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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Want to farm? I
Over my 5 years of growing produce for market, many people have told me they would also love to do what I am doing. Here is some advice: do you love growing / caring for animals / cooking / homesteading? Have you worked on a farm before (I spent a summer working a bit in exchange for food on a vegetable farm... It's a good idea to know what you're getting yourself info. Now, here is another question: can you live frugally and do you also have a source of off-farm income? Another job or a spouse with a job? You'll need it, farming is a "labor of love" rather than a financial windfall. I once had an intern tell me he was here learn how to get rich as an organic farmer... Believe me, the words "rich" and "farmer" don't go hand in hand.

If you're lucky, by your 3rd year or so, you'll earn enough income to pay for the vegetable expenses (seed, animal feed, livestock, equipment, gas, advertising, etc), and still have enough leftover to cover the property taxes on the farm.

If you're a numbers-oriented person like I am, you will enjoy this article & study on 5 farms similar to ours. After seeing the charts, sales, and net income (meaning your income left over after paying the business expenses), if you're not scared away... Then good for you! :). Maybe you have the labor of love in you!

Here you go: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/BeginningVegFarmers.pdf

1 comment:

  1. Hi Penny,

    Yea, it is undoubtedly a labor of love. Interesting study - definitely sobering income dollars on those charts.

    ReplyDelete