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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:39 PM
sci sci started this thread
 
Location: Hicksville NY
90 posts, read 224,833 times
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I am looking to move in the next few years to PA, somewhere between Scranton and Strousberg. I would like to have a small farm but don't know what grows well in that area.
Currently live on Long Island and can't stand the traffic, taxes,busy body neighbors any more. I like the farms and farmstands out on the east end but can't afford the prices and see that quality of life changing at a fast rate.
Are there local farms that sell their products at farm stands? Do these make enough money to survive or are they only supplemental income? How do you think another farm stand be recieved by the owners of existing stands, as a threat to their buisness or welcome to the neighborhood?
I check the weather online from time to time and see that it is only about 10 degrees different temperature wise from Long Island. Would it be safe to say that things that grow well here should grow well there?
Thanks in advance for your replys.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,633 posts, read 77,866,496 times
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Speaking from my experience I know there are a lot of dairy farms in our area, as well as apple orchards, Christmas tree farms, and farms that grow and sell seasonal items like gourds and pumpkins. There aren't many farms between Scranton and Stroudsburg due to the high, hilly terrain of that area, but there are some in the North Pocono area, which is not far south of Scranton, as well as I believe in Monroe County's West End (Brodheadsville/Effort area). Best of luck!
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:44 PM
 
Location: NEPA
923 posts, read 3,103,435 times
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I live north of Scranton and grew up on a dairy farm. We also grew corn, tomatoes, etc. to sell. I presently live on 3 acres of the farm I grew up on !!!!! My suggestion would be to grow plants, such as herb, veggies, flowers. Although, its seasonal its also very lucrative ! As a hobby I grow
daylilys and sell them at local markets. I present them nicely, wrapping the rhizomes (roots) in berlap tied with twine and packed according to color in bushel baskets. To make a living you would have to invest in a greenhouse -24x32 would be a good size, not too expensive. The more I talk now I want to do it !!!!! Its great fun !!! Feel free to ask my anything, signed Old Farmer !!
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:29 AM
 
Location: Pocono Mts.
9,480 posts, read 12,146,876 times
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If you are looking for good, available farm land, try the Saylorsburg area. I believe there is some available....a lot of our farmers have sold to or are selling to developers, so where corn used to grow...a home now sits. The first farm/farm stand you'll come to is Heckman's Orchard in Effort (Rt. 115 before getting to Brodheadsville.) We also have Kenro farm/farmstand and Gould's farm/farmstand. There are a few others in fact, but the ones I mentioned are on the main stretch of Rt115 and Rt209.

These farmers grow and sell tomato's, corn, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, potatos.... veggies won't be a problem in this soil. They all sell fruit trees, bushes and flowers like mums, as well.

Fruit trees grow well...we have thriving orchards down this way....

In the Pocono's there is always room for more farm stands....it's part of the charm, people visiting love to buy the fresh fruits and veggies & we natives who don't have green thumbs love it, too!

The question of whether it would be constant or supplemental income would depend on you, your location, and the quality of what you farm. I know these stands stay open until almost Christmas selling wreath's and xmas trees, and re-open again April.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Pocono Mts.
9,480 posts, read 12,146,876 times
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I just wanted to add, that after reading yesterday's Morning Call newspaper, area farmers are facing rising costs for fertilizer for their crops, feed for their animals, and deisel fuel. Farmers are reporting that profits are down..... an established farmer might recover from these things, but a newly established farm may have more problems overcoming these issues...just food for thought.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Greentown, PA
193 posts, read 544,291 times
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My best friend in the area owns a farm. Beside doing riding, lessons with horses. She grows tomatos, pumkins, peppers, corn and hay for other local farms to use. I know that with the current weather and rising costs. She is struggling. Even thought she hunts for most of meat and gets donations of clothes, eggs and milk. Life is pretty hard for her.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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Don't forget to mention beets and really crappy weed (http://www.dundermifflininfinity.com/photos/pingu?photoID=315539 - broken link).
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:11 AM
 
2,473 posts, read 5,473,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poconoproud View Post
I just wanted to add, that after reading yesterday's Morning Call newspaper, area farmers are facing rising costs for fertilizer for their crops, feed for their animals, and deisel fuel. Farmers are reporting that profits are down..... an established farmer might recover from these things, but a newly established farm may have more problems overcoming these issues...just food for thought.
Nice pun PP!!!
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Capital Region - NY
52 posts, read 246,681 times
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Does anyone know what the current price per acre in NEPA is (as far as farmland)? And could anyone elaborate on the 'clean and green' property tax program? Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Northern Wayne Co, PA
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It really depends on where you are buying land. Check out the MLS to look at land prices. It ranges from 4K/acre to 20-30k/acre depending on what is happening on the land and where it's located.

Clean and Green is a program that greatly diminishes property taxes. The intention was to make property taxes more reasonable for farmers. But like all things the goverment gets involved in, there are drawbacks. When you enter your land in clean and green, which has to be more than 10 acres for consideration, you are entering your land into a conservation preserve. It can never be subdivided, and there are a lot of regulations about land use. The state also gets enhanced rights to come on your property. If you ever breech your contractual obligations to the program, your property is re-assessed and you are responsible immediately for all the back taxes you saved by being part of the program. There is only one entry period per year, which I think is early spring, but I forget, so you have to be ready for it. You can read all the stipulation online at the PA gov website. Search for PA Act 319.

Subsistence farming is a reasonable thing to do here, but I think buying enough land to start a farm in NEPA and actually making a profit would be tough. You don't need a lot of land to grow what you need for your family, but to be a profitable farm you need a lot of land, and land is expensive. Most farmers inherited land. You can get creative for other ways of making money, but I don't think a farm stand, or even a popular stand a farmer's market, is going to pay your mortgage.

My neighbor has 600 acres for beef, on a farm that has been in his family for many generations. Money is very hard for them even though the land is long paid off. They often log their forest when taxes are due.

You could make it happen, but you will likely have to be obsessively committed to it, live extremely simply, and make money in a myriad of creative ways.
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