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My Family And I Starting A Small Farm


blooit

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My family and I purchased a few acres near our home and started farming it this week. I started a blog about starting a small family farm here: http://rurallife.weebly.com/1/archives/04-2012/1.html

The rewards seem great to me. More self-sufficiency, better work ethic for my kids, and frankly the ability to produce food, seem like the best investments to make in a difficult economy. Just in the last year, we've learned to can, irrigate, grow crops that do well in our climate instead of the seeds you purchase at the local walmart. It's been awesome!

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My family and I purchased a few acres near our home and started farming it this week.

Congratulations (and good luck)!

The rewards seem great to me. More self-sufficiency, better work ethic for my kids, and frankly the ability to produce food, seem like the best investments to make in a difficult economy. Just in the last year, we've learned to can, irrigate, grow crops that do well in our climate instead of the seeds you purchase at the local walmart. It's been awesome!

One thing you have to keep in mind, though, is that it is not your farm(lette) until you make the last payment to the bank. Too many people have gone down that road, and have had their self-sufficiency taken from them when they were unable to keep the sheriff from auctioning the property for the bank (and this has happened to farms that have been in the family" for generations). Debt, even mortgage debt, is not your friend.

(And, of course, no one own any land in USmerica, we own "title" to land. The county can always take it for non-payment of taxes, and they get the final say as to how much you owe. There is little recourse against the assessor and the collector.)

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
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My next entry will be about how we got ready to do this. We spent the last two years learning to can, learning about small livestock (we're tackling chickens, rabbits, and two dairy goats first), and actually using what we have grown. We also worked out a crop rotation in our large garden for a couple years.

One thing we feel good about is that our payment for the farm is about $250 a month. We made a large down payment and got it for about half of what it appraised at. We're confident we can at least save $250 a month in groceries, although either way we are paying less than most people pay for a car payment, with (I would argue) better benefits.

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I read that you're a teacher. I'm a teacher too. Doing what you are doing here is one of my dreams. I'm growing all sorts of stuff on my city lot, but I would like to expand. Are you in UT?

Idaho - just a couple hours from SLC. You guys have a much better growing season down there. What part?

I started as a principal this year, but I'm still a teacher. ;)

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As Major Charles Emerson Winchester, III, told Walter "Radar" O'Reilly before the latter departed for home after the death of his Uncle Ed, "Best of luck in your bucolic endeavors." :D

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I no longer live in UT. We live outside St. Louis Missouri. I thought you might be in Utah based on your description of the land on your blog. Anyway, what you are doing is pretty cool, if you ask me. Are you doing any fruit or berries? Can you grow things like blackberries and raspberries that far north?

A lot of native berries here - we plan on planting berries on the back side of our property near the canal. The kids are pretty excited about this.

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Hello Blooit...

How I envy you (in a good way, i.e., wishing you good luck, etc). Sounds like you've done your homework and prepared yourselves. I would love to do what you're doing, but I just don't have the energy anymore because a garden/small farm is a lot of work... I don't even have my beautiful garden in the same way I used to because I can't bend down, kneel, lift/carry etc the way I used to. I miss the work, but now have to have yard men help me keep the heavy duty work going. I plant a lot of containers as they are easy, and beautiful, and I can handle them.

One of my cherished memories of my girlhood was during and just after WWII when my mom got our neighborhood together and started a "Victory Garden" on an empty lot we had between our house and the street. Everyone would help with caretaking/weeding/irrigating, and share in the bounty... and what a bounty it was. Every kind of a veggie and melon... plus 3 long rows of blackberries/raspberries. Oh the pies and cobblers my mom used to make!!

I know the feeling of satisfaction of growing, canning, and using the harvest. We lived in So Calif so weather was ideal for growing.

I'm going to try some easy veggies in containers this year and see what happens. The salt sea air dictates the type of planting we can do here.

Anyway, I do wish you luck. I enjoyed remembering our garden from so many years ago...

GG

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I no longer live in UT. We live outside St. Louis Missouri. I thought you might be in Utah based on your description of the land on your blog. Anyway, what you are doing is pretty cool, if you ask me. Are you doing any fruit or berries? Can you grow things like blackberries and raspberries that far north?

Berries will grow pretty far north. In SE Idaho, the determining factor is more pH, rather than climate. So, in Idaho Falls we can grow raspberries and strawberries. Blueberries- not so much.

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You've picked a difficult row to hoe, but I hope it works out for you. Your monthly payments sound reasonable, as you state, and the benefits of hard work and hands on experience solving problems are worth more than $250 per month. It gets kids off the computers and play stations :)

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