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Market Farming in Rural Maine  RSS feed

 
Curtis Budka
Lab Ant
Posts: 109
Location: Southern NH zone 5b
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Some day I want to start my whole plan of getting a hunk of land and healing it while making a living.

Let me explain why I've picked rural Maine:
1. Taxes are near nothing in unorganized townships (about half of northern ME)
2. Towns with a pop. under 2000 (maybe 4000) aren't required to enforce MUBEC, even though the entire state is subject to it. Basically, no building code in an unorganized township.
3. Very lenient homeschooling laws.
4. Lenient raw milk laws
5. Winter
6. Mountains, hills (yes, there are states with bigger mountains)
7. (Fairly) cheap land
8. I'm not sure about zoning in UTs

The problems:
1. It's rural- how does one market food where the nearest neighbor might be 2 miles away, the nearest farmer's market 3 hours away?
2. Internet can be expensive- I know about diversified income, but many of those options involve internet powered activities and satellite internet can be expensive and data is limited
 
Dan Huisjen
Posts: 51
Location: Acadia Region, Maine.
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Go with a town that has a government. There are plenty of them that are still cheap and have the advantages you list. And it all depends what you intend to grow and what post-harvest value added processing you want to do. And the unorganized territories tend to be woods rather than much usable farmland. Clearing land isn't easy.

I'm in 04617. I have a house I don't care to heat, so I've gone with alternative housing. I have plastic carboys of water I fill from the house, and I may have to drain more plumbing if the winter gets cold. I have fair internet, which reaches to my new digs. I heat water on a stove and it drains out to a big leaf pile. There's a compost pile in the woods where I dump my cat's box and my toilet, which use similar wood fiber technologies. Next summer I'll be renting out the house to the rusticators for as much as the market will bare.

I have this nice broom. I bought it from southern Oregon neo-hippies at a craft fair in 1998. They'd grown the broom corn, harvested an almost straight ash pole for the handle, and made the broom. That was their cash crop. It didn't matter that their home was 300-some miles south of where I bought it. Value added.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
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Research permits and other requirements to sell various farm products in Maine. The state makes it expensive to produce a wide variety of products.
http://www.maine.gov/dacf/qar/permits_and_licenses/application_forms.shtml


You may want to check out towns in NH. Grafton has low taxes and no permit requirements other than state septic. It also 35 minutes from Hanover and Lebanon which are great towns to sell your products in.
They have highspeed internet now. There are several permaculture farms with in an hour drive so you can find mentors.
NH is really good on raw milk, homeschooling, and has less regulations on getting started in farming including being exempt from licencing if you sell 20,000 a year in products.
http://agriculture.nh.gov/laws-rules/
 
Tristan Vitali
Posts: 314
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
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Anything happen with this Curtis? Any plans to make a move out here in the future?

We've got a decent property right across the road from us here in the three rivers/central highlands area that's going pretty cheap I could point you to...think it's 13 to 17 acres with no structures, a grown-in drive, mostly wooded ~$17k (roughly same as my mud puddle...soils are heavy clay). Tax would be roughly $275/year for that size unimproved...less if you throw some in tree growth, farm, open space or the other "tax avoidance plans". (reliable) DSL on our road for like $30/mo, electric if you want it (we're offgrid solar), and building regs/code enforcement quite lax. Road is state highway so always plowed/sanded. I think our town might be about ready to throw in the towel and go unorganized which would make this place even more desirable from a permie perspective, but we'll see. Apx 30 minutes to "town" in 3 directions with Bangor about ~45 minutes south. The property receives our run-off so 1) is probably quite fertile considering all the topsoil and humus erosion they caused during the last (nearly clear-cut) logging, 2) should have fairly stable hydrology as we continue to improve ours, and 3) is likely seeded with a ton of cover crops that escaped during some of our heavier thunderstorms.

Would love to have more permies in my neck of the woods
 
Galen Young
Posts: 53
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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We are in one of the Unorganized Townships of Maine.

We sell farm produce at markets in cities and seeing the differences between them, we really prefer to live in a UT.


 
Sarah Houlihan
Posts: 89
Location: Central Maine
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We picked Maine for the very same reasons.

I don't know a lot about market farming but I have noticed that the locals are very supportive of local farmers.  Many grocery stores sell foods from local farms.  There are CSAs and farmers markets galore.  Even road side stands with honors system payment.  There seems to be plenty of support for farmers everywhere.
 
Galen Young
Posts: 53
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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Kate Muller wrote:Research  permits and other requirements to sell various farm products in Maine.  The state makes it expensive to produce a wide variety of products.
http://www.maine.gov/dacf/qar/permits_and_licenses/application_forms.shtml


I sell honey, maple, fiddleheads, mixed veggies, pork, chaga and reichi.

No permits are required.

 
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