Hello to all lsb members

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8 years 1 month ago #37478 by alexuarni
Hi everyone

We are Alex & Andre. We are a married couple and we have decided to buy a small block for us and our little daughter in the near future. If everything happens as planned we should own something by the end of the year.

We are reading (with lots of excitement) through all the articles here and we hope to get answers to our million questions we have... :)

Both of us are new to farming and everything that goes with it, but we are determined to learn and make it happen.

We are looking for a small block in the Western Bay of Plenty area at the moment (everything between Tauranga and Katikati)

We are not sure where to put our main focus at the moment. We would like to have some animals, but we would appreciate your help in selecting the right ones. We would also like to generate a regular, monthly income from the block and the animals. If you can think of any criteria that did lead you to your choice we'd like to hear it.

Many thanks in advance.

Cheers
Alex & Andre

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8 years 1 month ago #485888 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Hello to all lsb members
Welcome Alex and Andre and all the best for your future LSB adventure. It really depends on the size of your block, how much time you have to devote to generating an income from it and how much capital you are prepared to put into developing the income generating projects!
....as to what to suggest?

Due to the nature of the seasons and the farming cycle you will find it difficult to generate "regular monthly income" from such a venture. Most animals and crops will need periods of time between starting and harvest and very little will produce a regular income on its own. You could however plan it so there was something being ready for sale or harvest at different times of the year.

In the animal line I can only think of chickens (of course) as being something that would generate income all year round on a monthly basis, and that would only be when you were prepared to house them and provide shelter and lighting over the winter months and have birds of different ages so that their peak egg production times were spread over the whole year, say 4 batches placed 4 months apart.
Intensively housed rabbits could perhaps also provide a regular supply of meat or pelts.
Neither of these operations would however be suitable for beginner non-farmer experience though. and also need a certain amount of marketing expertise.

Larger animals like sheep produce off spring once a year, need shearing once or twice a year, cattle calve once a year, but could produce milk up to 10 months of the year from which you could produce butter or cheese, or rear calves. Once again, the income from offspring, like sheep, is a once a year income stream. There are many pitfalls for beginners with the reproductive cycles of animals, so starting small and simple is the way to go.
Most crops would have a season so unless you had a very productive fruit/vegetable garden and sold produce at the gate from a variety of sources, this too would be a once a year income if you concentrated on a single crop.
I think the best you can expect from your LSB is to be able to supply the home with fruit and vegetables, meat for the freezer and eggs and chicken meat-to supplement the grocery bill, thus reducing your food costs rather than increasing your income!

As to the criteria that set us on the same path, nearly 39 years ago now, was as follows.
Purchased 13 acres, got paid by someone else to graze it (only for 6 months!) We then decided to fatten cattle, so outlaid a sum of money for 10 yearlings. Discovered 6 were in calf and so multiplied themselves!

Both of us had off site full time jobs (plus on call at weekends) had 2 small children (2 and 5) needed easy care animals -not sheep, needed quality not quantity-so looked at pedigree cattle, due to having a young family we needed a docile, hornless, interesting breed we could develop and get involved with-chose Murray Greys.
Now all those years later, we still have Murray Greys, but now there are 45 and 30 calves on the way, we now have 50 acres and lease another 25, the children have grown and got families of their own, we still don't have sheep, one of us still works off site, but we still live on the same, only bigger, block.
The income tends to be mostly in one month of the year when we sell the surplus cattle and the expense 6months later when we buy/make the winter stock of feed.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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8 years 1 month ago #485895 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Hello to all lsb members
It can be good to spread the workload especially if you have only yourselves for labour - dealing with a large harvest that will spoil if you don't get it in, and ensuring you have a market for it can be stressful, but I would also caution you against having a big mix of crops that give you crops all year round. Some friends of ours did this: They had an organic fruit orchard near Auckland, which had a carefully chosen mix of fruit so they were cropping at different times, but this meant they never had any time for maintenance, nor for time off, and they got so exhausted they sold the place.

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8 years 1 month ago #485897 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic Hello to all lsb members
No advice, only a welcome... good luck with your ventures, wherever they take you!

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8 years 1 month ago #485898 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Hello to all lsb members
Welcome from me also, we are between Bethlehem and Te Puna so we could end up living near each other...

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8 years 1 month ago #485916 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello to all lsb members
The problem with farming .... anywhere .... is that the profitability is cyclical. As a rough rule of thumb, budget on 2 very good years, 3 average but getting worse years, 2 terrible years, and 3 average and improving years. It is similar for everything, pine trees, fruit, flowers, vegetables, hay, animals.
Before you start on rabbits or meat chickens or pork, ensure that there is a reputable meat works with the correct licencing for you to sell to. You cannot legally, and must not, sell meat that has not been killed and processed in a licensed slaughterhouse.
With LSB's you can make a small fortune off them .... but you usually have to start with a large fortune.

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8 years 1 month ago #485946 by alexuarni
Replied by alexuarni on topic Hello to all lsb members
Hey guys thanks for welcoming us and all your great answers :)

We are originally from Germany and not used to the Kiwi-farming- system at all...

So what can you tell me about selling my products?
Where/how can I find customers?
Is there a chance that no one is buying my products at all - what kind of options do I have?
I was told that you can sell via trademe - is this the only online market?

What have you done to be successful with your lsb :)

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8 years 1 month ago #485947 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic Hello to all lsb members
[With LSB's you can make a small fortune off them .... but you usually have to start with a large fortune.[/quote]

sorry LR, you are thinking about horses.....[;)]

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8 years 1 month ago #485948 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Hello to all lsb members
Where to sell will depend on what you were thinking of selling.
Part of your homework on deciding what you will be producing is doing research to see what kind of a market there will be for the product
Trade me might be good for somethings, but obviously not for others so there is no blanket answer for you, you need to find your niche first while at the same time looking at channels for selling.
Thats a lovely and well thought out response Sue for anyone wanting to set up an LSB

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8 years 1 month ago #485957 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Hello to all lsb members
Hi Alex and Andre - welcome from me, also. I can understand your excitement at this new venture and wish you all the very best with whatever you choose.

Sue put it perfectly when she said I think the best you can expect from your LSB is to be able to supply the home with fruit and vegetables, meat for the freezer and eggs and chicken meat-to supplement the grocery bill, thus reducing your food costs rather than increasing your income!

This is seriously good advice, especially if you're new to life on the land. There's huge satisfaction in growing your own food. Although people can, and do, make an income (or partial income) from their property it usually starts with a passion - for example, growing things - perhaps a selection of niche vegetables for sale at markets or restaurants. Is there something you've always wanted to try and could do day in, day out and not get sick of? If not, there can be a big temptation to want to have and do it all 5 minutes after being on your property, specially when you read about all the exciting things that some of our LSB members get up to. This will be a big learning curve for you both so take it slowly and start with just a few things until you find your feet would be my advice.

Animals are great - but only if you like being around them and can take the bad times with the good (e.g. sickness, death, injuries, vet fees etc). Of all the possible ventures, IMHO this would be the one that would require the most thinking about as animals are a 24/7 commitment and that includes times when you want to get away on holiday.

But I'm really happy for you that you're going to be able to live this wonderful life and look forward to hearing about your journey.

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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