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Hello from Washington State (Seattle Area)  RSS feed

 
Zach Bradshaw
Posts: 17
Location: Snohomish County, Washington State
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Greetings!

It's been an interesting journey to find myself here. As I browse through this forum and see all the different interesting topics, I've decided to take the time to write a formal introduction. Before I do so, I'd have one specific question I would like to ask:

Context to question: I am interested in buying an existing Christmas Tree Farm. Where in the forms should I post my questions regarding Christmas Tree Farms? I was thinking under growies - trees OR homesteading - farm income. Either of these would seem appropriate, thoughts?

Okay, had to get the question out first for the others who aren't interested in reading the following.

In a few years my wife and I will be 30 years old and have started reconsidering everything:

I grew up in Washington State, my family owning a beef/cattle farm, myself not being active in it but rather just playing all day while my great grandpa, whom was retired at the time, ran the farm. He died last year and since then my Grandpa has been running it with my aunt/uncle starting to take over. My family started a homestead back in the 1800’s so the farm is very important to them, I think it’s awesome and my aunt/uncle are very passionate and taking lots of classes to learn more and do everything more efficiently – someday, I intend to be part of the farming and take over the family farm. Anyways, this being said I grew up in Washington, met my now wife at college after being best friends until senior year and having both spent a semester abroad. We moved to SE Asia after college for 1 year to travel and open our minds to ‘the world’. After satisfying our travel needs we both came back and joined “the rat race” of corporate society in a struggle to work our way up the ladder to make money and acquire assets. I’ve always been interested in business and really have never had a job where I “work for someone else”; however, I still have had bosses. Today I am a commercial real estate broker and my wife works for a corporate technology company doing HR (hiring and firing). Were both totally burnt out and unsatisfied with our daily lives. We bought investment properties (small apartment buildings) and intend to run those and pay them off for future retirement. We are both extremely frugal and can’t figure out why we are working ourselves to death when we enjoy a simple rustic style lifestyle. Recently I started a business opening a float center where clients come in and “float” in a sensory deprivation tank. It’s essentially creating an environment that allows the brain to think/see things differently. All this being said, in our search to figure out what’s next we have thought of many ideas and have been very interested in buying an existing Christmas Tree Farm. I would have to take debt on the property, but would do that buying my next primary residence anyways. The property has a really old cabin I would be happy to call my home. I haven’t figured out yet if I would be able to qualify for an owner-occupancy FHA loan to purchase this or not, but if I could it would be awesome. Lots of other options if not. I’ve requested to meet with the owner; however, who is very passionate about the farm; however, he is older (80’s) and wants to sell it, but doesn’t need too and is sick of people interviewing him with no offers on his property. I am still trying to secure a meeting with him as I am now serious.

In the form post I am interested in writing for Christmas Tree Farm I wanted to get a list of important questions I should be taking with me and also what else I need to know about Christmas Tree Farms. I am a numbers guy, I am really good at analyzing numbers on spreadsheets and projecting future returns of commercial properties – I know nothing about farming, tree’s, etc. Every day I hate my computer/cell phone more and more and crave the outdoors and manual labor aspect of life. I realized this when I spend time remodeling my rentals – I actually enjoy the process and have been becoming a decent handy-man as I do it all myself.
Anyways, that’s probably enough. Even if I don’t buy this farm, I will be buying land and beginning the next journey of my life. There are lots of interesting topics on this form which I hope to part-take in the future.

Look forward to chatting with others on here as well!
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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Hello fellow Washingtonian and Welcome to permies,

The size and scope of this forum is indeed quite daunting! It has been my experience that threads often cross into multiple categories. That said its always good to try to keep them in the proper form so as to garner the most attentive interest from the most informed policies. parties I would say if you have questions regarding Trees, and the growing of them, their natural plant and fungal allies et cetera to place those questions somewhere in the plant or fungi or woodland or section. If however the primary thrust of the post is 'making money on Christmas trees' or 'cost benefits and risks of converting an existing conifer monoculture' that would go under financial stratedy. When in doubt I post a couple brief questions under different (appropriate) headings. That;s my stile, it may or may not drive some others crazy.


Your introduction just screamed the Christmas tree farm skit from Season 2 of 'the 206' - I can only find the full episode the skit starts 3:50 in
submitted for your enjoyment:


Permaculture and goofballism.... all the time....

-Landon

Edit: Slip, struck but left for comedic value, to much reading of law and politics
 
Zach Bradshaw
Posts: 17
Location: Snohomish County, Washington State
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Thanks, Landon! Funny skit, I'd never seen that before! Appreciate the warm welcome.
 
Bill Erickson
steward
Posts: 1132
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
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Welcome to permies, Zach.

That sounds like a good plan to me. The kind of questions I would ask would relate to the business plan. Basically looking at the status of the trees, what the replanting schedule has been, what the returns have been. His source for replenishment (if it isn't on site propagation of seeds) and, of course, what his basic income stream has been in the past. After that, look at what other income streams the property would support as well as how well you could feed yourselves off of the property.
 
Zach Bradshaw
Posts: 17
Location: Snohomish County, Washington State
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Thanks, Bill! Starting a nice list of questions. Hoping to secure a meeting with the owner later this week or early next week and see where I can go with this. Appreciate the feedback.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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