NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: If I knew then ...........  (Read 643 times)

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
If I knew then ...........
« on: February 14, 2020, 08:30:00 pm »
....... what I know now, it would have been so much easier.


So what things would have been helpful to you when you first started your smallholding or allotment.

Is there any expert or professional that has helped you on your way

Non financial of course.  Ideas, methods, expertise?
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age
Voss Electric Fence

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 08:44:06 pm »
that to make a million pounds at smallholding and goat keeping you need to start with two million pounds,
seriously ,
 never jump in with your eyes closed and always get a second and third opinion and ask the most stupid question ever, the one that never gets asked that is , and I dont always know best

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 09:24:45 pm »
  • It's really, really difficult to make money smallholding, but really easy to have fun. However, trying to achieve the first can kill the second very easily.
  • Because of this, think very carefully about what you're trying to achieve before you start. There's nothing wrong with growing your own food only for you.
  • When we first started, somebody on here advised having only one new species a year. I think that was very good advice.
  • Buy the best breeding stock you can, right from the outset. It's far easier to maintain quality than it is to try and breed it back in later.
  • Context is everything. What works in Somerset might well not work in Scotland, either due to climate or market conditions.
  • Look around you - what are the neighbouring farms doing and how do their business models work? If they're all doing something, that's quite a big hint that it might work for you too.
HTH!  :thumbsup:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 04:18:59 pm »
Well I can't say we make money but how can you put a price on eating your own produced  pork, mutton, eggs and veg.  Not to mention the peace of living in the countryside, watching the seasons come and ago. enjoying the wildlife and the stars at night. Yes we have to work in all weathers, holidays don't happen and there is always the lack of money but I for one love what I do. The only thing I do wish is I had done this years ago.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 04:52:56 pm »
Ok, what about expert help.

Who has helped you on your way? Not names - local farmer, accountant, frined, parent, sibling, butcher?????
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2020, 09:15:12 pm »
Well I can't say we make money but how can you put a price on eating your own produced  pork, mutton, eggs and veg.  Not to mention the peace of living in the countryside, watching the seasons come and ago. enjoying the wildlife and the stars at night. Yes we have to work in all weathers, holidays don't happen and there is always the lack of money but I for one love what I do. The only thing I do wish is I had done this years ago.

This ^^^^  x a million

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2020, 09:41:15 pm »
Ok, what about expert help.

Who has helped you on your way? Not names - local farmer, accountant, frined, parent, sibling, butcher? ??? ?
Going on Tim Tyne's lambing course - so much more than just a "lambing" course - my whole sheep management is based on his course and the books. (and quite a bit of the goats' too...)
Sorry, that was name dropping...

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2020, 09:07:12 am »
I have a farmer friend who has taken our muck heap, topped our fields and brings me straw. given advice on the pigs and answered endless questions over the years.

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 11:33:50 am »
I have a Mr Farmer down the road, a Mr Sheep Dealer the other direction: both of whom are friendly enough to ask for help - and i drop excess fruit and veg their way FOC now and again. I also rate a weekly visit to 'Pub where Farmy folk lurk' just to keep in touch - also handy for local scrappy and local welder and where to find stuff....

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 02:06:34 pm »
The way people work with each other is different in rat race land to how it is in rural areas especially among farming folk.  I would strongly urge anyone who wants to keep livestock and / or who will want the co-operation of locals, especially farmers, to spend some time finding out how they tick.  Working on farms is a great way to do this.

An example of the change in perspective that will come about through immersing yourself in their world is these different viewpoints expressed about farmers buying things at a farm sale.

C: It's ridiculous!  These people have no idea of the value of things; they're paying more for rusty old things than they could buy new!

F: It was so lovely, seeing the local farming community all vying to put money into the retiring farmer's pocket.  And now I know why the farmer I work for keeps that ancient, creaky old bale sledge instead of picking up a newer one.  He bought it at the sale of a farmer who'd helped him as a lad, and every time he used it, he thought of that man.

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

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 09:10:55 am »
Vets can be helpful but most of our information/help came from neighbouring crofters who knew the land/weather patterns/ native livestock. The most useful help was time, its a steep learning curve.
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2020, 05:54:35 pm »
Ok, so many of you got help from neighbours and friends in your early smallholding days 

So .....
If you were giving advice to anyone starting up now

                           1.  Would an online information hub be useful?

and ....

                           2. What information specifically would be of particular use?
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: If I knew then ...........
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 07:01:38 pm »
Ok, so many of you got help from neighbours and friends in your early smallholding days 

So .....
If you were giving advice to anyone starting up now

                           1.  Would an online information hub be useful?

and ....

                           2. What information specifically would be of particular use?

It already exists, and it's called TAS forum!  :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 cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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