Are we mad

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9 years 7 months ago #33590 by Cold Comfort
Are we mad was created by Cold Comfort
Hi, my husband Rog and myself are just about to move into our new place - nine acres of flat lovely land (already sectioned off into paddocks) on the estuary. The thing is we won't see fifty again and we have never done this before but we have been bitten by the bug. I want to be as green as possible, grow our own fruit and veg, have a couple of milking goats and make cheese, yoghurt, icecreams. Rog says we can raise some calves and sell them on when fattened.
What we need to know is what we have to have to start with. Dont tell us not to do it, it's on our bucket list!:p

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9 years 7 months ago #445296 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Are we mad
We are about to do the same thing, Mr D is 62 and I'm 54, he's still working, (self employed) but work is scarce. We will have 25 acres of flat land, all fenced into paddocks, and many gum trees for firewood. We are going to tread slowly and start off with chickens and growing vegetables, planting fruit trees for ourselves, and listen to lots of advice. We may lease out pasture to horse owners, as this has been done before on the property. I look forward to reading your answers and wish you both the best. Which estuary where, if you don't mind me asking?

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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9 years 7 months ago #445300 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Are we mad
Go for it and good luck to you both. Fifty is not old any more. I have to say that because we are both nearly there too. You should be able to be almost self-sufficient in meat, milk, eggs, and vegetables on nine acres if it is just the two of you. You might consider milking a cow or two as well as the goats and breeding a few pigs to sell. Depends on what your land is like what stock it can carry of course. The main thing is not to rush ahead too fast and spend a lot of money before you really know what you want/need. My main advice with regard to farm machinery is don't waste your money on a quad. Nine acres is small enough to walk around if one is even half fit and you must be to have even considered becoming one of us pretend farmers. Buy a small, but not too small, tractor. You will find it much more versatile than a quad. I don't use my tractor much on three acres effective grazing but it is good for earthworks and shifting heavy things like logs and big bales of hay.

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9 years 7 months ago #445309 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Are we mad
If buying animals, choose quality over cheap.

You might need a cow if you want to make icecream. Get one with at least some Jersey in her.

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9 years 7 months ago #445314 by ZummersetGirl
Replied by ZummersetGirl on topic Are we mad
Welcome to the forum. There are many helpful people here who are very knowledgeable and are willing to help. We are both over 50 and have just been on our "pico" lsb for 4 months so are as mad as you are - but then I'm English :D . I am gaining a lot of info about what to do (or not to) from just reading all the topic threads. One main thing is not to rush into something - especially if it is a free animal - as planning is important :)

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9 years 7 months ago #445324 by Cold Comfort
Replied by Cold Comfort on topic Are we mad

Deanna;445280 wrote: We are about to do the same thing, Mr D is 62 and I'm 54, he's still working, (self employed) but work is scarce. We will have 25 acres of flat land, all fenced into paddocks, and many gum trees for firewood. We are going to tread slowly and start off with chickens and growing vegetables, planting fruit trees for ourselves, and listen to lots of advice. We may lease out pasture to horse owners, as this has been done before on the property. I look forward to reading your answers and wish you both the best. Which estuary where, if you don't mind me asking?


Actually we are in our early sixties but healthy and active. My husband is working too, self employed also, he travels to Auckland daily. The inlet is actually just outside Waiuku. :)

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9 years 7 months ago #445325 by Cold Comfort
Replied by Cold Comfort on topic Are we mad

ZummersetGirl;445300 wrote: Welcome to the forum. There are many helpful people here who are very knowledgeable and are willing to help. We are both over 50 and have just been on our "pico" lsb for 4 months so are as mad as you are - but then I'm English :D . I am gaining a lot of info about what to do (or not to) from just reading all the topic threads. One main thing is not to rush into something - especially if it is a free animal - as planning is important :)


Thanks for that, we are English too but this is home. We aim to get in first and then take our time its all very exciting. :)

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9 years 7 months ago #445327 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Are we mad
Personally I think you are nuts but good on you too. I bailed after 30 years of farming in my late 50's because my back could not take it any more, on my own. On the other side of this is that if you are new to farming and fit - just remember the most important lesson in farming - have strong stomach muscles or your back will stop you in your tracks. So much of what you do is bending so get it right from start factor - suck in you tummy muscles when doing anything. Lesson ONE! All the best.

