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Old 04-16-2016, 02:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 947 times
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Some knowledgable people weighed in with good advice, but I wonder why there is the tendency to be so caustic in the process. The question is being asked for a reason- the person is asking for a reality check. Why that can't be done without nastiness is pretty sad.
Also, I think that it's clear that Vermont is the heart's desire. Maybe there are ways to scale back or otherwise adaptively modify the original farm dream. I also thought that some states reduce tax for agricultural lands. At least check VT law. Leaving CA might be a good choice. It's not cheap and growing population and tendency to drought will be interesting to observe in future years.
I doubt that absolutely no one has hobby farms in VT- pretty sure some people manage somehow to farm and survive, and maybe Google search for those places can yield more location-specific answers, which would be preferable in any case to people who are experts, but are also reflexively obstructionist and really snotty. Maybe read some Salatin for inspiration.
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:02 PM
 
2,987 posts, read 1,123,145 times
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I live in VT and there are hobby farms all over the place. Most of the State has rocky soil (hence all the stone walls). Flat land is far from the norm. The growing season is short. It is near impossible to compete on price with the corporate farms in the Midwest that cater to the masses. Yet there are many hobby farms. Many specialize in serving the growing "buy local" trend for meat, dairy, veggies, & fruit. Others specialize in terms of what they produce. Things like artisan cheese, products using wool from their sheep, maple syrup, yogurt etc. A friend sells unpasteurized milk to people who will drive a good distance to get it. They also produce honey.

I buy eggs, beef, honey, & maple syrup from 3 different hobby farms in my little hamlet.

Some hobby farms are more lifestyle choice than it is intended to be a money maker. Others do it as one of several ways they get by financially.

My observation is that most transplants to VT come here for the high quality of life, the natural beauty, great climate (very little hot weather, few creepy crawlies like warm climates have etc), very low crime rates, live and let live culture etc.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
295 posts, read 179,570 times
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Have you considered Washington state? It's so much closer to you. The winters aren't nearly as harsh as the North East. There of farms on the east side. I'm here on the Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington where there are still farms and large acreages for sale. Lavender grows well here, and the lavender farms do well with a huge tourist influx in July. I've seen a few lavender farms up for sale in the past three years.
But Vermont sure is beautiful.
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:43 PM
 
5,070 posts, read 4,297,322 times
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7 years ago, wonder if OP moved to Vermont.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,165 posts, read 2,916,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker53 View Post
My observation is that most transplants to VT come here for the high quality of life, the natural beauty, great climate (very little hot weather, few creepy crawlies like warm climates have etc), very low crime rates, live and let live culture etc.
Heck ya, I'd do it. Hope the OP did.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:48 PM
 
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For years, I nurtured the fantasy of moving to Vermont and living the idyllic rural life, "away from it all". (OK, young and dumb I was, but this went on for years.) I would read everything I could about the wonderful New England towns and lifestyle. Sigh. Then, during one particularly horrible winter here in NJ, it hit me: I HATE winter. Hate it. It depresses me. Why in the world would I think I could be happy in Vermont? LOL that was the end of the fantasy. Now my husband and I fantasize about living somewhere where it is warm and sunny in the winter -- at least during the winter months.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:56 PM
 
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We are in our 60's and have a farm in NY not far from Vermont.


I love Vermont- that being said. The winters get old real fast. Today- June 14 I have the heat on.


The work on a farm is endless. No vacations, no time off, especially with animals. Farming is for the young- we wanted to live our dream also, so in 2000 we bought a farm and started a commercial dairy goat farm. We never made money- it was a money pit. No one want to pay a living wage for the milk. We kept it up for yrs hoping it would get better. Goat cheese is a luxury item and the cheese makers where barely making it. Feed price kept going up and within 1 yr quadrupled. That was it, couldn't do it anymore and went out of business. Hardest thing we ever did.


Plus I don't know if you did research on taxes in Vermont, But Vermont is 1 of the states that not only will tax pensions but also Social Security (I believe that there are 5 states that tax SS) Vermont is beautiful but VERY expense. I don't think it will work out but only you can make that decision.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
14,108 posts, read 10,126,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrykaren View Post
The work on a farm is endless. No vacations, no time off, especially with animals. Farming is for the young- we wanted to live our dream also, so in 2000 we bought a farm and started a commercial dairy goat farm.

We never made money- it was a money pit. No one want to pay a living wage for the milk. We kept it up for yrs hoping it would get better. Goat cheese is a luxury item and the cheese makers where barely making it. Feed price kept going up and within 1 yr quadrupled. That was it, couldn't do it anymore and went out of business. Hardest thing we ever did.

Plus I don't know if you did research on taxes in Vermont, But Vermont is 1 of the states that not only will tax pensions but also Social Security (I believe that there are 5 states that tax SS) Vermont is beautiful but VERY expense. I don't think it will work out but only you can make that decision.
Just for the sake of argument, if your farm had NO property taxes, and you had NO income taxes, would you still have been financially ruined?
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,314,105 times
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We milked goats in the mid-1980s. My wife bartered goat cheese for her natal care and delivery of our eldest son. Dairies are a huge ball-and-chain.

We homesteaded in Maine in 2005 and got into a big Farmer's Market in 2007. Members of the local cheese guild tried to get us to join them. Artisan cheese is extremely high priced, it needs to be, so the dairymen can survive. We chose to avoid dairy work this time. Because it is such a massive commitment and the niche market is tailored to wealthy clientele.

We prefer marketing affordable food to a wider class of clientele.

I do not earn enough money to begin to pay income taxes. Our property taxes are very low.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
38,023 posts, read 46,836,164 times
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My grandparents and aunt and uncle bought a VT farm, years ago, after the grandparents retired. I was looking at it from a kids point of view, but I remember it being sunny all the time and the rich soil yielded magnificent and abundant vegetables. This was E. Thetford, if it matters.

They only lasted about 10 years there, because it became too much work for my grandfather, and my uncle travelled. What OP dreams about is there, but just because you and hubby can tackle this at 60, doesn't mean you will be able to do it 10 years later. It sounds like a young couple's dream.
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