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How big is your farm? (an excuse to brag)  RSS feed

 
Tom Kozak
Posts: 91
Location: Sudbury ON, Canada
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Hi all,
My fiancee and I are in our early 20s trying to figure out how we are possibly going to afford land! So, my questions for you are; How much land do you have? How much did you pay for it? and How on earth did you raise the money?

Thanks,
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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575x275, 3.6 acres
$45k, owner financed with $5000 down, 500/month
To come up with the money I gave up: beer, vacations, trips to the beach, shopping for stuff I dont need, junk food, movies, expensive clothes, cable tv, satellite tv, pay per view tv, ipad, ipod, iphone, istuff, pizza, soda, car air fresheners, swiffer, lights on in rooms I'm not in, DVD rentals, buying movies, music CDs, stereos, car washes, riding lawn mower, dishwasher, long showers, body wash, 10 jugs of products in the shower, the latest fashions, dining out, uneaten leftovers, buying clothes instead of sewing them, throwing stuff out instead of fixing them, blush, mascara, eye liner, perfume, hair spray, jewelry, interest on credit cards, fabric softener, driving to the store for a few things, buying single serving items and items in small volumes, using the dryer, using the hair dryer, brand new car, shiny spinning hubcaps, bling, sugary breakfast cereals with cartoons on the box, designer jeans, designer dresses, designer shoes, body fragrance, after bath splash, after shave, disposable towels, disposable wipes, disposable utensils, disposable lifestyle, lunch from the convenience store, lunch from the fast food joint, lunch from the street vendor, corn chips, potato chips, grain chips, cheese puffs, dips, spreads, soft drinks, hard drinks, energy drinks, purple lights under the car, driving 90 miles an hour past cops, road trips, cookies, ice cream, chocolate milk, chocolate bars, chocolate cake, skinless chicken, boneless chicken, ribeye steaks, frozen dinners, subway subs, firehouse subs, scented trash bags, dry cleaning, paying to get my taxes done, days off, going home early, spare time, lawn care, leaving the porch light on, slacking off at work, and I threw out my last girlfriend which really saved a pile of money.
 
Tom Kozak
Posts: 91
Location: Sudbury ON, Canada
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Wow, thanks Ken, inspirational, and that last one was hilarious.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 4068
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Tom, I have ten acres in the mountains of Wyoming, spring water and two or three creeks depending on the spring runoff, deep rich soil, paid 50K . There are lots of places out there that you can get for much less but you may have to put a lot more initial work into it to get things producing, which is OK. Ken has it right , it is all about setting a goal and setting priorities. You can do it !
 
Ed Johnson
Posts: 86
Location: Durham region - Ontario, Canada - Zone 5
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Interesting topic, I(We)'ve been trying to figure this for awhile. I see Holmgren with his 3ish acres (as I recall) which he remarked is the largest you can reasonably work without significant infrastructure. I also see Mark Sheppard with 104ac and a full fledged set-up. I would like to have the 50-100ac that would allow an eventual full transition but it keeps seeming like it's completely impossible with the price of land nearby as it's $25K/ac when looking in the 10-25ac or so size, locally or much less further out but I don't want to commute an hour each way to work.

I think the 'easiest' angle is to find something with a home on it so it qualifies for a conventional mortgage, buying empty land requires access to a significant lump sum either through saving, line of credit, loan, loan from family, etc. If you come up with something creative, please post it
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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IRT Ken's post, Rodney Dangerfield once said that somebody had stolen his wife's credit card. He never reported it, because whoever stole it was spending less than his wife had! LOL
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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My place is about 4200 square feet in darkest suburbia.
No-one normal would consider it a farm, but...
My livestock are really small: springtails, worms, spiders and a multitude of birds.
How'd I afford it? Got a big life insurance payout and live like a pauper.
I'll add I don't have a car or kids, to Ken's financial hints
 
Gary Stuart
Posts: 27
Location: Wakefield, Quebec, zone 3b/4a CAN
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We can't afford to buy, so we searched for other options...

