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View Full Version : Buy A Big Chunk of Land & Live Off It



shamus
02-28-2008, 06:31 PM
After 30 years experience at this sort of thing, I'd say, buy a small chunk of land & live off it. 500 acres was way too much, anyway. Ten acres might be about right. Make it not too remote. You will still want services and activities .. such as some shopping, schooling, and socialising. You don't want to be travelling too far to indulge them. One thing I now regret is that my kids got very little team sport- it was just too hard.

Things which are especially valuable are established productive fruit trees, fenced gardens etc. Its quite difficult to start from scratch. Also some basic skills like building a fence!- I've seen numerous people fail because their attempts at this sort of basic activity don't last five minutes,and they get discouraged.

jack grebe
02-28-2008, 06:52 PM
I don't think fruit trees would do too well in West Texas:rolleyes:

George Roberts
02-28-2008, 06:53 PM
"You will still want services and activities .. such as some shopping, schooling, and socialising."

And who is going to provide those services to you?

It is really hard to barter for items like socks when you need to carry your barter into town. Oh, you want credit. Fine. Pay me tomorrow and include 10% extra for "credit." Pay when when your crop comes in. No problem. 100% interest if you pay this year. Another 100% if I crops fail and you want to pay next year.

No, this is not a company store. Feel free to go 20 miles to the next merchant and buy from them. The trip is 2 days walking. I expect you can rent a room for the night.

stumpbumper
02-28-2008, 07:11 PM
60 years ago the small family farm was still a viable way to make a good living. It is a shame it disappeared. That's progress.

Greg P H
02-28-2008, 07:35 PM
Wouldn't take much persuasion for me to live in Tassie ;)

shamus
02-28-2008, 07:41 PM
Jack- are you rolling your eyes at me, or West Texas?

George- Good point. In my case I almost always used cash, earned from my investments in local businesses (which I also staffed and operated). It is certainly worth considering how to interact economically with others, but I was trying to draw attention to some things which I had not given much consideration to when starting out.

George Roberts
02-28-2008, 08:48 PM
investments in local businesses - something I always suggest.

shamus ---

I think we would all be better off if we depended on our selves first, our community next, our state next, our country next, and other countries last.

But that is difficult to do. It also makes a lot of life difficult.

Ron Carter
02-28-2008, 08:54 PM
Living on 60 acres here, heavily timbered. Probably could eek out a subsistance living but it would be a 24/7/365 effort. Ground that grows good oak is poorly suited for any kind of a crop. The deer browse everything that grows in the understory but the Beech. Lots of meat but few potatoes.

shamus
02-28-2008, 09:09 PM
Ron-

I've encountered severe productivity reductions of the browsing kind here too. In fact land which is closely settled tends to more productive here, due to more humans deterring predation. (Good or bad?)

I should add that this thread was prompted by Michael Beckman's contribution in the gas price thread. He's considering this sort of life.
I decided to aim at some sort of self sufficiency in the oil crisis of the 70s: the crisis that went away for a while. I was quite well prepared for such a life, having spent a good chunk of my childhood on a family farm without the benefit of electricity, I had a good idea of what such a life would involve, and most of the skills required. As time went on however, I found that there was strong pressure to run a commercial rather than self sufficient operation (its much easier, for a start) and I have quite a few regrets at some experiences denied to my kids, though doubtless they benefitted from others. Once running a commercial operation, you might perhaps be as well off in a town or city, or perhaps the ideal is a small acreage quite close to a town.

peb
02-28-2008, 09:28 PM
I don't think fruit trees would do too well in West Texas:rolleyes:

We always had fruit trees in West Texas when i was growing up. Lots of applse, quite a few peaches, some cherries, and some pears. Had to water them when they were little, as they matured, not as much. The wind is a problem in getting them established. The peaches are very likely to get caught by a late freeze after they had blossomed, so we would only get good peaches about half the years.

hokiefan
02-28-2008, 09:40 PM
investments in local businesses - something I always suggest.

shamus ---

I think we would all be better off if we depended on our selves first, our community next, our state next, our country next, and other countries last.

But that is difficult to do. It also makes a lot of life difficult.

George, on this note. Have you checked your PM's lately?

