Hallo everyone! Where and how do I start!?

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10 years 10 months ago #28408 by firehawk
I am NEW....in NEW ZEALAND, to farming in general and also to the site. I hope that all the EXPERTS on this site can point me in the right direction in order for me to return the favor once we are up and running.
We (my wife and 2 girls aged 7 & 11) arrived from South Africa some 20 months ago and I always had this question on how people live and "survive" on a lifestyle block? If you browse through property sites such as Trademe you see so many "flash" homes on just 4 hectares? My thoughts is that they most probably belong to wealthy business people that lives out in the country and commute to the city each day work work....or can you actually get a very good return on only 4 hectares?
I have so may questions, but the most important ones for a start is;

1.) HOW to get started and HOW MUCH/LITTLE $$$ would I need?
2.) WHAT to farm??? Obviously I don't want to dive into the deep end and drown by making the wrong choices concerning what kind of farming to start off with. It needs to be "easy" as well as a good return...
3.) What and where to buy land as well as finance options, etc.

I am prepared to work and manage a farm or lifestyle block to gain experience but most jobs advertised are looking for people with experience and qualifications. This is my dream for a while now and I never had the opportunity to get into farming due to the fact that I was a business owner in the Security industry in SA for the past 13 years.

Well that is just a very short summary and I hope that I will be flooded with information....and make a lot of friends on this site.

Cheers! :)

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10 years 10 months ago #388409 by spoook
Welcome Firehawk, have you thought about renting a house on a lifestyle block? One where the land is being used.
That way, you can see what care is needed for the stock and work out if that is what you may want to do.

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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10 years 10 months ago #388429 by sundaysbest
Welcome along, and welcome to NZ>
Sundays!

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10 years 9 months ago #388443 by LongRidge
With any type of farming be it big or small, I have noted that generally there are 2 good years, 3 years of decreasing income, 2 years of absolute poverty, and 3 years of increasing income as the "cycle" starts to recover.
A very, very few people are able to get in to a new product very early on, make lots of money because there is a shortage of that product, then get out before the market crashes. Most people cannot do that, because either their new product does not take off, or they have got in a bit too late, or they have got out a bit too late.
Thus "LSB's" tend to be Life Sentence Blocks, and also tend to be a big hole that eats money.
To be able to make lots of money off a small area of land requires growing a crop that needs lots of work, and then selling it. The flash houses on small blocks that you see usually belong to people who work in town. They either play around with it at the weekends, or lease the land out to someone who wants to work on the land. Owning animals and crops is a 24/7/365 job (perhaps less than 365 for crops), so going away for a holiday requires lots of planning and organising a responsible person to care for your animals and crop. I was up at 1.30 this morning checking a cow that was calving. If she had had a problem then I would have been morally and legally at fault .... and also it would have cost me money.
Because of these factors, and others, many people try LSBing for a few years and then work out that it is not for them. And that is really good for them, and for those of us that are trying to make a subsistence off the land. But don't expect that living on the land will get you great wealth while you are there. There may be some capital gain when you sell your land, and it should be good for your health (if you don't get injured by an animal, machine or bacteria).
Good luck.

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10 years 9 months ago #388457 by firehawk
Thank you so much for your reply. I am currently looking around in our area (North Canterbury) for a lifestyle block to rent until I got my properties sold overseas, but unfortunately there are not a lot going around at the moment and if they do come on the market they are quickly snapped up by people displaced from the earthquakes. I will just to keep on searching then hey....All the best. Cheers!

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10 years 9 months ago #388459 by firehawk
Thanks Sundays!!! It is actually a glorious "Sunny" day here again in Canterbury! Cheers!

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10 years 9 months ago #388461 by firehawk
Thank you so much for the info. Yeah I guess that is life for you....you never know what you're up against until you just go out and do it. I've also learned that what might work for another does not neccessary means that it will work for you. I would rather say that I would like to make a good living as for now and then later when the time is right sell the land when I can't farm anymore. The most important thing is that I can live off the land and I know that it's going to be tough sometimes and I will be prepared for that. The big question is still to get started and try to make the best decisions along the way. Speak again soon and thanks again for your input. Cheers!

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