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Old 09-06-2015, 10:16 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,927,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
This.
This is real solid advice.
Interestingly enough, oldtrader's well thought out post received no attention or replies.

Last edited by ognend; 09-06-2015 at 10:25 PM..
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:24 PM
 
Location: NJ
173 posts, read 126,242 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
Interestingly enough, oldtrader's well thought out post received no attention or replies.

You know I had read it, but didn't want our "disagreements" to spill back on over to here. So I never added any comments.

I never did shoot it a rep though. Ill fix that now.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 11,063,024 times
Reputation: 20570
Before running out and buying a farm, I'd start with my own garden and see how I do with that. Not everyone has a green thumb. Most certainly don't have the hundreds of thousands for farming machinery you'd need.

If there truly was a single type of farming that very profitable, don't you think every farmer out there would be doing it? I can't throw a rock without hitting a farm where I live. Agriculture is king here and it's not just corn. My state is #2 for apples in the nation. Then there's the soy, pumpkins, peaches, plums, apricots, tomatoes, cucumbers, varieties of squash, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, beets, potatoes.....pretty much every veggie and fruit you can grow in the northeast. Then there's the dairy farms....most of them don't just raise cows though.

A farmer's day is never done. They don't get days off. There are no holidays. I'm surrounded by Mennonites and Amish and they - men, women, and children - literally work sun up to sun down....many days well past sundown. I've seen them harvesting corn at 11:30 at night trying to beat the overnight frost.

Seriously, try growing some vegetables at home and see how you do with that before you decide to spend thousands in something that might make you a few bucks....MIGHT is the key word. I've yet to meet a wealthy farmer.....
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:26 AM
 
672 posts, read 661,476 times
Reputation: 1203
Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
Interestingly enough, oldtrader's well thought out post received no attention or replies.
Well, he is right and wrong. Is view is typical and accurate of traditional farms both small and large. I'll reference my original post on this thread and then give a another example.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhult View Post
The secret is finding your niche. I'm in a very successful area for very small holdings. I'm in a area that people are still willing to pay more for organic and fresh vegetables, fruit and grass feed beef.

That's what someone dreaming of starting a small farm needs to focus on. Not necessarily what I stated for my area but a niche that isn't being fulfilled in your area.

The farmers markets set up in the four biggest cities closest to my area are all set on different days of the week and more than one outfit running on different days. This allows the local growers to literally be at market almost every day of the week. Our farmers markets are open all year long. The growing season is all year long here.

We also have aquaponics and hydroponics operators delivering fresh fish and vegetables all year long.

I agree that it is very hard to start a traditional commercial type farming operation on a small scale. Those fail and require farmers to seek outside work. Others however, get creative and fill a need in their community.

It can be done. You need to know your market. That's why the organic free range local chicken guy can sell out of his eggs at $5 a dozen even when the store across the street from the farmers market is running a special for $2 and something.
Wow, eggs have gone up so much since I made this post a couple of years ago.

I'll stand by my statements compared to oldtraders and state he is looking at it from what he knows and understands about traditional farms, his experiences and his area of the country. I would agree his post would be accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Small farms are known as Hobby Farms. As several have told you, hobbies cost money to support them. The same for hobby farms, you need a good job to support the farm. Do not expect to make money from the farm. You do it because you like the life style, not to make a profit. Some years you earn a little money, the next year you may earn no income and you have to pay for everything out of your pocket.

What you have seen on this thread, is some dreamers. And crops change. One of the posters talked about raising Angora goats for their wool, and making money years ago. Today, there is not high priced market for the wool, and is letting their goats all die off.

In our area, a lot of corn is grown on good sized farms, and crops are sold to big seed companies. Two years ago they planted corn heavily, and had the same results we had on our home garden. Put on ears, but there was no corn on the ears. I fed our entire corn crop to the neighbors horse who loved it. The farmers just cut it and chopped it for animal feed. Recovered part of their expenses this year, but did not make a profit. Even big farms, have years when they don't make money and have to rely on the years they make a big profit. Then they save a bunch of it, so they can weather the years there is no profit, and they operate at a loss.

We have some apple trees, and I can have a few boxes of apples for our use, and some to give our grandchildren when their parents bring them to visit. This year we had heavy rains as the apples started blooming heavy. Washed them all away and not one apple this year. That is right, not even one apple on the trees.

A small hobby farm like you want, you need quite a little money to get it set up, and an income to keep it going. You have to be prepared, for years that make little or no money at all. You and your wife will need jobs.

