New to LSB and scared

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6 years 9 months ago #511818 by JBB
New to LSB and scared was created by JBB
Hi All,

I just found this fantastic site and hopefully will find some answers here.

We are planing to buy LSB with our daughter and her family, all together 6 of us, 4 adults and 2 kids. My husband and I are kin gardeners and I have been growing vegetables and fruits for years, but none of us ever lived on a bigger section than 1000m2, and I am bit scared to move to lsb as I don't really know what are the hidden costs, and other things that we don't realise yet as we don't have any previous experience. We are looking to buy a property with 2 dwellings on it and between 5-10 acres.

I would appreciate very much if you guys would like to share your experiences with me, give me some useful advice as far as keeping animals and growing things are concern.

Thank you :)

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6 years 9 months ago #512927 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic New to LSB and scared
Hi JBB - a big welcome to the site. :D Your venture sounds really exciting, especially the extended family situation. Wishing you the best with your search for that perfect piece of paradise for you all.

Re being scared - it kind of goes with the territory, specially if you haven't done it before, but being a keen gardener already you'll know what sort of soil you're looking for, and what will be involved if it's less than perfect at the moment. As for the animals, chickens are a great way to start, and there are lots of posts and helpful articles on the site to get you going with them.

My own thoughts are to think about what animals you particularly like and would enjoy keeping, read up about what's involved in looking after them, then bear that in mind when looking at what facilities are available on the various properties - particularly access to water and the boundary fences. Internal fences can always be put in later, but robust boundary fencing on a property that size will definitely be a bonus. Easy access to water throughout the year is important if you want to keep animals. You don't have to jump straight in with them though - in fact IMHO it's probably better if you wait until you've been on the land for a little while so you can see what might work best for your particular situation.

I'm sure there will be lots of good advice coming from the wonderful people on this site. Look forward to hearing more about your search and your property once you find it.
Cheers, Mich.

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

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6 years 9 months ago #512929 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic New to LSB and scared
Welcome to the forum. What part of the country will you be buying?

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6 years 9 months ago #512931 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic New to LSB and scared
I know how you feel, our first LSB was 50 acres and I still remember standing and looking at all that land and thinking what have we done, but we never looked back.
If you a keen gardeners, then you will understand soil and grass and plants. Just think of it as a big section...you can Organise the best bits for your gardening... Good long term plan is an advantage, so don't run out and plant lots of trees etc then find 5 years down the track things are in the wrong place..like planing fejioas too close to the fence ......you may not plant things but is good to have a plan when're they may go..
Chestnut trees for example need lots of room.
Water is important....for irrigation and stock
Check what sort of soil you have, clay, peaty, sandy......
Don't rush out to get animals until you have the facilities to deal with them. You need yards for sheep and cattle, do research, get to know your farming neighbours they will have the local knowledge..You can start small and manageable.
Are you prepared for the ugly side of having animals, they die, and you need to be able to eat them....vet bills can be expensive.
Do a small animal course.
But on the plus side you have the joy of watching things grow, picking your own veges and fruit, lots of outdoor living, ,lots of probelm solving ....how do we get the sheep out of the bog..you go to bed at nigh tired and know you have achieved something..and it's a great place for kids to grow up with space and tree houses ....etc
Good luck.

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6 years 9 months ago #512960 by Gracelands
Replied by Gracelands on topic New to LSB and scared
Welcome to the site JBB, and good luck with your new venture. I think having four adults around on the same property will be a great bonus, and will make a lot of things easier.

I was apprehensive before I bought my place, and then I remembered that the two things I knew I could look after were plants and animals, (being a keen gardener and pet owner), and I figured that those were probably the most important skills I needed. Other things like fencing etc could be learned.

Try to find a place with lots of existing infrastructure - yards, sheds (you can never have too many sheds) water troughs and lines already in place. Its not necessarily reflected in the price, but will make looking after your animals a lot easier, especially if you're still on the learning curve (and who isn't).

And like others have said, check the soil. I would try to avoid clay again, if I could, as it can get hard to manage in winter.

"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
Hans Christian Anderson

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6 years 9 months ago #512967 by JBB
Replied by JBB on topic New to LSB and scared
Hi Guys,

Thank you very much for your kind words and encouragement. We are looking for property in Waimakariri District, close to Rangiora. You all very positive, and so am I, but apart from the vet costs no one mention any other expenses that come with a living on a life style block, and I am bit worry that the expenses are much bigger then living on a quarter of an acre section.

I would definitely like to keep chickens but worry a bit about the cost of feed. How many chickens to keep to be able to have enough eggs to cover the expenses.

I would love to keep bees, and I wonder if any of you guys keep bees on your property and maybe know where I can go to learn the bee keeping skills.

