Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?  (Read 12780 times)

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« on: September 07, 2011, 10:28:02 pm »
Your opinion on this would be interesting.

I concider myself to be a small farmer.
I have 16 acres.
56  Llyen Sheep.
1 Welsh Cob riding Gelding.
437 chickens in about 12 breeds.
15 Ducks.
2 working Collies and a lazy Whippet.
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 11:31:32 pm »
I reckon if you have over 400 of anything (other than fleas or red mites) then you are a farmer!

I have 40 acres but consider myself a smallholder as my biggest group is 40 ish sheep. Also Im a bit rubbish at even approaching breaking even so if I were a farmer it would be of the hobby variety to my shame.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 12:31:41 am »

I was once told that the difference between a farmer and a smallholder can be seen in how they get in their sheep. 

A farmer will drive them with a dog and/or a quad bike. 

A smallholder calls them.

 ;D ;D
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Maggie

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Umberleigh, Devon
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 08:05:44 am »
I'm undecided between the two.  About 58 acres, 23 breeding ewes and 28 lambs finishing.  5 head of cattle, 6 pigs, 12 chickens, 2 geese, four dogs, 2 cats.  Not easy to break even, as Lachlan says.

Castle.. how do you manage 56 sheep on 16 acres!!??  Or do you have lambs still to finish?

Maggie

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 08:11:10 am »
I'm also intrigued by how much stock is on 16 acres. Never mind farmer, I think you must be a magician  ;D

Does it matter - smallholder or small farmer? And why would it matter?

GeorgieB82

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Saron, Llandysul, Carms
    • Wthan Online
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 08:12:44 am »
I would consider myself a small farmer, even on 7.5 acres. I believe a smallholder to be someone who is doing it for 'the good life', sorry if this is against other opinions but around here smallholders are frowned upon and I feel part of the local farming community.

I have 18 breeding ewes, 4 pigs, 100 chicken, 40 ducks and a profitable vegetable garden. I run all the farm activities as a business, including separate accounts (another differentating point in my mind) and after 3 years of trading we are into profit, despite the poor pig market.

Thats my idea on the defining points between the two.
Why not have a look at our smallholding - www.wthanonline.co.uk

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 08:18:48 am »
i thought a farm is over 50 acres and a small holding is under 50 acres. :wave:

GeorgieB82

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Saron, Llandysul, Carms
    • Wthan Online
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 08:25:29 am »
i thought a farm is over 50 acres and a small holding is under 50 acres. :wave:

I wouldn't like to tell the farmers round here that, most of the family run farms are less than 50 acres.
Why not have a look at our smallholding - www.wthanonline.co.uk

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 08:58:00 am »
First of all, congratulations on making a go of your operation, GeorgieB82.  That's no mean feat.

I run all the farm activities as a business, including separate accounts (another differentating point in my mind)

In these parts, real agricultural territory, the only accounts are the farm accounts.  The household is a necessary part of the business.  (Of course personal drawings and a proportion of the running costs of the house are regarded as personal income and taxed accordingly.)

As Rosemary says, why would it matter?  Only maybe from any legislative point of view - planning permission for instance.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 09:05:51 am »
Georgie, why would smallholders be frowned upon? They've been around for hundreds of years.
Where we farmed when I was a child "incomers" from the towns and cities who had opted for the "good life" were considered a bit of a joke. "It won't last the winter" was the saying and often that was the case.
I come from farming stock, was a smallholder and now admit that at 61 I am a hobby smallholder and enjoying it :)

GeorgieB82

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Saron, Llandysul, Carms
    • Wthan Online
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 09:32:50 am »
Georgie, why would smallholders be frowned upon? They've been around for hundreds of years.
Where we farmed when I was a child "incomers" from the towns and cities who had opted for the "good life" were considered a bit of a joke. "It won't last the winter" was the saying and often that was the case.
I come from farming stock, was a smallholder and now admit that at 61 I am a hobby smallholder and enjoying it :)

Smallholders around here are frowned upon by the local farmers (the ones I know at least) because of their abuse of kindness. I have heard many a story of farmers helping out or providing advice and then not being appropriately appreciated. I'm not talking financially just for example a neighbour had haylage made for her horses, she was moaning that the contractors had left it in the field, she admitted she hadn't agreed they would move it from the field but had assumed ... myself and my neighbour said we would happily help her move it into the barn. We agreed to go straight down, 10 mins into the job she disappears, only after we finish and we go to the house do we find a note on the door "Gone to Work". No thank you, no 'I'll see you right', no nothing. She has never spoken to either of us again in the past 2 years.

