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Gerald Barrett
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Is there anyone on this site that live in southern Missouri? I'm retired and now would like to start a small farm to raise food for my family and to sell. Can anyone recommend a size and perhaps explain how some of you operate. Where to sell locally. I'm thinking about 70 acres. Thank you for your responses.
 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 533
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Let's get some more information, so that we can collectively help you better.

1. Where exactly are you? Joplin, West Plains, and Sikeston all count as "Southern Missouri", but they're pretty far apart.

2. Ever gardened before? What's the biggest garden you've ever tended?

3. Are you hoping to farm or market garden? "Farming" generally means corn, wheat, soybeans. You sell to the grain elevator. You don't raise much of anything that you can eat yourself. When you mention 70 acres, it sounds like you're talking about farming. "Market gardening" generally means a variety of vegetables- tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, etc- and selling either through a CSA, at farmers' markets, to restaurants, or all three. When you mention food for your family, it sounds like you're talking about market gardening. 70 acres would be a much, much, much larger market garden than usual.

4. How much money are you hoping to net per year? How many hours do you plan to put in during the first year?
 
Paul Ewing
Posts: 127
Location: Boyd, Texas
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I am from Texas so can't get into too many specifics for Missouri, but I can give some general advice. First I would want to be within an hour or so drive of a city with at least 100,000 people. More would be better. The reason is that I think for a small farm to be successful you need to be selling direct to customers. I would also try to offer a diverse selection of products because it is easier to get someone to buy more different things than to find another customer to buy more of the same thing. Personally I am not big on vegetable gardening for sales. Maybe a few sociality items, but it is a LOT of work to do it in any scale that makes much money. I got college money by doing a one to two acre market garden in high school and haven't done more than a family garden since. I concentrate on meats and fruits which are much easier to schedule around too.
 
Tom Scialla
Posts: 22
Location: The great state of Georgia
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70 acres in southern mizzou sounds like a paradise. There are TONS of things that you can do there. Why don't you let us know more about where your interests lie and then we can get a better idea about what to suggest.
 
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