If we buy lets say 10 acers and do not have animals to graze for a while, how much does it cost to cut the grass (made a hay bales) and is there are demand for it?

Are there any legal restriction on what you can do or can't do on a lsb?

Is living on a lsb treated as a running a business?

Thank you all :)

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6 years 9 months ago #512969 by rider1803
Replied by rider1803 on topic New to LSB and scared
Your plans sound wonderful - good luck finding the right place!
Its natural to be a little apprehensive.

Why don't you have a chat with the children and agree something like - "we'll take care of (make decisions about) the garden (vege and others) and orchard and you can take care of the animals and paddocks" that way you will have a lot less to worry about and you can still help each other out and share ideas etc but you won't have the whole property to worry about.

In regards to the LSB being a business - only if you want it to be, ours is not, its just our home and a place to keep my horses and grow some beef for the freezer, and of course somewhere we love to be!

Our property is set up to operate exactly in the way that you describe with the 3 generations living together - unfortunately it didn't work out for the family before us so now we just a have an overly-big house but we love the land so it we just make it work for us and our extended family loves coming to stay as there is lots of room for them and we spread our stuff out everywhere!

Good luck :)

Confirmed horse addict.

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6 years 9 months ago #512978 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic New to LSB and scared
Hi!

In regard to additional costs, if there is any one observation I have made is gardening on a larger scale from gardening on a section is more expensive simply on the basis that you have more room to play with and fill in. :D

Most of the unexpected changes I read about are to do with lesser facilities such as no garbage service or town water. Buying in water can be expensive if you haven't allowed for it and haven't kept an eye on the tank levels and its amazing how quickly you go through water when (if) having to buy it in. I would rather have too much water storage than not enough so now is the time to buy and install additional tanks.

You have your boundary fencing obligations with neighbours that must be taken care of. That can be unexpected if you thought it could go on a ''to do'' list later on but the neighbour (lawfully) wants it done ASAP.

If you own intact male stock and it gets in with neighbours female stock can result in unexpected additional vetting costs. Best to prevent that from happening with hot wires (electrical fencing) in place.

Same with wandering dogs. If any are found to have killed your neighbours stock, you are up for costs there..... a bit extreme of course but reading the forum you might be surprised how often this occurs these days with dog owners allowing their sweetie to wander about.

They are the things that pop to my mind....

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6 years 9 months ago #512986 by JBB
Replied by JBB on topic New to LSB and scared
Hi Max,

thank you very much. I really appreciate your reply. As far as water is concern, all the properties we looked at had their own well, so I know there will be some costs running the pump and maintenance.

Dogs between two families we have 3, and at least one is not other animals friendly, therefore we know we have to have a good fencing for the dogs.

My husband love planting trees, mostly fruit trees and after a year living where we are, we already run out of space :). I realise that we are going to spend more on gardening as it is totally different scale, hopefully once the trees are establish we will be able to maybe sell some fruits, vegetables on the farmers market. I love doing preserves and I am sure as far as vegetables goes I can feed the family all year round or very close to it.

It will be a big jump for us but this is the last call as I am 60 and my husband few years younger. I suppose I am a bit scared as the move will be so different to what we know, but hopefully better for us to do it then not to do it :)

Regards :)

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6 years 9 months ago #512993 by Gracelands
Replied by Gracelands on topic New to LSB and scared
As far as additional costs go, one of the biggest is probably running the car. If you have a 20 minute drive to town, this can add up, especially if you've always lived in town, and are used to popping to the shops several times a week.

Electricity will cost more due to using a pump for water, and probably an electric fence unit. Also, if you are going to home-kill your meat, you will need a big chest freezer or two. But then you will have cheap meat, which will help offset this.

Fencing, and water systems will have to be maintained, but this will depend on what you buy, and the state of the existing facilities.

Vet costs can be big, if you are unlucky, or a bad farmer, and your animals get sick. Sheep will need drenching, shearing, etc. regardless.

I personally found the cost of feeding the chickens to be more than the value of the eggs I ate, but it was not a LOT more, and I could have saved more money if I had the heart to kill and eat my roosters, and I didn't give eggs away. With 6 people on the property, you may well break even if you have a half-dozen chooks, eat the eggs, breed from them, and have roosters for the pot. From memory, a bag of chook food lasted around a month and cost about $30?

Around here, hay costs around $6-7 per small bale to make, and can be sold for $10 and up. If you didn't want the up-front cost, you can also sell the hay 'standing' to a contractor, ie he makes the hay from your paddocks, and pays you per bale around $3 or $4, I think.

You won't make money off 5-10 acres, but it shouldn't cost you too much more, as long as you are sensible. Of course if you want horses, then everything I've said above is irrelevant. Those things EAT money.

