Thursday, October 2, 2014

So you need some land to grow your high calorie garden!

So you need some land to grow your high calorie garden!

First thing I would do if you do not have a place to garden is to search for a local community garden. These can be a great place to learn. However, if you are determined to move to the wilds and buy some land here is some things to think about.

I remember living in Alaska and every year people would come up from the lower 48 hoping to buy a small place in the woods and live in it. I watched people I knew move from west coast cities to Alaska, Idaho, etc. looking to escape the rat race by finding their own little homestead. Many times they had great plans to do some small scale farming that would supply the modest amounts of money they believed they would need in their new life. At least 80 percent of the time they overestimated their income and underestimated their expenses. This generally resulted in either going on public assistance and/or taking a JOB just to make ends meet. It does not take long before the JOB takes the joy out of what they had expected to be a life changing experience. In the end many cash in their chips and go back to the rat race.

I hear many people talking about buying some land for a number of reasons. But I hear little talk of making the land earn its keep. Buying land or creating a small homestead requires planning before your purchase. A big part of this planning is generating an income stream from the land. A big part of this is identifying niche markets. As a small land owner it is likely that you cannot make much money farming commodities. So you will have to find other uses for your land that fills a need that people will be willing to pay for. When I lived in Alaska the failure rate for homesteaders was around 80 percent. Of those who succeeded many left their homestead when their young children reach school age. There are economic and social issues one must deal with when leaving the rat race. There is a reason so many of us rats are in this race. One thing I highly recommend it to find opportunities to work with people who are successful at whatever business venture you plan to try on your land or homestead. You will find that it is worth your time to learn from others than to pay the price of learning by trial and error.

Below are some ideas to get you thinking about niche markets and business ideas.
Non-timber forest products Fall 2014 Webinar Series

Forest Grazing, Silvopasture, and Turning Livestock into the Woods
Archived Webinar: Forest Farming with Non-Timber Products

Wild fiddleheads have long been a part of the springtime diet for folks over the range of the ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris. Ostrich fern fiddleheads are tasty and beautiful in the landscape.
Where can edible non-timber forest products be sold?
Stump culture Christmas tree production
Permaculture for Wolfscratch Farm – a kickstarter funded project
Help Regenerative Coppice Forestry Grow in the US – coppicing for sustainable bean poles.
Kent coppicing products – be amazed at the many items that can be produced by coppicing.
Producing and Marketing Wild Simulated Ginseng in Forest and Agroforestry Systems
How to Profit from Your Land with Hunting Leases
24 Ways to Make Money from Your Small Farm
Rustic or Barn Wedding Ideas – some ideas for designing landscape for hosting weddings
Homestead-Based Income Key to Success

Home-Based Business Opportunities – Mother Earth News

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