When I sold these farms as a Real Estate Broker, I saw many people buy their dream farm, and a year or maybe 5 it was back on the market as they went broke and sold out. As a Realtor friend of mine that specialized in farms said, "Selling small farms, ensues that he will have a steady supply over the years of farms to sell as they come back on the market". It is a matter as how much money they have to start, and how good of jobs they have as to how long they will last before they have to sell out and move on.

It usually depends on how much you know about farming, as to how long you will last before selling out. The more you know, the longer you will last. The ones that really know, don't buy hobby farms in the first place.
However, It isn't a catch all for every location and type of farming or ranching. By his own statements his business was selling the farms that didn't make it and he had a few apple trees.

Speaking of apples, Let me tell you about my Uncle. He was a city worker (I mean he actually worked for the city) most of his life but he had a green thump. He had some issues with family, work and a drinking problem. One of the most stressed out person I ever knew. Anyways, he hit rock bottom and was fired. Thanks to his wife's management when he did lose his job they had their house already payed off and had some savings. To make a very long story short, they did purchase a farm right outside city limits where there was a small apple orchard. It had a old remodeled farmhouse and wouldn't be considered anything more than hobby-farm run-a-muck. The place had freeway access and thousands of people drove by that place and never paid it any attention. Hey, there is a old farmhouse and some apples or Hey, look at the cow kids and kept driving. That's all the place was. Something for the parents driving down the road to point out to the kids in the backseat.

I'm going to have to speed this up because I don't have much time to type anymore this morning.

Anyway, they worked the orchard, planted several variety of berries, pumpkins and put up a farm stand and the wife marketed the city. They opened up a u-pick farm in the right area, with the right amount of traffic and the customer base close enough that they could get daily traffic from a large city. They marketed to the schools as a field trip destination. Preschools and the elementary schools both private and public. She was very successful on selling the "experience" for the children to come and pick apples and to pick out a pumpkin. To come to a farm. He spend the time working the property, learning proper organic methods for pest mitigation and alternative methods to growing with higher yields and less land than traditional farming. Within five years they had a strong U-pick business, concession business, and farm tour a self picking for schools. Just what they made off the schools alone would make your head spend. They planned more varieties and offered more products. Every month of the year they have something to offer. Unlike traditional farms that market one cash crop at a time to be purchased by a outside party. It's been 25 years and they are going strong for what was a "hobby farm" to save their marriage and him.

So yes, Old trader is right when you think of a typical style of farming row crops and typical markets.

If you are going to start any agricultural business, you need to feed a need. If you were going to buy a small farm in a rural area with many other farms and have the same products you will be lucky to feed yourself if you can't market what you are doing. You need to know your customer base but must important you need to have one.

Have a great day..
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:57 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,927,056 times
Reputation: 3083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhult View Post
Well, he is right and wrong. Is view is typical and accurate of traditional farms both small and large. I'll reference my original post on this thread and then give a another example.

Wow, eggs have gone up so much since I made this post a couple of years ago.

I'll stand by my statements compared to oldtraders and state he is looking at it from what he knows and understands about traditional farms, his experiences and his area of the country. I would agree his post would be accurate.

However, It isn't a catch all for every location and type of farming or ranching. By his own statements his business was selling the farms that didn't make it and he had a few apple trees.

Speaking of apples, Let me tell you about my Uncle. He was a city worker (I mean he actually worked for the city) most of his life but he had a green thump. He had some issues with family, work and a drinking problem. One of the most stressed out person I ever knew. Anyways, he hit rock bottom and was fired. Thanks to his wife's management when he did lose his job they had their house already payed off and had some savings. To make a very long story short, they did purchase a farm right outside city limits where there was a small apple orchard. It had a old remodeled farmhouse and wouldn't be considered anything more than hobby-farm run-a-muck. The place had freeway access and thousands of people drove by that place and never paid it any attention. Hey, there is a old farmhouse and some apples or Hey, look at the cow kids and kept driving. That's all the place was. Something for the parents driving down the road to point out to the kids in the backseat.

I'm going to have to speed this up because I don't have much time to type anymore this morning.

Anyway, they worked the orchard, planted several variety of berries, pumpkins and put up a farm stand and the wife marketed the city. They opened up a u-pick farm in the right area, with the right amount of traffic and the customer base close enough that they could get daily traffic from a large city. They marketed to the schools as a field trip destination. Preschools and the elementary schools both private and public. She was very successful on selling the "experience" for the children to come and pick apples and to pick out a pumpkin. To come to a farm. He spend the time working the property, learning proper organic methods for pest mitigation and alternative methods to growing with higher yields and less land than traditional farming. Within five years they had a strong U-pick business, concession business, and farm tour a self picking for schools. Just what they made off the schools alone would make your head spend. They planned more varieties and offered more products. Every month of the year they have something to offer. Unlike traditional farms that market one cash crop at a time to be purchased by a outside party. It's been 25 years and they are going strong for what was a "hobby farm" to save their marriage and him.