That is a story of personal experience, but I hear the same complaints on a weekly basis at the Mart. If someone takes the time out to help, the least you can say is thank you.

The turnover of smallholdings in this area is amazing, I know of three couples within 5 miles of here that lasted less than a year. Brought a place, took advice/help from the locals, brought stock, got bored, let the land go to waste, went back to the smoke.
Why not have a look at our smallholding - www.wthanonline.co.uk

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2011, 10:24:13 am »
We only have 5 acres so are defiantly not farmers. The farmer who rents the field next door openly calls us 'hobby farmers' which doesn't worry me a bit. Several evenings this year were spent collecting up his escaped lambs and putting them back to their mums. I gladly lend a hand if any animal gets out or isn't looking right and likewise welcome any advice anyone is willing to offer as I know I am a beginner to sheep. I love our wee place and just hope we will be able to stay here forever - income etc allowing. Wether it's incomer/farmer/small holder or hobby farmer I think you get funny folk/ rude folk in all walks of life. ;D ;D
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

GeorgieB82

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Saron, Llandysul, Carms
    • Wthan Online
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 10:44:46 am »
We only have 5 acres so are defiantly not farmers. The farmer who rents the field next door openly calls us 'hobby farmers' which doesn't worry me a bit. Several evenings this year were spent collecting up his escaped lambs and putting them back to their mums. I gladly lend a hand if any animal gets out or isn't looking right and likewise welcome any advice anyone is willing to offer as I know I am a beginner to sheep. I love our wee place and just hope we will be able to stay here forever - income etc allowing. Wether it's incomer/farmer/small holder or hobby farmer I think you get funny folk/ rude folk in all walks of life. ;D ;D

Your situation sounds very much like us, we like to help out the full time farmers and they are invaluable sources of knowledge. When I lost my job the holding became my main interest and therefore I could make the necessary changes to make it independent to the household which also includes my parents and grandparents. Now I'm returning to work (although part-time) I know the holding is not leaching on the financial resources of the rest of the household.

I would very much like to expand but the adjoining fields (near 100acres) are owned by some environmentalists who are leaving it to nature and are unwilling to sell any parcels, despite them going to ruin.
Why not have a look at our smallholding - www.wthanonline.co.uk

Fergie

  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2011, 02:06:39 pm »

I was once told that the difference between a farmer and a smallholder can be seen in how they get in their sheep. 

A farmer will drive them with a dog and/or a quad bike. 

A smallholder calls them.

 ;D ;D

An interesting discussion, with some truth in Sally's quote.  :)

We live in a smallholding, one that was built in 1935 by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries to provide homes for ex-servicemen after the Great War.  There are dozens of them - 17 at our address, another 10 or so a mile away, and similar smallholdings (all built to the same basic design) are scattered throughout Scotland.  Most have changed over the past 75 years, simply because some were more viable than others and social habits have changed - many have horses, or market gardens, while others have lost the fields to neighbouring farms.  We've lived here for 33 years, but initially without the land - just the house & steadings in about 1/2 acre.  Four years ago we bought back the surrounding fields that originally were part of the holding, so now have 19 acres.  Hebridean and Soay sheep with a few chickens keep us busy.

Since the postal address is as a smallholding, I'm happy to be called one, but also admit that I'm a hobby farmer since I could not maintain a viable income on just the land, therefore we continue to farm the land because we enjoy the lifestyle.

At the end, does it matter what we are called?  I've always found the neighbouring farmers very helpful and supportive, even if we're not as commercial as they are.  Additionally, quite a few farmers also have a second job to help make ends meet.

John


benkt

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Cambridgeshire
    • Hempsals Community Farm
Re: Small Holder or Small Farmer.?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2011, 02:39:21 pm »
I thought the distinction was whether you *try* to make money or not!


 

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