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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new member and have a question. If you use your land for income would you mind sharing how it is being used and some of the high points and negative sides of it. Everything I put the pencil to doesn't look promising even though our land is free and clear. Also opinions of value added products Yes, No, maby? Thanks
 

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Our biggest 'income' is that of not spending. My chickens I make enough off them to pay for the upkeep on all of them with just a little left over. So my main profit is that of having all the chicken and eggs my family needs and enough cash to pay for all my gardening/canning supplies. Which frees up cash from my husband's paycheck for other things.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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Most of my land is forest. I have advertised a few times on 'freecycle' to allow folks to come in an to cut firewood.

I have about 10 acres that produces fiddleheads. I have harvested them in the past and sold them for profit. We harvest about 50 pounds each year for ourselves. It gives us a pound to eat each week for the following year. If a person really focused on it, they could harvest about 1,000 pounds from my land, I have sold them for as high as $4/pound at market. But I usually see folks selling them roadside for $2/pound.

We have a few maples, we tap and produce 2 or 3 gallons each year.

I have planted 16 apple trees, plus 35 assorted nut / fruit / herb trees.

This spring I planted 90 highbush blueberries, 100 asparagus, 150 cranberries, and 250 strawberry sets.
 

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We have considered how we could make some additional money off of our land and have come to the conclusion that once we begin to look at the money aspect, it will divert us from our primary purpose of becoming self-sufficient.

Our primary focus is to grow and raise what we need to sustain ourselves. We are both retired and live on a very limited budget. Any excess is given to friends and family, used to trade and barter or given to the local food bank.

Trading and bartering has been far more beneficial than if we wanted to flat out sell the excess. There are so many folks out there that typically have excess of something else or have skills and equipment to help us with a variety of projects.

We trade heirloom seeds with other like minded folks and have a pretty good selection of these open polinated seeds in our garden. We have gotten blue berry, black berry and grape vines in return for eggs and produce.

WHen people attempt to pay us for what we give them, we make it clear to them that they will have something to share with us in the future and they could repay us by sharing with us. This type of mindset is catching on with most folks, but some folks will never get this concept because of the greed for the dollar. Naturally, these are the folks that get to pay for their goodies.
 

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How to make your land financially productive depends a great deal on where it is. Climate water vegetation, proximity to towns/cities. More info would help us with suggestions. Hay is a cash crop in many places. If close to a town or city then boarding horses can be very lucrative.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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A lot of folks barter.

We have done business with one lady who flat refused to discuss cash price for what she was selling. She only wanted barter or labor. I ended up working for her for a day putting up fencing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the posts. Our property, 56 ac. is located in extreme n/c Arkansas. Rolling hills,tillable, about 50/50 woodlot / pasture. One bottom 300yds. x 200 yds. w/ seasonal creek running length. Sandy well draining soil, little topsoil. Have cleared and windrowed about 5 acres two years ago for possible fruit trees and 1 1/2 acres three years ago for garden / herb spot. Remaining land is in pasture / woodlot. Cabin w/ 30x40 metal prefab shop. We built and did all the work except the shop. We own a lifetime collection of equipment and tools bought and paid from our toils. All the property is fenced and crossfenced. At this time we are absenttee landowners as we are residing in n/c Mississippi until our house sells there which adds another point to the equasion. I have planted cover crops, turned under, added organic matter, manure, and others attempting to prep the soil. These are things I enjoy so the work is not drudgery to me but with cost as they are I need to make as few necessary steps as possible. We do have a garden in Ms. and are now canning tomatoes, rattlesnake beans, and freezing squash. Hope this helps
 

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We have set up 4 trailers for cabins on our property and have them rented to people. This is not a mag situation, just rented out to nice people who use them quietly. We have not approached them about survivalism but when we interview them for the rent we take into consideration thier current employment and personality and we usualy feel we have made good decisions. This did require an investment on our part but it is still a net income and has the potential to help us form a MAG and help someone else survive. The only problem we have is that the city is constantly moving out to our location so we may not even be in a survivalble situation even with a MAG. We are currently looking for more isolated land that possibly has the same potentional as our current property.
 

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You need a goal. Ours is to be self-sufficient. For us that means raising what we can for our large family and trading for what we can't. With enough cash in the end for taxes and other necessities that can't be traded.

