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10 Thoughts on Finding Land…The Dollars and Cents of Starting a Small Farm — 7 Comments

  1. Thinking long term has definitely been the biggest thing for me. We’ve had good years and bad years on our hobby farm, but as long as every year progresses to the next (even if that progress is only knowledge about what NOT to do), I try to keep my chin up about it. A terrible infestation of worms in my cabbages this year means I have lots of chicken feed and compost, and time to work on my storage cellar! haha

    • A good, long-term outlook is so important! You’ve got to either see it as a victory, or as a learning opportunity. Anything else is totally self-defeating! 🙂

  2. We’ve used 3/4 of our retirement savings since purchasing our tiny farm 2 years ago. We’ve installed septic, repaired the well, bought a cantankerous old tractor, built a foundation and moved a double wide mobile home onto the property, started a 90 x 40 garden and repaired the very steep driveway. When there, we are still living in the 1950’s trailer with cold running water, little heat or air and an outhouse. Oh, and I’m still cooking on a camp stove.

    We have started the process of gutting the house and replacing nearly everything. As with most home rehabs, everything is worse than it initially looked. We still have another home that we need to sell before we can be on the farm full time. We have enough projects to last us for at least 20 years. Our goal is to both be retired and be living at the farm by this time next year.

    My biggest piece of advice is to plan on nearly everything taking twice as long as you thought it would. One repair or project leads to at least one other that must be done. We’ve totally rewritten our 5 year plan to be much more realistic. But it is already “home” and is causing our friends who’ve visited to rethink their retirement strategies.

  3. Pingback: How to Find Land for a Small Farm - Info You Should Know

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  5. I have been looking for rented land and have yet to find any. I have looked on the IRS website and only found how to fill out the schedule f tax forms. Is there any way you can let me know where to find these rented lands.

    • I think it depends on your area and expectations. Around here, most rental land is open crop land, and doesn’t include a house. To find something like that, go to your County and look at aerial maps (usually digital in these days!) with parcel lines on them. Look for parcels with no house and then see if the owner of record also owns other land. You can only live on one piece at a time, so they’re probably renting some of it. If you don’t need a house, another idea would be to look for large residential parcels with mowed open space. They might be willing to rent it to you with temporary fencing for livestock instead of mowing it. Another way would be to look for 3-6 lot subdivisions in rural areas where all the lots are not built on. The property owner of the vacant parcel might be willing to rent it to you while he’s trying to sell or just not using it. We have all 3 of these situations within our neighborhood right now.

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