Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: LAND VERSUS INCOME QUESTION  (Read 5406 times)


  • Joined Oct 2007
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2009, 01:26:42 pm »
I have friends here with over 100 acres, a tractor and other machinery.  She works the farm full time, he works full time in a factory.  They are having to consider selling up because they just cant make ends meet.  This is the norm for many small farmers here of all nationalities.  Big farms attract big subsidies small farms get nothing.  (my experience only).  Even the big farmers are suffering milk costs being higher than the milk cheque from the supermarket, pork costing 1.25 a kilo and selling at 1 euro kilo to the abbatoir.  Its heartbreaking.


  • Joined Oct 2009
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2009, 09:45:47 pm »
another way to look at the problem is to consider what JOB you have to supplement your smallholding lifestyle....

Hello Nick,

I think sellickbhoy has the answer - I also have a home based full time job, and although I have to travel throughout Scotland on a regular basis, I'm at home two or three days a week, which allows me to keep an eye on my sheep & chickens.  I have almost 20 acres, but it is really a hobby farm - there's no way I could live on the sale of the occasional lamb, in fact the running costs far exceed the income, but it definitely improves the quality of life - I wouldn't swap the lifestyle for anything.



  • Joined Nov 2009
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2009, 03:58:32 pm »
You are all amazingly helpful!! I visit other forums for my hobbies and get 1 line answers, but here you all take time to give advice and that says something about the type of person who has a smallholding interest.

I am very sad to hear the reality of Smallholding in 2009. Not one person has been able to tell me they support themselves and that’s not so good for my plans. It seems that I may have to keep my full time job and let my family stay working on the holding all day if we are in the UK.

It looks like France for definite then, I see some holdings I could buy with no mortgage and so I am thinking that I must be able to survive with no mortgage if I put my all into it?

I am off to do 12 months of heavy research into smallholding in France…. I will be back with questions soon but thanks again for now!!



  • Joined Sep 2008
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2009, 04:18:06 pm »
I personally doubt that living on a smallholding without an outside job is feasible. Maybe if you live in the right area with a nice niche market for something you can grow, then just maybe.

I look at it another way. Our ultimate goal is to live doing as LITTLE outside work as possible. We are on one income, and when this mortgage is finished, we will probably both or one of us work part time, the same time.

Profit is not a word that is uttered much around a small holders kitchen table, least not here.  Aching backs, bills, out of service tractors, yes.  Don't get me wrong I would not have it any other way, its just that you have to give up  a lot of what is considered ' normal ' !

Everything in life is a compromise is it not ?  I think the mind set should be , "can I get enough money in to get by ? "

For next year we are looking at more ' up market ' veg.  Okra for example is pretty exotic in the Belgian Ardennes. I want to also have a go at Japanese mushrooms, and maybe snails. We have the right climate for them both.  I think I will try to sell to local restaurants, and any extra at the local market. This is of course assuming that next year there are still any restaurants open !

Forget the normal root veg like spuds and carrots for re sell. I cannot compete with the local shops. only last week I saw, locally grown spuds here at 5.95€ for 15 kilos !  Grow them for your family and concentrate on higher profit yield stuff for re sell.

Good luck with your search.


  • Joined Nov 2009
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2009, 10:41:24 am »
Hi KevKev,

I have come to this same conclusion over the last few days. I did not want to actually make profit as such though, just cover mortgage & bills really, but it seems that not even that is possible unless you are very shrewd and experienced in everything. In fact it seems that just covering the bills would be a struggle, never mind a mortgage. I do understand that normality can change when you are living and breathing a smallholding, but like you, I do not think I would want to change anything no matter how much of a struggle it would be.

Anyway, over the last day or so I have realised that I need to re-think everything. Maybe I will move to a house with a bit of land in my current area and start from there whilst continuing to work full time. In the meantime I am going to start in my current back garden as this has to be a good learning ground. Also had the idea of buying some land in my area and going that route but I think I would proffer to have everything on site. So thank you all for the heads up, you have saved me researching something that would not have easily been possible. I am off to bail my lawn now..... Nick


  • Joined Oct 2007
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2009, 08:46:31 am »
Sounds like a great idea.   :D


  • Joined Sep 2008
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2009, 12:37:23 pm »

One of the things you might look at, and it will not be easy..   Consider a house with enough land for growing veg, within walking distance of a small town or large village. I know a lot of big gardens have been bought up for development, but its worth a try.  I am sure that selling fresh produce within walking distance of houses and more importantly flats is going to work. Advantages are many. Little or no transport or fuel costs , word of mouth will spread quickly, a large possible customer base, easy to advertise , cheap small flyers through their letter box. Also it is easier to get a job even part time, to keep the place going. More opportunites for rading skips for little treasures..

On the downside, rearing livestock is going to be impossible in some areas. Chickens are ok still,more or less. You are not in the country, so you loose out on a lot of foraging.

As I have said before, life is always a compromise.



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