I've been into permaculture, regenerative agriculture, resilience and self reliance for some time.
I decided to abandon my career as a geologist after I've witnessed the scope of destruction inflicted on the earth in the name of growth. 2 years fast forward, now I'm currently working for Melbourne CBD council doing construction and infrastructure works. I changed the profession but still my soul shatters at the amount of resources we pull every day in the name of neverending growth.
I'm well aware that this current economic model is unsustainable and that humans just as cancer in the body, will continue to use the resources and grow until it's too late for patient to recover. There is a sense of urgency in my mind to change something in my life.
That's why my wife and I are saving 50% our income. We already have a farm back in Croatia and need some startup capital to get things off the ground. In a year we will make a transition to the farm. I learn every day and read a lot of books, blogs, listen to podcasts and make plans.
The current plan is:
• save 50000$ in 2 years (half way there)
• go to courses and workshops, find mentors
• year 1 on the farm - focus on improving soil and observing, starting a nursery
• year 2 - basic infrastructure works for water and access, planting trees • year 3 - early cash flow and starting a business (annuals, quick yielding perennials, raising animals, nursery business)
So there you have it. This is the direction we're headed. The more I research this stuff and learn about opportunities, the more I feel positive about outlook of my life.
There is only one thing missing.... I have to start and make the jump into farming and try to make a living from permaculture!
Ambitious plans! Small farmers in Australia struggle. I think it boils down to a really good plan, maybe several of it.
Animals: what do you want to sell the animal, the meat the wool?
Nursery: you want to sell online, or you are close enough to Melbourne?
If you start your business in rload of money. Fruit? YOu need bird netting in your area?
If you have a farm at least you have some experience. But Aussie soils are poor, the birds are terrible, tons of regulations, and farms are way out.
I don't want to discourage you, but make a good plan (better 3 of them and try them all).
Garlic maybe? Or specialize on rare fruit trees, stuff you don't get round the corner, but then you have to import trees.....
Angelica, I hear you and I like your way of thinking. You seem like a person who has experience first hand or second hand.
I think of myself as a practical pessimist and always have worst, the best and the most likely scenario planned out.
I'm much aware of the problems farmers in Australia have and in the rest of the world. Especially in Australia problems with property prices, soils, labour cost, regulations and pest are discouraging too say at least. I'm actually moving back to Croatia where I already have a farm and 10 acres of land which I already own. So my startup costs are low, soil is excellent and pests are not of that big issue. Plus I learned a lot from some great minds doing it right in Australia.
However you pointed out some good questions about animals, nursery and fruits. The idea is to start a nursery to save on the cost of buying trees, plant them and while they grow have a income stream form raising, lamb, chickens or pigs. Your ideas of planting garlic has crossed my mind and probably I will grow it for seed.
In the beginning I will focus on one enterprise at time and focus my efforts, ideally I would like to specialise in 3 - 4 crops and do value add products from things I don't necessary grow at my farm.
Mark Shepard said: "Don’t get caught in a too narrow economic focus and just focus on growing" - and this is my line of thinking too: developing agritourism, nursery business, value added products, growing food and using resources on the farm to lower my expenses.
I just need to go through few difficult "starting out years" (the most likely scenario)