"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
Hans Christian Anderson

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6 years 9 months ago #513003 by Trace
Replied by Trace on topic New to LSB and scared
Depending where you end up, you may find that a local farmer will happily graze your land for a while. We did this for the first year that we were here, and it worked brilliantly. We charged them based on what we were recommended on here, they always paid on time and our land was respected. They do this for a number of people around here. We are on a road not too far from Fernside school to give you an idea of location.

Costs are a difficult one. We had to fence our property, which of course was an added cost, as was putting on a garage. This year the sewage system had problems ( at the same time the car engine gave up the ghost...). But you get on with it and manage.

If you are looking at planting lots of trees, check out what's growing around where you are buying, as there are lots of microclimates. The wind hammers us as we don't have established shelter belts yet, and so the trees we have planted suffer. Loburn gets more snow and rain than us...

With things like animals, why not start small, with say three chickens and then see what you think about them and the associated costs? Lots of people selling eggs, being a rural area..(peonies might be worth it though, they sell well at the garden gate).

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6 years 9 months ago #513012 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic New to LSB and scared
If you are looking at Canterbury, don't plant more trees than you can irrigate...
If you bought 10 acres, you could graze it or buy a cheap tractor with a slasher blade and plant the whole lot in trees....like olives, chestnuts, pine nuts, you won't make a fortune but depends what your goals are. You may cover costs and pay the rates.
Although you may be further out of town, rates can be a bit cheaper
Chickens I find are cost effective ...if you only keep enough so you can free range them, feed domestic scraps and buy good quality feed. They will keep you in eggs and you can sell excess. I was given some random bred chickens free...let one go broody and keep the offspring....so they cost me nothing and they lay on average a day most day. They are left to free range when not laying and only locked up when laying....
If you don't want to make hay, you can sell it to a contractor as standing hay....just ask around locally, but if you buy a place with sheds, and the pasture is good, you can make hay from $4.00 a bale ( check with your local contractor for costs, and sell for $10.00 to $12.00 depending on quality...but you have to fertilise the soil to replace the nutrients you just sold.....and hay is hard work to collect and stack by, hand if you are older. A bale will weight around 25kg.

Or you can fence off the bit you don't want and lease the grazing for horses....or to a local farmer ....in exchange for half a beast or couple of sheep.

Watch the dogs, you will make no friends with a wandering dog in the country and if they do any damage it could be a large bill.

There are some nice properties in Rangiora.

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6 years 9 months ago #513025 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic New to LSB and scared
Do not rush to plant trees. I did, and now have lots of work removing them because they are a damned nuisance. The previous owner also planted trees that have grown into massive things that risk crushing the house if they are blown over. They have been topped 3 or 4 times in the 25 years we have been here, but that is a young persons job. But that young person also has to have experience. If I were planting again, only natives that are suitable for the area would be planted, because they tend to handle the wind better than imports.
Trees around gardens and pasture have to be very carefully planned, otherwise you will have to do lots of root pruning to get good growth of garden and pasture.
My most valuable gardening tool is a well maintained chainsaw.
Up here the water bores are very carefully monitored, and a permit with limitations is needed to irrigate. Even with household limitations, if you overuse your allocation, or use water when it is prohibited, it is very easy to see lush garden or pasture in a desert of brown. Overuse or illegal use of water is stealing, but very easy to be tempted in the midst of a drought.
If I were starting again, I would run cattle in the way that I've described many times. If you cannot find this suggestion I will go through it in more detail.
Expenses tend to come in big lumps. $1000 for fertiliser in October and April. $1000 for hay making in February, etc, so these need a good budget. Fencing is hugely expensive for very little productivity at all. The only thing that fences do is make life easier for the human. Cattle need very little fencing.
Men tend to get "iron disease" so if you have one with this problem then farming is not a good idea. A small section in town means that there is no place for iron to be stored, or for the noise that iron disease causes.
There are many farm pets that started life as food for the table, that the owner has become emotionally attached to. If you are likely to become attached to your animals, then farming is not a good idea.
We have huge difficulty finding someone reliable enough to care for our animals while we are away. Thus we have not been away as a pair or family for any extended period. Two days away together is the best that "we" are allowed.
You are wise to do some homework :-). It is very worthwhile LSBing if just to know that you have done that, been there, never again :-).

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6 years 9 months ago #513041 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic New to LSB and scared
I came to our area thinking I could sell our excess too, but the trouble is everyone is in the same boat, growing the same, excesses the same.

Chooks are no different. We have eggs for africa ATM but so have most of our neighbours.

Road side stalls are quickly robbed these days of both produce and the honesty box.

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6 years 9 months ago #513045 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic New to LSB and scared
And get a good accountant who can save you some of your costs. On a small block it is not wise to register for gst and it's a pain to submit all that stuff regularly. I can recommend a great accountant in your area if you require one. PM me for contact details if you need a recommended one.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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