So we start with what we can use and trade/sell the excess. My chickens pay for themselves and the much of the gardening. My gardening provides our produce with hopefully enough extra to trade for the resources we don't grow. I also grow many perennials here that I divide each year and sell some of the extra for cash or trade for others I don't have. We offer our services for trade in kind or cash. And I sew and send some things to the farmer market with a friend who sets up. My mom has a small country shop/greenhouse in NY so when I have extra things I've made I send them up there to sell and she takes a commission. I buy cheese boxes fairly cheap and paint them with oil paints and they sell pretty well up there. Knitted wash clothes, quilts etc.... I don't sell a lot of them but they sell for good profit when I do. And they're just 'extra' things I do in the evening when I'm sitting around.

The more I can do here to make us self-sufficient the farther my husband's paycheck goes to getting us debt free. The more we pay off the more we can put aside for the future to cover taxes and such in the event of lay off or retirement or some such other income loss. So in that way I'm earning money by not spending money. Make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We have been frugal with our spending and have worked on our place for the last 10 / 12 years. We have the material resources required as well as a lifelong country raising. We are very fortunate. I understand all enterprises have risks involved. I have worked for myself prior to the fallout and understand business practices / customer relations / ethics. It is not simply the task of making money as crazy as this sounds. I could build 4 small "farm" houses on about 10 ac. each leaving me with 6 acres and make money. But then this is exactly the situation we have in Miss. And our hopes would be crushed. This I do not desire. I am not greatly concerned with income potential after we move as I am handy and we are almost debt free. I just prefer making calculated steps with as much info as possible. I'm sure there are as many answers as are grains of sand but I'm interested in hearing as many as possible. Thanks
 

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We do pastured poultry for eggs and meat for our own use and to sell. Check with your local farmers market to see what there is a need of. Know the local laws on what you can sell.
 

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Thanks for the posts. Our property, 56 ac. is located in extreme n/c Arkansas. Rolling hills,tillable, about 50/50 woodlot / pasture. One bottom 300yds. x 200 yds. w/ seasonal creek running length. Sandy well draining soil, little topsoil. Have cleared and windrowed about 5 acres two years ago for possible fruit trees and 1 1/2 acres three years ago for garden / herb spot. Remaining land is in pasture / woodlot. Cabin w/ 30x40 metal prefab shop. We built and did all the work except the shop. We own a lifetime collection of equipment and tools bought and paid from our toils. All the property is fenced and crossfenced. At this time we are absenttee landowners as we are residing in n/c Mississippi until our house sells there which adds another point to the equasion. I have planted cover crops, turned under, added organic matter, manure, and others attempting to prep the soil. These are things I enjoy so the work is not drudgery to me but with cost as they are I need to make as few necessary steps as possible. We do have a garden in Ms. and are now canning tomatoes, rattlesnake beans, and freezing squash. Hope this helps
I own a similar small ranch west of you in Oklahoma, and like you I live in another state.

I have the land rented to a neighbor for grazing his horses. He pays me in kind by making fence repairs, some brush hogging, and keeping my field tractor secure. I report this as income in order to maintain tax status as a farmer.

I planted a grove of pecans which the deer ate down to the ground. I bought a small flock of red sheep which I keep here in California. I'll move the flock out of here when I retire in three years.

I am still working on my ranch development plan, but my primary cash crops will be selling lambs, washed and carded wool, pecan nuts, blueberries, apples and cider, and I plant to restart my gunsmithing business.

The rest of my ranch project is for my own consumption.
 

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You could sell firewood, maybe lumber if you have the trees for it, plant pines and sell Christmas trees, plant vegetables and fruit trees and have a road side stand, a popular
thing around here is "you pick it" pumpkin patches, share cropping, rent to a hunting club,
it would take some time but get certified organic, people around here drive miles to buy organic heirloom vegetables.
 

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I would say it depends on how much but i count reducing food costs as income as its money that can be saved that otherwise would be spent have dairy goats chickens fruit trees ect

planting pine or other stand of trees can also be a good investment esp if you dont plan on actually using the land for a while
 

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You could sell firewood
To sell firewood you need to cut, split, and deliver. We tried that for a while. It is hard to compete with the crews that have been doing it for decades. It is all about 'economics of scale'.

One guy can burn through a gallon of saw fuel, a pint of bar oil, a chain, mangle a splitting maul, and work really hard for $100/week. Plus you still need a truck.

Compared to a 5-man crew with a skidder, boomtruck, hydraulic splitter and dumptruck, they can sell firewood for $150/cord. and still pay each man $50/day.

