Business Ideas on Acreage

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Terre d'Esprit, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    I have spent hours reading the posts in this forum-- what a great idea, and what a great bunch of people!

    At the end of last year, my husband and I decided to leave the suburbs and move waaaay out of town. We made the decision for a variety of reasons, but the most pertinent one (to this discussion) is that we wanted our kids to grow up with a real work ethic, and not to be caught up in keeping up with the Joneses. It's much easier to do when you have your own space and lots of work that needs the whole family pitching in to complete. We found 20 acres nestled in the North River Valley of Madison County, Iowa- home of the famous Covered Bridges. I am marveling at a most incredible sunset from my front porch at the moment. We have truly left the suburban life behind.

    We have three horses, about 16 acres of hay (in 2 pastures, 10 and 6 acres). We also have the horses in a (approximately) 3 acre pasture. We have a large machine shed (about the size of a 4-car garage), a modest sized barn, with room for about 8 stalls (though now we have 3 generous sized stalls), an old hog (?) shed that is 3-sided. I also have a generous paddock.

    I am looking for ideas on a business that we can start here. I find myself feeling so much peace when I am cleaning the barn or just spending time working on something that needs to be fixed. I like my job fine, but I really enjoy the work at my house, and especially with the animals. Looking at my setup, does anything come to mind? I would eventually like to quit my job and make my portion of our living from work I do here. I obviously will need to do some heavy research, find a mentor, check with other similar businesses, etc. I have no delusions about the length of time or committment that this will take. I am just looking at various options, and wonder if those of you with more experience can shed some light on what might be lucrative and enjoyable. I can't, however, raise animals for slaughter. I just can't eat something I name. : ) I could raise goats (I love them), cattle, pigs, etc., (I have experience with all of them, though minimal).

    I would just appreciate any help you can provide to this newbie!
    :eek:

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Contact all the Veterinarians in a 50 mile radius and arrange to start a pet cemetary on your farm. Get the vet to collect the fee and you do the pickup of the animals that he stores frozen. Plant a tree (shrub) as a marker and agree to maintain the plant for a specific period then sell the plant to a nursery.
     

  3. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    Washington State
    I've been thinking that somebody could make a good living running a two-week-long immersion skills course for would-be homesteaders. The idea of self-sufficiency is becoming quite popular among the yuppies (who, mind you, will never actually do it). Many would spend about what they would on a Hawaiian vacation for a couple of weeks of "Frontier House." It also could be that many folks who actually have what it takes to homestead, but who have little hands-on experience, would be interested as well. Something like that would allow you to develop your homestead, and your skills, as you go. Just an idea. . .
     
  4. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Select a breed of dog that you really like, pick out superior breeding stock, AKC ONLY.. and go for it. Plan on getting a great sire, and two or three females; keep the first litters (most of them) and in a couple of years.. you should have some really great puppies to sell.

    I bred Jack Russell Terriers several years ago, and am now working on Pekingese. (Keeping EIGHT puppies!! :eek: ) (Chihuahuas are neat.. but due to their size, a little tricky to reproduce sometimes!)

    You must make special facilities for them; and spend a lot of time with them. I do not belive in dumping them in the yard somewhere for their whole life!!

    It is a decent additional income for someone who loves and is dedicated to the animals. You must also be real picky about their future homes and provide a lifetime agreement to care for them Even if returned.

    PM me if you want to talk. :) It is also helpful to have a good vet in the area that will dispense meds (worming, etc) to you and not require each animal be brought in to his office! And you should learn to give shots yourself.

    Can't wait to hear more ideas... I've wracked my brain for five years out here... Massage Therapy among the 'country folks' is just not lucritive enough on it's own! :waa:
     
  5. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Chickflick, we are thinking about raising Australian shepherds on our farm. Do you have kennels set up or do they occupy your house? We have dairy goats and chickens; cats too. Any special considerations for the dogs with these farm animals? What prohibitions do you have about raising dogs. Can't all be that easy. Email is hsnrs@vtc.net. Thanks.
     
  6. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    Are horses really popular in your area? If so maybe you could board them. Several of my neighbors do this and are making a really good living at it. One guy currently has twenty horses and charges $400/month so that isn't too bad of a monthly income. Of course things might be totally different in your area.
     
  7. dscott7972

    dscott7972 Well-Known Member

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    Southern Indiana
    I have several neighbors with acerage who have quit planting corn and soy beans and are harvesting hay/alfalfa. They sell to the Co-op for $3 a bale or direct to clients for $4.50+ and more for deliveries. They make more in one cutting than they would with corn and beans and generally get 3 cuttings a year. I have one neighbor that uses my Grandfathers barn (retired farmer since 1978 and going strong at 91) and bales over 15,000 bales a year with just a small tractor.
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    If you will e-mail me direct at scharabo@aol.com I will send you an e-book copy of my book, "How to Earn Extra Money in the Country". However, it is too large of a file for either hotmail and webtv. People with those will need to find another provider address to have it sent to for them.

