Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The laid-back life: Tips on how to build a farm

Living on a farm is an inviting thought. Trust me, I am a living testimony. From being a (New York) city-dweller, I am now a proud owner of a farm. My career revolves around it too.

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Maybe, some of you are also thinking of going for a laid-back lifestyle. Turning your back on city living is a matter that should be well thought of. You can’t go around and buy a lot, turn it into a farm, and settle there for good. Or can you? 

Building a farm requires investment, not only financially, but also physically and emotionally. Good news is, it can be achieved one step a time. 

To build a farm, the first thing to decide on is the type of farm that you want. Answering the following questions will help you get through the first step - What is the purpose of your farm? Will the place be for your hobby or simply to take time off from the city? Will it be a source of income? Will you focus on gardening or plantation? Or will you raise livestock? 

At this stage, goal setting happens. Most farm owners recommend setting a one-year plan for your farm. This will help you decide on what investments to make as you go along. 

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s finally time to look for the perfect location for your farm. Assess various land properties before buying or leasing one. Know the climate within that location, and if it’ll be advantageous to your chosen farm type.  

Determine your resources, and invest little by little. Some people want to have a full-blown farm, complete with crops and livestock and farm machineries, as soon as they build their farm. Although having those would be great, it may not be the wisest thing to do. Often, people who do this find themselves drowning in a sea of debt.  

Don’t risk acquiring debts to pay off another debt just because you purchased a tractor on a whim. Heavy duty equipment is vital, but there’s no need to rush. To go about this, you must first have a forecast of your cash flow, and set realistic goals. Never go overboard without testing the waters first.

This doesn’t imply that you should not take risks. Risks are part of any business. Farming is much like other business startups. It requires both the mind and heart, logic and patience, and a whole lot of back ache too.  
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