Friday, June 24, 2016

Investment in a Lifestyle

When you buy a piece of undeveloped acreage you do not have a farm... You have a piece of land. You need to develop it into a farm.. You need Feed Buildings, barns, sheds, equipment , fencing and more fencing! 
Not to mention the cost of good livestock , building soil and possibly needing pasture improvements depending on what you want to raise. 
Depending on your vision , it may be a farm business or a subsistence farm or maybe a little hobby farm. Three entirely different things! With three very different paths and expectations. 

Year 1. Starting to build a herb garden up front no fencing anywhere

Year 6. The whole front is raised beds and fenced gardens. The entire house is also fenced now.

For us this investment in land was for a subsistence farm that would provide almost all our food and keep us out of the grocery store ( it does!) we want to grow our food, we enjoy growing our food (most days!) and we like living in the country. 
hopefully at some point, a part of it could be taken to the next level and create a viable small farm business. Yet, that business can't hinder us from our first priority. And it has to be run like a business not a homestead. That's another post altogether! 
Year 1 before we turned the land and started our first vegetable garden

Year 6. the same area is full of raised beds and the garden is extended about 4 times the original size and expands all around the house. Everything is fenced 

We often get asked about 'breaking even' on our investment in this farm.
Now I'm not saying for one minute it's not about the money... But with a subsistence farm model in mind it's more about not going broke building it for our choice of lifestyle. Kinda like building your dream house with a budget. 
Instead of home improvements like , a sauna or hot tub we use our money to develop the farm. We take No vacations..
Seriously a couple of thousand dollars for a week... Or a new fence that could last thirty years for donkeys & geese I can enjoy every day!! Our lifestyle improvements are different than most! 

When we purchased there was A little garage, no fencing or animal housing what so ever!

Year 6. The same garage area is the center of the livestock areas, barn, feed room, loads of fencing, multiple animal sheds all around. Tractor and other equipment.

Building and developing a piece of land into a farm does take a lot of money.. Even done on the hardscrabble hillbilly cheap ... It's not cheap.
No matter if it's just to produce your own food. Which sounds simple enough,, it's not and The investment in fencing , buildings and so many things that go into growing all your own food is no small task. After 6 years of solid working to develop our land we are still not done.
But that's fine, it's no different than some one who's lived in the same house for 10 years that's constantly upgrading it.

And Speaking of lifestyles ...Homesteaders get accused of being preppers all the time's not always one in the same thing!
Now maybe there's a little prepper in us but if it was all about that we'd been better off building a bunker and stocking it with 5 years worth of food!
 It would have been cheaper, a more practical plan for a prepper and not near as much work... Then we could have also put in a hot tub and took a vacation! Then the rest of our time would probably be spent collecting ammo and guns...learning krav maga and how to build fires without matches the real preppers lifestyle!
That actually doesn't sound bad ⚔
No break even there either , now....why do I need to break even on my chosen home and farm improvements??

Our farm is more about the lifestyle we are choosing to lead.. There's no  break even on how you choose to live.
You don't plan to break even when you buy a new car.. Or Break even when you buy the latest fashion statement handbag or shoes ....why would I break even on the new fencing we are building for my dairy donkeys? 
I was once asked by someone who just couldn't grasp why we chose this lifestyle (city gal). When talking about our daily routines on the farm she asks , "but when do you get to live your life?"
Really.... This is my chosen way to live my life.,.. That was a Weird question or maybe it's just me πŸ€”

Growing extra poultry or piglets to help you break even on the feed bill is an entirely different thing! You're trying to cut an ongoing cost here.. Much like clipping coupons. Selling extra livestock or excess produce. Selling extra hand made farm goods are really all part of a subsistence farm... Meant to cut ongoing costs. It's not a real farm business or top priority.
On the other hand , Investing in dairy equipment to start a real working dairy you expect at some point to break even and then make money. It's your job , not your lifestyle. 

See my point?? 

So to all you small subsistence farmers out there trying to provide your family with a nice country home and the best food possible ... 
If it's about the lifestyle you won't feel the need to break even..
You're simply living your life...
Your chosen way...
So give thanks to God in heaven for the opportunity and to all the men who died for America to be free so that you can live the way you want. 
Take nothing for granted ...enjoy this life you chose and built.
Always remember , you can not break even on a lifestyle. 

Also , if you don't like it.. Say, it's Not what you signed up for after all..
You can sell it all and maybe take up Krav Maga 😜

Be blessed beautiful people!!!

1 comment:

  1. Lol. Great post. Enjoy the journey and thanks for sharing.