    There might be an idea or two in the book you can use.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  9. pinemead

    pinemead Well-Known Member

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    Get Ken's book. It's excellent.
     
  10. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    I was thinking of this, I have actually baled hay before, so it wouldn't be too hard for me to hone this skill. I saw something written somewhere about the "Itty Bitty Bale Company." Apparently this is a company out west that sells bales half the size of small bales, wrapped in plastic, for about $12.50! Can you just believe that? They said they cater to those suburban people who have horses, and don't want to get their SUVs dirty. : ) What a great idea! I could sell Teeny Tiny Terre d'Esprit bales!

    Thank you for all of your suggestions!

    -T
     
  11. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    Try to think in terms of several different things that, in total, will bring in enough. I knew a couple in WA state who had goats or lambs (for meat), chickens, veggies, flowers, etc. Their requirement was that whatever they tried would bring in $xxxx per year to be worth the investment of time and money.

    Take a look at www.freeplants.com for another idea. There are so many ideas for some extra income that it is hard to stay focused. Just start in on one thing at a time, build it up, and then add another. Some will be successful and others not. Depends on the market you have. Just toss out what doesn't work. That's OK; that is how you find success. I think I would be hesitant to take up something just for the money. You need to enjoy what you do.

    I have 3 of those little mini-bales in my shed just waiting for chickens next spring. A nearby day-care had them for decorations for Hallowe'en; I asked if I could have them. I have no idea what they cost the day-care.

    Go for it!

    Sandi
     
  12. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    for making a profit from hay, you dont need the most modern of machinery, but ify ou get an older implement you need to be savvy on the ways to fix it up without paying others to doit for you.....

    depending upon where a person is and how "suit" happy the other folks around are, boarding horses is one thing a new person to the countryside should probably avoid..... horse people can be the most idiotic of people and others can be the nicest folks around..... but they all have one thing in common and that is if theri horse gets something wrong with oiut it aint their fault and aomebody else is gonna pay.

    just an opinion..... i grew up with horse people, and tried to steer clear of their gatherings.

    welcome to the forum too btw.

    William
     
  13. Kathryn L.Holck

    Kathryn L.Holck Active Member

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    I was near St Charles last Fall. Wow, what a great countryside. I did see a farm growing grapes. Any naturally raised produce will bring better $ than other produce. Haying is a great business but your need machinery savvy for saftey. We bought our 10 acre farm and have a rental house on the property which helps pay the mortgage. Did start an in-home business which is going great and hubby is a truck driver based out of DSM. I raise sheep and have a few beef. Good lawnmowers and the flies, well they keep the birds satisfied.
     
  14. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    RV/trailer storage lot.
    BooBoo
     
  15. Louisiana Mom

    Louisiana Mom Well-Known Member

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    I would LOVE a copy of this book. I am a new homeschooling mom with a hard working hubby. (a machinist) I have been trying to find something for the kids and I to do from home to make some extra money. Just let me know what I need to do to get one.
     
  16. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

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    I got the Ken Scharabok e-book. :worship: Excellent ideas in it! Do e-mail him and have a floppy disk ready to download it onto = it takes one whole floppy. Ken, Thanks!

    TXlightningbug :yeeha:
     
  17. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Ken,
    Tried to email you for your book. Did you receive it?
    John#4
     
  18. seahealth

    seahealth Well-Known Member

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    I think that is a GREAT idea!
     
  19. headintodawoods

    headintodawoods Well-Known Member

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    I like the Frontier House idea. I think there is population out there that wouls spend a considerable amount of money to live with your family, maybe in their own cabin and work your land, feed the animals, cut wood etc.... I live in central Arkansas and have considered that idea myself.
     
  20. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    The only way to get a copy of my book is to e-mail me directly at scharabo@aol.com and request a copy. I send it out to every one whose e-mail I get - and bear in mind AOL is somewhat picky about what mail it lets you have. I have turned off their spam editor as apparently it was blocking some requests. As far as I know at the moment (Friday evening - 10/29) I have sent to out to everyone in the system. If you have requested in the past and didn't receive a copy, all I can say is to keep trying.

    It is a very large attachment file (about 1Meg). Some systems, such as hotmail.com and webtv.net, cannot handle it. You will need to have it sent to another provider. Perhaps your work PC or a friends, etc.

    And, yes, it really is free. It is not share-ware.

    Ken Scharabok

    P.S. One party has apparently become upset because they requested the book via PM and I told them the request needed to be direct to my e-mail account. Sorry, but if someone doesn't follow directions, I do not feel obligated to respond.