How did you get started? Farm stories?

heavenlyfarm(zone 6b)August 30, 2010

Hey so since I'm off today and thinking about farming and my dreams I thought I'd ask people how you got started on farming? or how you got your farm stories? family, hardwork? I want a farm so much..I'm 19 now, working at a crappy job and saving every paycheck except about 20 dollars every two weeks and living at home. I also want to start selling seeds and anything I dont use anymore..seriously stressing and worrying if my dream will come true. I didn't grow up on a farm but many of my friends and parents friends have farms and I love helping out. I spend hours outside in just what small gardens we have on our 1 acre. I feel it's where I belong you know? Unfortunately we use to have a family farm but it was sold when my great grandmother died when I was 5 :( my grandma regrets not trying harder to keep it in our family. So anyways any "success stories" or just farm stories you'd like to share? lol :)


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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Michael, when I was 19 and had just gotten married, I bought a horse. My husband was so upset about how much the boarding stables charged that he decided we should buy an acre or 2 so we'd have a place to keep the horse.

It was an itty bitty house, but came with 2 1/2 acres.

You can grow a lot of food on 2 1/2 acres. I had a veggie garden, fruit trees, chickens, and raised horses, cattle, and pigs.

Here's the trick. I fixed the place up so cute that it sold for enough money for me to move to a cheaper area of the country and buy 40 acres with an old farm house and 3 barns.

I have a suggestion, if you are serious about buying a farm. Figure out how much rent you could afford to pay. Then go on-line to an amortization table and put in the figures and it will tell you how much mortgage you can afford with that amount of payment.

Land is on sale in the USA right now. My area, prices have dropped about 50%, and mortgages are in the 4% range.

Land is so hard to sell right now that you can probably find someone who will sell to you and carry the mortgage for you. You won't even have to get a bank loan.

Start with something small, fix it up, sell and use the profits to move up.

You don't need much to start. My cousin supported his whole family (wife and 3 kids) on a 5 acre truck patch.

You can rent a farm, but I think that if you will work the figures, you will find that for the same amount every month, you could buy instead of rent.

You don't say where you live, but is it possible in your area, to buy a couple of bare acres close enough to where you live and fence it and plant it while you still live at home?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:43PM
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heavenlyfarm(zone 6b)

oregonwoodsmoke, thanks for the story. Thats mainly what I've been thinking. Even a few acres would be nice and the house might not be the nicest but it can be worked upon. I want to get chickens and a few cows on the farm. perhaps goats but I have never had any experience with goats. I mainly want an herb garden, vegetable patch and room for roses too. I want to also save on money by growing and raising alot of my own food. As of the beginning of this year, I have really cut expenses to save and begun building credit. I just have been getting discouraged by the price mainly cuz it seems so far away and I am unable to find a better paying job at the moment. I am also keep a lookout for any bare acres too. Oh, and I live in PA btw. I guess for now it's saving money, building credit, harvesting and selling seeds on ebay and I'm trying to set up at places to sell any extra plants too for a little extra cash. I can tell you my dream of having a farm really has opened my eyes too how every penny counts lol.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 7:25PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

I grew up in the urban jungle of Los Angeles. Hated the smog, the traffic, the people piled up on top of each other. Had a cousin who was a farmer so went to live with him for 5 months, worked fences, bucked hay, finally got to drive a tractor, busted a pasture sod, disked, and planted a wheat crop. I fell in love with country life.
I came back to Ca and worked as a migrant farm worker for the remainder of 2 years. Lived mostly out of my truck and saved up my $. At age 22 I bought my first place, 2 acres with one acre of dates and a 47 year old house all for $27,000 cash. When my Dad saw the house he told me I should dig a hole and push it in with a bulldozer.
But, I fixed it up, leased a couple more acres of dates and that's how I got started.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:55PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Visit farmers, think about WHAT you want to farm. Who will you sell to. How will you sell?
Are there chefs in your area that are willing to buy what you have? If not you could be stuck selling roadside trying to eek by.While some roadside stands do well if you are in the boonies it could pose a problem I went to a Chef/Farmer Summit bringing local farmers together while the chef said what he was interested in. He wanted to be able to visit and see how clean the farm was.
One farm gal said she loves farmimg but she was not a sales person and couldnt drive her stuff to market nor did she want to call on places to see if they wanted to buy. She asked a bout letting people garden her land then decided she didnt want people on her land.
How did she expect to do business? You still must deal with the human factor unless you are just farmimg for FUN which I LOVE!I have two and a half acres close to town and have tilapia I could sell but then I would have to clean and refrigerate and transport them. I could do poultry but thats an awful lot of eggs to sell to make a buck.And peeps go for about 3 bucks each.
I prefer plants so I propagate and sell plants here and there but we have another income so what I make is just fun money. Don't forget trying to take a vacation. No one is fond of coming to my place twice a day to care for my ducks. But It is STILL a way of life I LOVE LOVE LOVE,just be careful. Are there some ag classes you can take?
The aquaculture stuff is really fantastic and is an upcoming thing! You are young enough to get into it Go for it
God Luck! Tanya