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9 years 7 months ago #445379 by wandering free
Replied by wandering free on topic Are we mad

Cold Comfort;445267 wrote: nine acres of flat lovely land (already sectioned off into paddocks) on the estuary. :p

Have you got a good water supply, or is it well water, which could be brackish on an estuary and suitable for asparagus.

From my experience we tend to do too much at once, full of enthusiasm and then looking after it and watering can become a hassle, just take things easy for a start and see what others are having success with, and like DiDi say's look after your back, we are in our mid 70s and arthritis has started to take it's toll, so ease into it, good luck.

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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9 years 7 months ago #445473 by Cold Comfort
Replied by Cold Comfort on topic Are we mad

wandering free;445370 wrote: Have you got a good water supply, or is it well water, which could be brackish on an estuary and suitable for asparagus.

From my experience we tend to do too much at once, full of enthusiasm and then looking after it and watering can become a hassle, just take things easy for a start and see what others are having success with, and like DiDi say's look after your back, we are in our mid 70s and arthritis has started to take it's toll, so ease into it, good luck.


Our water is from a communial bore and we plan to get a rainwater tank as well. :)

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9 years 7 months ago #445597 by clemclan
Replied by clemclan on topic Are we mad
I don't think you're mad, I think you have to do what ever makes you happy and not pass up an opportunity that you know you'd regret. Good luck to you both, it all sounds amazing and although it's hard work, it will be worth it! :) You'll enjoy it! [;)]

- Freelance Proofreader, Editor & Writer

chickens, ducks, dog, cat and guinea pigs! [;)]

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9 years 7 months ago #445853 by Negodil
Replied by Negodil on topic Are we mad
No, you're not mad! I'm English too, been here 4 years on 8 acres. I agree with previous comment about not buying a quad, but a tractor - make sur sit has a front loader for lifting and shifting and buy a bit bigger than you think you need. A tractor that's too small is useless. I also have a topper and it's invaluable, but here in South Canterbury the grass grows at up to 4" a week! So animals just can't keep up with it. If you have animals you will probably find some sort of shelter/yard/race complex will be beneficial, but spend time on your land so you can work out where to put it and the design that'll work best for you.

I breed alpaca and thoroughly enjoy working on the farm - it's a shame I also work as I don't get as much time on the land as I want.

Enjoy!

Fairhaven Alpacas, breeding champion Suri alpaca in Temuka

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9 years 7 months ago #445905 by jimminette
Replied by jimminette on topic Are we mad
Biggest tip I can offer (we're 60's too) is listen to locals - especially your nearest farmer. They have experience and local knowledge and can either be your friend or your enemy depending on your reactions. The farmers sell of plots to lifestylers and then forget that they are the reason lifestylers are at their doorstep. Usually they've sold off land they can do without but if you ask their advice and follow it until you work out what suits you and yours, they can be a very valuable resource and a damn good friend as well.

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9 years 6 months ago #446092 by foufee
Replied by foufee on topic Are we mad
Are we mad ? I am afraid the answer is yes, but all the best ones are and boy have you come to the right place :)

everyone else has pretty much covered it I think
- research your interests
- talk to the locals

but just to add incase a common challenge new converts can face is getting a dog and letting it roam - a big no no

good luck with fulfilling your green dream, it has its challenges but we think it is worth it (but then plenty of people think we are mad [;)] )

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9 years 6 months ago #446908 by ffrost3
Replied by ffrost3 on topic Are we mad
Great stuff. We are about to take a dip into country living again soon.

Watched the land I wanted come up for sale
Viewed it with the agent
Found out there was an offer in on the property contigent on the sale of a house
Sold my house first
Negotiated an offer
Offer was accepted
Waiting 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 days cash-out clause to expire... they came up with the money. Back to square 1

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