do. We'll make a few bucks selling eggs this year, but it sure won't cover the startup expenses we already had.

Farming can't be all bad, though. Somehow we all get food, and that all has to be produced by farmers.
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