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:34AM
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heavenlyfarm(zone 6b)

Thank you again for your experience in farming and how you started! I know I want to offer vegetables, locally grown fruit, herbs and butterfly plants. I want cows and chickens since that is what I've had experience with on other friend's farms. Before I started working I thought I could get by on a job that doesn't involve people but I've learned alot and that you can never avoid people and I've come use to working with people and some of the crazy ones too LOL!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 1:27AM
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we had a property with a nasty nasty neighbor/So when this farm came up for sale we jumped at the idea of 40 acres no neighbors close.its an old 1700 precivil war era house we spent a year restoring,We started out with 2 tennessee walker geldings,we then bought 3 Texas longhorned cows that were prdgnant.We had 2 heifers 1 well steer,we now have 12 i saw most of them born,we also got chickens,enjoy them,we got 2 smini donkeys jennys cute 1 pees the other pees,we got 2 labs yellow,black,lived like 18 years both.i love it here the quiet,garden,flowers,we have a large farm pond ,we put in a windmill that runs water in pond,we're thinking of drainiong iyt,its been 50 years sinvce it was put in,we have swans on pond.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 9:51PM
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heavenlyfarm(zone 6b)

hey bulldinkie, you live in PA too!! that's so nice, I actually want either a yellow or chocolate lab in the future when I get my farm. Its kind of painstaking tho when you look in the newspaper and they have lab puppies for sale and its like if only I had a farm haha. I heard an acre is about 6000 around here so maybe I can afford an acre or two somewhere nearby my house to at least plant more stuff on or something. I do live near some farms so maybe there might be a few acres for sale nearby. I'm just gonna keep saving and wishing!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 4:22PM
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heavenlyfarm(zone 6b)

Well actually that whole 6000 for an acre of farmland with no dwelling on it, seems really cheap and I'm pretty sure it's wrong hahaha. oh and I forgot to mention, I'm starting to ask around to friends and family to see if they can help me out if they have a farm or at least give me some advice too

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 4:28PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Before you get invested with property, you might check with places that take apprentices, learners, interns, that want to learn farming or raising crops to sell locally. Not sure what they offer, but I know there are programs out there. Locally we have a real basic place, teaches crafts and skills in low tech farming, educating people from other nations who go home to improve their local conditions by training others. Gardening, using draft animals, improved plows made locally, blacksmithing, building wooden things from furniture to barns. They have interns each year, do many projects in learning the skills.

I am sure there must be other places that teach skills to folks wanting to live closer to the land.

This kind of farming lifestyle may sound idyllic, but sometimes must be combined with money producing, RELIABLE income for cash. Can't pay the property taxes with vegtables or a lamb.

Anyway, learning is much easier if you get it done before investing money in land or "accessories" to work your own place. You find much information, better methods that work for you in certain settings, and if you really like doing this day in or out. You can travel easily if you don't have property, responsibilities, nothing to hold you, going off to these educational places. Check them out, seek far and wide. PA is home, but other places are fun as well, have other benefits you would enjoy. The more you learn, the better you can make informed choices in deciding your future goals. Best of luck

Here is a link that might be useful: Tillers International

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 6:43PM
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WOW that Tillers International is a wonderful site, full or beautiful pics and info. I would love to learn cheese making and spinning wool. There is also a school in Ga that teaches country craft things. The education is most important to success, even most counties have extension service that teaches things at minimal costs, like the Master Gardening programs.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 9:21AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Micheal I'm going list to read books.
Science of Agriculture
Booker T. Whatley's Handbook on how to make 100,000 Farming 25 acres
these books maybe hard to find try Barnes noble on line.
Sunbelt agriculture Expo moultrie Georgia 3rd week in October its on wednesday thrusday and friday of that week all Agriculture companys be there its so large you need 3 days see all.
In january and february Edwin Blooser one top 5 scienctist composting in world. I when 2 years in row in past he changes training every year. They were one of many sponsers of garden web. Look up on Google compost windrow turners may help.
On web visit Sweet berry farms for strawberrys and maze mase info. location of farm very important only small percentage of people visit farms.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 9:11PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

The EXPO TWTday not Friday

Here is a link that might be useful: Expo

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 2:39PM
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