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Getting started

 
Tom Davis
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Mark, thanks for all the excellent info you're putting out there -- superb.
I have heard you say/read that a person interested in farming can be on land and farming within 18 months (I think I'm remembering that right).
Can you expand on how this might be accomplished? ( I have looked into Farmlinks).
Also, in your book you talk about learning the behind the scenes book keeping and IRS schedules for agriculture in order to be successful.
Can you write a book/booklet on that too? Or at least point me in the right direction on this thread?
Thanks, I can't say enough how much I appreciate what you're doing.



 
Marcella Rose
Posts: 95
Location: Central Texas, it is dry here.
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Tom Davis wrote:
Also, in your book you talk about learning the behind the scenes book keeping and IRS schedules for agriculture in order to be successful.
Can you write a book/booklet on that too? Or at least point me in the right direction on this thread?



I agree!


I also have a question along these lines. My husband is on contract (for his job) for a few more years in our current location so we do not want to purchase land here as we are not even in the state we want to farm in. Mark, do you have any suggestions for renters? We are looking at moving out to the country this spring and landlords can at times be touchy about changes...even for the better. What do you suggest would be the best approach (for people who need some practice in permaculture and husbandry) as we are looking for land to rent in this hot and arid part of the country?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!
 
Shodo Spring
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
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I'm in Northfield, MN, expect to buy a small farm soon, and getting an edible forest going soon is my first priority. I took the PDC in 2006 and have been gardening since then but still a beginner, especially here in the cold. I like the idea of being farming within 18 months. I'm thinking the first thing is to prepare and plant first trees, then things around them - you see it's all kind of vague, I expect to look in books and ask for help.Can you either recommend species for here, or what books would have good guidance for this. (I own Edible Forest Gardens, the source of much enthusiasm, have read but not quite memorized it.)
 
Mark Shepard
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Q: I have heard you say/read that a person interested in farming can be on land and farming within 18 months (I think I'm remembering that right).
Can you expand on how this might be accomplished? ( I have looked into Farmlinks).

Mark: Yes. This is true... What it first requires, though is building excellent credit, which can also be accelerated if you're serious about it...
What you also do is set up a farm LLC. Remember.. most farmers today rent at least some land to farm on... You don't have to own land to start a farm business...
You grow everything you can, then go to the food co-op and put a dollar value on all of that food. The Schedule F farm business then sells the food direct to the consumer (YOU!) at retail prices. This is an actual accounting of both the process (the farm grew the food) and the economic transaction: the farm (which is an LLC and has as many rights as you as an individual)
With 3 years of filed Schedule F's the Farm Services Agency has loans for operating expenses, equipment, real estate, livestock, storage facilities...
The whole process can be rapidly accelerated and folks who have hung out here for a summer have done it in as little as 18 months. Right now, our latest "summer folk" have just had their offer accepted on a 320 acre farm in less than one year from when they first started.
This is not the forum for as detailed a conversation as this topic requires...

Q: Also, in your book you talk about learning the behind the scenes book keeping and IRS schedules for agriculture in order to be successful.
Can you write a book/booklet on that too? Or at least point me in the right direction on this thread?

First of all, go to the IRS website and print a copy of IRS Schedule F. Then print yourself an IRS schedule C. F is for your farm business. C is for your "off farm" business activities... Then look at those two forms with a Permaculturists eye.... How are they functionally related to one another? With not much scrutiny, you will see that the two mesh in perfectly complimentary ways...
Remember also, the the guys down in DC who make up all of the crazy tax laws do so in order to pad the pockets of themselves and their greedy funders. The IRS Tax code is designed to help you to create wealth. In the case of shoddy condos that fall over into the swamp that they were built on, I consider that to be unethical wealth and not really wealth at all because it is based on destruction and consumption... But when you buy a degraded piece of land (for below market price because nobody wants it) and you plant long-lived perennial crops and you run a Farm business and a "other than farm" business, you've created REAL value. When you build a durable home that heats itself, powers itself, captures it's own water supply and creates no waste, you have created REAL WEALTH... When you now are a net contributor to the food supply with perennial plants that need no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or even fossil fuel inputs of any kind, your costs go down to almost nothing... Youv'e created a BEAUTIFUL food producing paradise that provides rural economic development in addition to ecosystem services...

And YES... I have begun to teach workshops on these topics and am about to do a lot more... Maybe that book would be AFTER the one on land shaping and water management....


Thanks, I can't say enough how much I appreciate what you're doing.
 
Well don't expect me to do the dishes! This ad has been cleaned for your convenience:
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
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