After paying for saw fuel, bar oil, chains, mauls, and using the truck, one guy will barely be able to keep $50/week in his pocket.



... maybe lumber if you have the trees for it, plant pines and sell Christmas trees,
Timber takes decades.

40 acres of spruce for Christmas trees, a 5-tonne truck and haul them into a city can make you $1,000. Once a year.



... plant vegetables and fruit trees and have a road side stand, a popular thing around here is "you pick it" pumpkin patches,
I have 50 fruit trees. I planted in 2006, this year we are looking at our first harvest. I predict maybe 1/4 bushel. It takes years to get mature trees that produce much.



... share cropping,
My father share-cropped for over 20-years. What a pain.

You pay the taxes and all expenses, you do all the work, plus you market the crop then you hand 50% of it to the landowner.



... it would take some time but get certified organic, people around here drive miles to buy organic heirloom vegetables.
Folks I see starting out are doing the best by growing organic veggies and getting into a Market.
 

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Our plan was to grow purple hull peas, very popular in East Texas. We started with 5 acres last year, lost it all to the drought. Just planted 1/2 acre this year because we knew it was going to get dry. Lost that too. So, I guess I'll add a couple more rent houses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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I recently added my avatar. Its a picture of the equip. I have been fortunate enough to gather up. 97 f-450 flatbed w/ Weldrite 12k gooseneck,3130 Kabota, 1942 Ford 8n, 1958 851 Ford diesel, 1972 International dump truck, approx 35 hp IHI trackhoe w/ steel tracks. Not shown Year unknown d21p Komatsu pyrimid track small dozer. I am fortunate to have the skills and equipment although operating each has potential for costly breakdowns as well as general operating costs. I plan on bartering with the eq. and skilset but need to find viable use for land. All posts are considered and appreciated. As good as it sounds there is a definate drawback to owning eq. all have to be maintained, housed, fueled, repaired as needed. For this reason I am considering selling the Komatsu as most jobs can be completed w/ the trackhoe / tractor comb and I have my place done. Thanks for all the response ,the info will be be used.
 

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To sell firewood you need to cut, split, and deliver. We tried that for a while. It is hard to compete with the crews that have been doing it for decades. It is all about 'economics of scale'.

One guy can burn through a gallon of saw fuel, a pint of bar oil, a chain, mangle a splitting maul, and work really hard for $100/week. Plus you still need a truck.

Compared to a 5-man crew with a skidder, boomtruck, hydraulic splitter and dumptruck, they can sell firewood for $150/cord. and still pay each man $50/day.

After paying for saw fuel, bar oil, chains, mauls, and using the truck, one guy will barely be able to keep $50/week in his pocket.





Timber takes decades.

40 acres of spruce for Christmas trees, a 5-tonne truck and haul them into a city can make you $1,000. Once a year.





I have 50 fruit trees. I planted in 2006, this year we are looking at our first harvest. I predict maybe 1/4 bushel. It takes years to get mature trees that produce much.





My father share-cropped for over 20-years. What a pain.

You pay the taxes and all expenses, you do all the work, plus you market the crop then you hand 50% of it to the landowner.





Folks I see starting out are doing the best by growing organic veggies and getting into a Market.
Hardtime could have a crew come in and cut the firewood

The mature timber might already be on the land.

You sell the Christmas trees retail, plant maybe 100 trees are year, Mom,Dad and the kids pick out a tree, you cut it, tie it to the car and charge $35

Yes, fruit trees would take time, but it would be an investment for the future and he could have a nice orchard

Hardtime is the landowner he would be getting the 50%

I agree that selling vegetables would most likely be best, but the farm markets near me are always full and you can't always get a table, and you could end up on a waiting list.

I don't know the land or the area just throwing out ideas,the one thing I'm sure of, it will take a lot of time and hard work.
 

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I recently moved to Northern central arkansas about a year ago. I would not plan batering and working with your equipment for maybe 1 year plus. I'm not saying it will happen to you what happened to me. The locals hear you have to build trust before they will call you. I got 2 triaxle dumps 86 peterbilt, 80 gmc brig, 2 septic tank truck, 02 case 90xt skidsteer, 1988 mf 50h loader backhoe and a 1999 hyundai 130lc3 excavator. I have only worked on my own property so far. I took a job last week running a new friends skidsteer with a tree shear buy the hour. The local contactor have already called the arkansas better business bureau giving miss info. The new friend that hired me to just get me started to met people that he knows so locals will trust me. I hope you have better luck.
 
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