So yes, Old trader is right when you think of a typical style of farming row crops and typical markets.

If you are going to start any agricultural business, you need to feed a need. If you were going to buy a small farm in a rural area with many other farms and have the same products you will be lucky to feed yourself if you can't market what you are doing. You need to know your customer base but must important you need to have one.
This is a good post. When I discuss this stuff I never think of traditional farmers with a 1,000 acres of corn and a huge debt to the bank for the latest John Deere combine. I already wrote that business off as something entirely different than what we are discussing here. What I believe we are talking about here are small acreage farms that grow a myriad of things, maybe run a CSA, participate in farmers markets, sell by the roadside etc.

The above farms can be successful, no doubt about it. However, a) it is tough, b) it takes absolutely NO DEBT, a job in town OR some savings to fall back on. Just like any other business, same rules apply.

While you hear of stories of people who started a business with $5K in their pocket, out of a garage and with credit cards - farming is very much different than putting computers together or writing software in a start-up environment. If you are a software engineer who tries your hand at a software business of your own, if it doesn't succeed - well, you can still get a job in your field with the same skills. If you are someone who has no trade or trade that is being phased out - well, trying your hand at farming with $5K in the pocket is not a very bright idea. I don't know, maybe I am wrong...

Even your uncle, you said, thanks to your aunt, had saved money and had a home that was paid off, that they could sell. That could be a HUGE start and can make a difference between success and failure. I think that should be said every time these things are discussed
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:25 AM
 
133 posts, read 133,782 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
First off, it's possible and it is not complicated. Contrary to what folks have told you in this thread, it is doable and you dont have to spend a fortune. All the cry-me-a-river stories of small farms come from folks who are used to plowing 100+ acres - they just can't accept the reality that you can be WAY more productive per acre in a small acreage. Check out SPIN farming SPIN-Farming - How to farm commercially on under an acre and also check out the Urban Homestead Urban Homestead ® - Path to Freedom - the latter will refute all the bull***t spread around about how difficult it is to farm a small spread.

Most important thing is to believe in whatever process you choose and not to listen to nay-sayers.
My $.02
I like! Some people don't have a choice not to.
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Old 11-14-2015, 01:47 PM
 
5,617 posts, read 13,906,392 times
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I did not read thru all the pages but they have now vertical farming and tower farming. Google it. Especially the tower .
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Old 11-19-2015, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,731 posts, read 45,844,136 times
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Well, if you are in Washington or Colorado, there is an obvious high value crop that you need a special license to grow, but, it does provide a lot of money per acre. And being a weed, really, I have heard it's not that hard to grow either.

But your mileage may vary.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:51 PM
 
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I appreciate the question, as it sounded almost exactly as though it was coming from me...i'm a white collar engineer making good money in the city, but not enjoying it. My passion for years has been to own/manage a family farm.

The folks noting the realities of family farming in this forum are much appreciated, but they sound negative; and apparently don't understand that if you are living your passion, it is not work, it is invigorating.

I may not have a family farm yet, but at 54 years i can assure you that if you are not living your passion, you are doing yourself a disservice. I appreciate the sacrifices we all make for our family/others/etc. However, God puts passions (not sinful desires) in us for a reason, and it is through those passions that often enable us to best serve Him.

I'm making a major lifestyle change from current life to family farm this summer, God willing. I am looking forward to all the challenges, study, and hard work that i will be living daily, and quite frankly, such will be exciting and enjoyable to me.

To the factual naysayers----thanks for the good info--'now go seek your passion, as farming certainly does not appear to be it---with all due respect.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,151 posts, read 50,332,412 times
Reputation: 19856
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhdcad View Post
I appreciate the question, as it sounded almost exactly as though it was coming from me...i'm a white collar engineer making good money in the city, but not enjoying it. My passion for years has been to own/manage a family farm.

The folks noting the realities of family farming in this forum are much appreciated, but they sound negative; and apparently don't understand that if you are living your passion, it is not work, it is invigorating.

I may not have a family farm yet, but at 54 years i can assure you that if you are not living your passion, you are doing yourself a disservice. I appreciate the sacrifices we all make for our family/others/etc. However, God puts passions (not sinful desires) in us for a reason, and it is through those passions that often enable us to best serve Him.

I'm making a major lifestyle change from current life to family farm this summer, God willing. I am looking forward to all the challenges, study, and hard work that i will be living daily, and quite frankly, such will be exciting and enjoyable to me.

To the factual naysayers----thanks for the good info--'now go seek your passion, as farming certainly does not appear to be it---with all due respect.
Good luck to you.

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