NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Can I make it work?  (Read 1012 times)

NewLifeOnTheFarm

  • Joined Jun 2016
Can I make it work?
« on: January 05, 2019, 01:54:02 pm »
So, brief back story...
We left our very comfortable suburban lifestyle 3 years ago to start out new life in the country. We had no experience of land management, livestock etc. Our property was 3 lots, the house, 18 acres, and 38 acres, we could only afford the house and 18 acres. In the last 3 years we have spent time with our farming neighbours learning how to handle sheep, and this year got our first ewes. Current head count is 25 sheep, 2 ponies, and God only knows how many chickens. Our dream would be to run a small farm shop/meat box delivery service.

With that in mind, we are considering purchasing the extra 38 acres. The land is exactly like ours is, Less favoured grassland, well draining, and adjoining our property. Asking price is reasonable, cheap really. £80k. Access is attrotious for anyone else, but for us would be perfect through our own fields.

If I do this, I will also need to think about having a more commercial flock as well as my Shetlands, I would like to experiment with suffolk X Shetlands for the meat market, as in my limited experience they seem to make cracking lambs. We have a Shetland X Suffolk wether, our first lamb born here and he is a fab size. From my research the taste of Shetland crossed with the marbled fat of a Suffolk is popular.

I'm not looking to make vast fortunes obviously, just enough to make buying the land worth it, let's say a 15 year payback, combined with grants/rural payments. Everything is so up in the air right now, it's hard to make plans, I'm just convinced that somehow we could make this work.

I appreciate that this isn't much to go on. I suppose I'm looking for some blue sky thinking, ideas, reassurance, or maybe a reality check!

Thanks!

C
Voss Electric Fence

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 02:26:33 pm »
Well done for following your dream  :thumbsup: . You've got plans for where you're going and  I'm sure you'll make it work.
I would definitely snap up the additional 38 acres. The price is amazing, even for LFA; but they don't make land any more and make even less adjoining what you already have. If you miss it now you will regret it forever!
I would just say - keep an open mind as you go along as nothing is written in tablets of stone and flexibility is essential to progress.
    Good luck. :sunshine:

 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 02:56:58 pm »
I can only agree with what LRR says. If the land is affordable for you then buy it. You can always sell it later on and probably for a lot more then you bought it for. Or rent it out as well. Just think how much hay you could get off the 38 acres. Would help out with winter feeding
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

NewLifeOnTheFarm

  • Joined Jun 2016
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 05:22:39 pm »
Thank you for your replies! You are right, I would be gutted if someone else bought it. I am confident that we could make money off it in some way, even if it was just added value to our property. I still have so much to learn about sheep keeping, as well as potentially branching out into some cattle as well. We just need some time, and in the meantime we could always rent it out while we get ourselves into a position to use it to its potential.

C

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 05:36:56 pm »
The land is worth what the land is worth.

But if it's right next door to your own land, and you have a plan for it, that probably makes it worth more to you than to anybody else.

Worst case you could always let it to somebody else, so I highly doubt you'd ever regret buying it, whereas like you say, you'd regret it if somebody else did.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

NewLifeOnTheFarm

  • Joined Jun 2016
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 07:43:19 am »
Well, we put an offer in and they have accepted it!! Very exciting times ahead. I will keep you all posted about our next adventure, and no doubt ask even more questions! Sometimes I wonder if we are a bit bonkers, going into sheep with a years experience, and knowing how hard it is to make any profit etc, but I have a good feeling about this, we just need to be flexible I think.

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 10:44:23 am »
and no doubt ask even more questions

The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask.

Congrats on the acceptance of the offer. Wish i was in your position. Hope everything goes swimmingly for you
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 10:58:46 am »
Well, we put an offer in and they have accepted it!! Very exciting times ahead. I will keep you all posted about our next adventure, and no doubt ask even more questions! Sometimes I wonder if we are a bit bonkers, going into sheep with a years experience, and knowing how hard it is to make any profit etc, but I have a good feeling about this, we just need to be flexible I think.

Fantastic news!   :excited:   

Keep us posted - we love to see people getting started!  :)
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 cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 01:21:11 am »
Wow! This is exciting.  :excited:

NewLifeOnTheFarm

  • Joined Jun 2016
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 06:52:03 pm »
Well, officially the land became ours today!!!! Our farm is officially 60 acres of beautiful Aberdeenshire land ????. I could not be happier. If you have seen my posts in sheep forum, we have now got an additional 14 cheviot gimmers to add to our flock of Shetlands, so I'm up to 42 now ????. Must be bonkers! Never been so happy!!

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2019, 07:08:58 pm »
Wonderful!!!!! :excited:

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2019, 07:58:59 pm »
well done , you wont be sorry, bonkers maybe but not sorry.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2019, 12:33:30 am »
Good for you. What's next?

NewLifeOnTheFarm

  • Joined Jun 2016
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 08:26:30 am »
Next step is to survive lambing! Out of the blue yesterday, a farmer who used to rent the fields years ago popped up to ask who owned it now as he was wanting to rent it again?? What are the chances? So we have that as an option. There are a few fence repairs to do before I can move my sheep on. Think we will make hay off around 6 acres of it, and 6 off our original landmark So that will be 12 acres of hay making stress! And I will be applying for a small farm grant to try get a building up for either hay storage, or lambing shed, as our existing buildings are old and damp, and not really suitable.

LouiseG

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Appleby-in-Westmorland
Re: Can I make it work?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2019, 09:41:25 am »
We moved exactly like you 3 years ago and the local farmer was round as quick as we moved in to ask to rent some of our fields, we did but regretted it, we couldn't get on with any of our plans because his sheep and then cows were in our fields, then he wasn't in any hurry to move them off at the end, then he argued the agreed rental (all verbal of course) so think very hard before renting it out, and get it all down in writing at the beginning.
But wow good luck, we have gone from strength to strength with our little 50 acres and are loving the life.

So many ideas, not enough hours

 

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