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Re: So you wanna be a farmer :-)
Posted By: Justjon, on host
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2002, at 19:36:10
In Reply To: Re: So you wanna be a farmer :-) posted by Minamoon on Saturday, September 15, 2001, at 11:09:51:

> Don't feel like a downer! I wanted the *real* stuff. It wouldn't be helpful at ll if everyone just said "Oh, it's great fun!"
> I realize we would need a big financial committment to start- if anything, that's the reason we wouldn't be able to do it.
> As Wolf mentioned, I think I'd be more likely to do the "hobby farming" than the "carreer farming-" that is, take care of just a few animals while working from home or running a bed & breakfast or something.
> A friend I had in high school raised a few cows every year, but her parents both had other jobs. That was more along my line of thinking. I'm not sure about Darien, though. If I'm lucky, my architectural firm will make enough money for us both. :-}
> ~Mina "dreaming..." moon

Hi there, it looks like I'm a year late for this conversation :) I was doing a google search on "want to be a farmer" and this thread came up. I am curious and so I read it, and can't help but throw in my 2cents, if anyone's around to listen..?

Of course, I want to be a farmer. I spent 5 years as a child on our hobby farm, but I was too young to learn more than to climb trees and run aroud with my dog. As an adult I grew curious once again and spent a year as a farmhand on a very diverse organic farm in BC. The experiment was a success, I loved it as much as I could have hoped, but I have to do it my way now. I am back in the city saving money to buy land.

In response to what was written earlier which diminshed the earning potential and emphasized the risk and work of farm life, I have only to say that it all depends on your farm model. A lot of farming today, obviously, is locked on a mindset that the more you grow the more you make. Since a lot of foodstuffs aren't worth anything anymore, thanks to government interference and controlled markets, it can look hard to make money. Two bushels of grain a century ago would buy a farmer a nice suit. A tonne of grain today is worth $150Cdn. Probably less in the prairies and Ontario/Quebec.

The trick is in doing things simply and running a small operation with -->little cost<-- . Some produce is very little work and worth a lot...honey and maple syrup take no work at all, less than a week a year could be spent collecting reasonable crops of each worth thousands. A 1 acre vegetable garden could be managed by a couple, by hand so no expensive machinery would be needed, which would be a lot of hours, but not hard work for the most part, for 6 months, but could generate all their food plus 20 shares which could be sold for, say $700 e. for a full years supply of seasonable, organic vegetables. There are other ways to increase the money, or value-add to it by opening a bed and breakfast/cottage retreat, producing crafts for sale (winter is a big holiday, farmers often produced craft for sale/art or just read and relaxed, did small upkeep projects. or you can have a winter job). Having a few livestock can also produce more income with varying levels of work involved, depending on whether or not you make your own hay, grain, or not.

I just want you to know that if if strikes you as a good life in theory, then I believe for you it probably is. The trials of farm life as they may be are no worse then the trials of any other life, and if that environment suits you they will almost certainly be worth it.