Bobby

Paul Fitzgerald
02-28-2008, 10:26 PM
I reckon the deal is to have a skill you can trade with your neighbours, so you dont have to do everything yourself. Its more efficient, and lots more fun.

paladin
02-28-2008, 11:11 PM
The peaches and apples will do good if the trees are planted to make natural windbreaks. With 6 acres "under cultivation" and another 40 acres for the cows and pigs and chickens to run wild it worked out well. Springtime was time to can strawberries, apples, peaches, oecans, corn on the cob, asparagas, potatoes, and tomatoes. We also made tomatoes onions and green peppers together to use for spagetti sauce or chili. Then came the raiding the honeybee population for the honey, and the sugar beats for the raw brown sugar we grew wild sage, pepperbrown sugar to rub into the hams and bacon, make a tent frame from wire and cover it with wet leaves and use the old apple or mequite for thr smoke and we would do 3-4-5 oinkers for hams, bacon and sausage, sometimes a few chickens got the same thing, but usually we would do 50-100 chikkins at a time then remove the bones from the meat, put the meat in a quart jar with some of the juice, and seal them..a lot of the hogs would be rendered for cooking oil, lard, to roll pastries with the canned fruit. We also had a half dozen pecan trees, and we had plenty of pecans to make pecan pralines or pecan pies....some of the left over corn was liquified...and we had different herbs and spices growing in buckets, cherry tomatoes, red onions and green onions, mushrooms, asparagus and Poke another green grew close by wild,,,we had eggs from the chickens...and from time to time we had wabbit, tree rat, doves/pigeons anything that could be taken down with a .22

PeterSibley
02-29-2008, 03:55 AM
Shamus I had the other end of the stick ,not enough reasonable land to crop .It's a hard life small cropping ,just about a labourers wage when things go right ,which isn't that often .I kept it up for 7 or 8 years .The central market system over here on the mainland really rips small growers .

If I was doing it now ....and I was 30 not just under 60 , I reckon I could do alright with the new system of farmers markets and organics . Much easier now for the individual small grower to sell at a premium and make a living .

Were I advising a young bloke , I'd suggest finding a good small grower and working for him / with him to learn the ropes .I'd also be careful as there are few older fellas around happy to use up the willing leaner .

Larks
02-29-2008, 04:22 AM
Here's a bloke that didn't even need a 1/4 acre house block to grow a crop that he could live off: http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2008/02/27/8172_gold-coast-lead-story.html

BETTY-B
02-29-2008, 04:32 AM
Here's a bloke that didn't even need a 1/4 acre house block to grow a crop that he could live off: http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2008/02/27/8172_gold-coast-lead-story.html

The hedge biz is risky stuff for sure!

DAN

PeterSibley
02-29-2008, 04:36 AM
Green living :D .Unfortunately a temptation to be resisted .

Habner81
02-29-2008, 08:57 AM
I don't think fruit trees would do too well in West Texas:rolleyes:


The Jews turned Israel from a dessert into the garden spot of the middle east. Why not Texas?

George Roberts
02-29-2008, 10:53 AM
hokiefan ---

I believe I responded to your last PM. (Looking at the page header it appears I have no PMs.)

hokiefan
02-29-2008, 01:04 PM
hokiefan ---

I believe I responded to your last PM. (Looking at the page header it appears I have no PMs.)

How bout now?

jaredbeck
03-03-2008, 11:11 PM
The Jews turned Israel from a dessert into the garden spot of the middle east. Why not Texas?

Israel may be green, but Gaza only gets 3 days of water out of the week.

WX
03-03-2008, 11:33 PM
The Jews turned Israel from a dessert into the garden spot of the middle east.
They have also been continuously at war since 1948, some Garden of Eden.
Maybe that's why God kicked the Humans out...it wasn't sex, it was bloody war!

Ian McColgin
03-03-2008, 11:40 PM
Get it while you can and I hope someone will expose that my reading is off by an order of maginitude but about 70% of our earth is covered with salt water and I think the remainder is about 149 million square kilometers. Spread that equally among our over 6.5 billion people and ignore the vast fertility differences and we've about 5.7 acres per person.

G'luck