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is there enough farmland to go around for the new want to be farmers?

 
Wesley johnsen
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is there enough farmland to go around for the new want to be farmers? what is a fair enough acreage a farmer should own? some say 10 acres per farmer in the country. also if everyone wakes up and wants to live a simple rural life how would the land be distributed? jobs?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Land is sold in large and small parcels.

A major issue for many, is that smaller parcels sell for much more per acre,  so you don't get as much bang for the buck.

There are often restrictions to breaking up larger parcels.  This tends to preserve farmland. In my area,  most farms under five acres don't produce much in the way of useful crops. One acre is a good size market garden for one family to manage. We have a perfect environment here for that sort of business,  but I see very few of them.  Most small acreages produce horse poop and nothing more.

I think that if more small farms were used in a productive manner, the laws would be relaxed and larger parcels could be more easily broken up. Unfortunately,  when large parcels are broken into small hobby farms,  agricultural production tends to go down. The majority of buyers don't seem to value the land for it's products.  Instead, many are looking for just a house in the country. Each family wastes far more land than would happen in suburbia.
 
Su Ba
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Wesley, I think that the farmable land is there but many wannabe farmers don't have the financial resources to buy ready-to-farm land nor the knowledge & guts to take non-producing land and turn it into production.
 
M Foti
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Location: western n.c.
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There is plenty of land available, even cheap and small parcels... what is difficult is finding everything you need in a place where marketability is viable... Our farm is 30 acres, we have more land than we can get the things we want to do done on in any timely manner, so we just concentrate on getting one thing going at a time. Most of our land isn't traditionally "farm land" so we have to also be creative in what we grow on it, either that or hire a fleet of bulldozers and that isn't what we want to do. Markets should be the number one priority when choosing where to locate your farm. We do not have much in the way of "local" markets, they exist but if you can't match non-organic grocery store prices, then you're going to be taking your product home at the end of the day, where we do get lucky is we are 2 hours from 5 major cities, so direct marketing is possible but still not really ideal for us, that is why we chose to focus on wholesale since we actually can viably do that.

If you're looking to start a self sufficient homestead, then your options will be pretty vast provided you aren't picky about location, but if you're looking to start an income producing farm, you have to get closer to the people who are going to buy your product at a price that you can make money at, and that means paying more for the land (unless you just get lucky).

There are lots of good posts on here about marketing and viability of small acreage production, some folks are able to make it work and some aren't that is where choosing your market and choosing your products are key.

Good Luck!
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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My state has a ton of land. Parcels here come in a variety of sizes. I happen to own 40. We have family on acreage ranging from 5-20. I think how much land is needed is rather dependent on area. We don't have a lot of moisture here or stuff for animals to eat. More acreage would be needed here to sustain what can be done on less elsewhere.
 
jacob ford
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Location: polk county Oregon
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look in Polk county Oregon, i see so many properties for sale driving around here, in a small radius from ours.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Hau, Wesley, The short and sweet answer to your question is Yes, there is enough farm land available. Whether or not is located where people want to be located is a totally different question. The other big issue would be the cost to purchase, which can vary like the weather in most parts of the USA,

Commercially productive small farms can be on as little as 5 acres, given the right produce being selected and limited to the least number of crops. Usually 5 acres per commercial crop can be done when the farmer properly markets his crop(s) to the niche markets. If a farmer wants to go with the CSA format, they are going to have choices to make beginning with number of crops offered and types of crops offered. If you are doing "baby veggies" for example, you might be able to do that with as few as 10 farm acres (as opposed to total acres, which would include house/buildings).

If you were to desire to have crops and meat to sell, you would need enough acreage to have the crops growing, the animals growing. Animals usually would be pastured, this entails having enough land for a minimum of four pastures for rotation so the pasture can rejuvenate between grazing periods.

Buzzards Roost is being designed for a maximum of 15 acres to be utilized as total acreage. Our products offered will be rabbit meat, eggs, fruits, and three vegetables, selected by the market owner ( yes we already have a market owner that wants to carry our produce if he can let us know what he needs us to grow). The only reason we are changing from a "homestead farm" to a small commercial model is because we have located markets that want what we will be producing as well as what we will produce for personal use. Once we decided to change models. I have also begun two alternative cash producing models but one of these is dependent on a certain piece of legislation being put on the ballot and passed. We also still have the option of going back to our original model of producing only for our own use.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Wesley, Joel Salatin talks about this in one of his books.

http://www.permies.com/t/44227/books/Fields-Farmers-Joel-Salatin

His take on it is that there is plenty of land that is owned and operated by old farmers who are looking for young people to carry on with their work.
He outlines a plan to make this transition happen.
 
Tom Scialla
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Location: The great state of Georgia
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Having looked all over creating for over a year, I can tell you that there is plenty of land out there. Most of it is expensive and a lot of it is pretty shoddy.

I have been looking for just the right piece of giant clearcut to work into a long term farm. I almost had a deal on 96 acres, but it fell through.

I will keep on looking though.
 
Ann Torrence
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Wesley johnsen wrote:what is a fair enough acreage a farmer should own? some say 10 acres per farmer in the country. also if everyone wakes up and wants to live a simple rural life how would the land be distributed? jobs?

"Fair" is as much land as a person can manage to accomplish restoration agriculture. If you are regenerating soil, planting trees, demonstrating good stewardship practices, I think you should be taking on as much land as you can handle. Would I begrudge Mark Shepard a thousand acres? No I would not.

Besides, the land is already distributed. At least in the current western civilization, unless you are talking about a complete destruction of the rule of law, redistribution will take place via the free market. The opportunities are there for those who can take beat up land and nurture it back to health. I'm not too worried about there being a modern land stampede by the newly awakened. There's plenty to do for all.
 
Wesley johnsen
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another thing is if all the farms were occupied by true organic farmers than what percentage of the population would be farming knowing that farms are around 100 to 200 acres. one guy said in a video that if 25% or something close to that were farmers then our nation would be well off. but what happens if a huge amount of people want to be rural then how do they fit in the country that lets say all these 100 or 200 acre farm are protected with conservation easements? cluster developments in small towns? also what would the jobs be for the awakened people that want to live in the country in say a non consumer society have? of course there are tons of awake people living in cities. also what jobs are grounded in truth? obviously computers and television and mass marketers seem to be jobs that are not grounded in truth. jobs that seem grounded in truth are more like farming and building or transportation and so on. i mean truth in that we can not live without. any other opinions on this would be appreciated.
 
Miguel Laroche
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More than enough, the average age of farmers in Canada is around 55 years old or more.the answer to your question is yes, there is plenty of land available for free or cheap if you rent it, to give you an idea, 5% of your sales seems to be the going rate, I pay 10% but that includes the use of the tractor and dump truck. If you look hard enough I am sure you could find land for free, a lot of older\retired farmers would prefer to see their land being used. Some of the most important things to consider is location, location, location.
 
Thomas Partridge
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"10 acres"

I think people should set their sights lower if they are a new farmer, maybe 1 or 2 acres at first. I wont say you absolutely need a lot of equipment for more, but I can assure you that using just wheelbarrows and nothing more expensive than a $140 chainsaw you will feel very overwhelmed just trying to keep up with more. Eventually you may wish to go full time and you may then need more acreage, but learn to maximize two acres first then see if you really need ten acres.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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