Until October of this year we were living on a family member's 150 acre farm, exchanging work for rent and the freedom to follow our own projects on the land.

Sadly the land owner passed away and that farm is for sale. We looked for places to rent but couldn't find anywhere appropriate, until I noticed an ad for a local 'ranch & retreat' looking for an onsite caretaker in return for free rent. We have to stay onsite, and work 80hrs per month, and the rest of the time is ours.

So here we are, on 50 acres with our goats, chickens, veggie garden and soon-to-be food forest. No we don't own it, and yeah there are clients wandering around, but it's largely a win-win for everyone.

If one day we can buy, we will, but for now arrangements like this work for us.
 
Tom Kozak
Posts: 91
Location: Sudbury ON, Canada
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Thanks for all the responses! you've given me some great ideas. Keep 'em comming!
nice website Gary.
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 377
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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8 acres for $45K and another 40 adjacent for $80K. Raised the money by chaining myself to a cubicle for decades and paying dues to The Man (not that I'm recommending that; I hope you find an easier way). The cubicle escape mechanism will be activated soon, hopefully.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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We have three acres we rent from my father-in-law. We couldn't afford to buy it. I agree that 3 acres is plenty, except I'd like a woodlot.

There's ownership and there's stewardship.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6795
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I have 7 1/2 acres of which 4 is flat enough to farm. I want several hundred acres and will go to where that can be achieved. Once I reach a point where my current property is worth $500,000.00+ , I'll go shopping. Maybe during the next downturn. As for paying for it, I'll mine the equity from my current property or sell it.

The most tried and true method of paying for property is to get it into your name and then develop rental income. Let the tenants pay for it over time. Mine is near the city. Crops, rental income, storage and event hosting are all ways to make land pay.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 988
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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20 acres on the main farm. $225,000 included a partially completed house that was livable, small solar system, cesspool, multiple catchment tanks, four acres bulldozed and in pasture grass, bulldozed driveway access, three ag sheds. We sold everything we had worked for an entire lifetime and put it down on this place. The seller held a mortgage for the balance. We then used every cent we could spare to pay off the mortgage in 3 years. Frugal to the max! Not a cent was spent on anything that wasn't mandatory. We even turned off the house heater and chopped wood to heat with the fireplace insert. The house was cold! No air conditioning...we roasted. Super cheap meals. No new clothes. No new anything. Ditched the cable and everything else not mandatory. Sold everything extra, including the TV. We both worked any extra hours we could get. This was our retirement move, although hubby needed to keep working so we could finish off paying the mortgage. So we weren't young when we made the jump. For 3 years we really scraped.

We could have purchased any of hundreds of cheaper places, but this location was ideal for farming. It turned out to be worth the expense and sacrifice. We don't regret buying it.

1 1/2 acres on vacant land for a seed production farm. $80,000. That includes the bulldozing, cesspool, and building site development. Eventually we'll be building an ag shed. Paid for it from a combo of hubby's income and farm income. We're now in the process of saving money for the ag building we want to put on the land, plus a couple of catchment tanks.

As you have guessed, good land can be expensive here in Hawaii. But there are some real pluses that help offset the cost -- no heat or air conditioning bills, incredibly cheap real estate taxes for farms ($400 a year total for both farms once we get the seed farm assessed), no water bills (both farms on catchment) , no electric bills (both farms on solar), no sewer bills, etc. Plus we can grow our own food year around. And the 20 acre farm provides plenty of resource materials : fence posts, firewood, wood for furniture construction, posts for shed construction, rock for field walls, rock for foundation and flooring.

When we were in our early 20s we dreamed of having acreage but could never afford to buy anything. Foolishly we did not live a frugal life. Spent our paychecks most of our lives with little to show for it. We didn't get serious until we were in our 40s. And didn't get really frugal until we were in our early 50s. We're now in our mid 60s. Thankfully we wised up before our lives passed us by!

...Su Ba
www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
 
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt. tiny ad:
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