Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: 3 Year Plan  (Read 332 times)

Yorkshire Pre-Green

  • Joined Jan 2023
3 Year Plan
« on: January 25, 2023, 04:16:38 pm »
Good afternoon everyone,

First time poster here, approximately 6 months into developing a plan, with my family, to establish and develop a Smallholding. Ideally situated in the South West, and starting with bare land of approx. (but no less than) 12.5 Acres - 20 Acres.

I have a 2-3 year (long I know!) timeline in order to get the necessary funds together to outright purchase the land. Subsequently selling our property to free up funds to build a barn and establish a temporary dwelling under permitted development rights and all the necessary "odd and sods"(access roads, utilities, essential equipment, livestock, sweets to bribe the planners with) to make a good start. Essentially "doing it right", creating a smallholding that complements and adds to the natural environment, maximises quality of life for any livestock and delights any visitors that come into or past the holding. I doubt we will get this right all the time and I am sure there will be people who are annoyed at us along the way for one reason or another but that is the intent.

The plan is to derive a basic income from the holding (over time) whilst developing an energy self-sufficient environment (I am an engineer and deliver NetZero energy schemes for clients so understand the pros, cons, challenges and opportunities). Over the medium term we aim to develop a multi-income stream business that passes all the tests (functional need, viability, sustainability) to then gain permission to build a small permanent dwelling on the property. We are fully aware of all legislation regarding this approach and the pros and cons.

We have a long way to go to even start on a route that I have no doubt is littered with challenges but I would be really interested to hear from the community on:

"If there was one thing you had wished you had considered in more detail at the start of your smallholding journey what would it be".

All answers, insights and observations are gratefully received.

Thank you,

Yorkshire Pre-Green

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: 3 Year Plan
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2023, 10:42:32 pm »
I have mentioned this on TAS before and I shall repeat it for you. What we did not fully allow for, and how could we really, was ill health.  When we bought our smallholding 27 years ago, we were both fit and in our mid 40s with 2 strong sons, one at home and the other had flown the nest but was not too far away. We did not expect the life changing illnesses that life hurled at us but we very quickly learned to adapt. We have no intention of leaving our smallholding other than in boxes, but each year it seems our input decreases.  Our children and grandchildren have no interest in the smallholding or the land.


It impresses me but also worries me in view of our experiences that you seem to have thought of everything in your plan except for things to go wrong.


We still run our smallholding but it has changed dramatically from the early days, downsized and the work input reduced by a country mile.  It still works for us but then we never expected to make a profit. We manage on our pensions and minimal income from the smallholding, we have no help from anyone else so we do what we can and what we can't do doesn't get done.


Please bear in mind that you either need a contingency plan should things go awry or learn to adapt to changing circumstances rapidly. I know you won't let this put you off; it's just something else to add to your plan.  Good Luck  :sunshine:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Yorkshire Pre-Green

  • Joined Jan 2023
Re: 3 Year Plan
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2023, 08:29:18 am »
Fleecewife, thank you very much for coming back to me with such an insightful reply.

You make a very valid point regarding productivity as illnesses occur or age inevitably slows us down, certainly something for me to reflect on, thank you.

As an ex-military type contingency planning is my bread and butter and I was hoping this thread would give me little "golden nuggets" such as this to consider and build in some "fat" to "the" plan.

Making a profit is an interesting concept and I suppose it depends how one defines "life's profit". Having spent the last 10 years pursuing what most people think of as profit I have been fortunate to build a successful career with hard work but admittedly some luck along the way. This has at times had a detrimental impact on my health and as I get older (I am late 30's so hopefully not defined as old for quite some time) "life's profit" means very different things to me. Ultimately having enough cash around for basic life needs is the plan (and developing the holding of course) as well as leaving some investments squirrelled away for the kids but the profit, at least in my head, will come from the feel good factor of not continuing to be a "corporate slave" and doing more of the things I enjoy namely hard physical work, the outdoors, and quite tangibly seeing the output from your labour.

Then inevitably slowing life down from where it currently is and spending more time with the people that matter.

And also inevitably spending a lot of time cold and wet...................................but I don't mind that.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: 3 Year Plan
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2023, 10:31:44 am »
The essential ingredient of any great plan is 'flexibility'. When we moved to France the intention was to buy a small house on a large plot -8 Ha (20 acres) was the initial objective. Setting aside that current legislation here makes it near impossible to buy a house with a lot of land, we soon realised after searching for 5 years that we were in fact getting too old to do the work and had insufficient funds to buy the equipment anyway (Brexit crash). So we settled on a small house with 1 Ha and finding that was a fluke (viewed 52 properties). We had a 5 year plan to bring the land back to good condition, but after 5 years we still are not there. We've focussed on labour saving and buying equipment for that, but it is frightening how much time and money is spent on breakdowns and maintenance because they don't make things as well as they used to.


Water supply has become a big issue here and that could happen in England as well. We put over 10,000 litres extra to the collected rainwater on our little veg plot last year.


The one thing we wish we had considered in more detail are the tax rules. You can't sell anything here without a business registration, so informally growing veg, producing eggs and breeding chickens to supplement our income were not practical. In England it's the regulations that hold you back.


Good luck YPG. You are young enough to make it happen, but you will need much more detail in your plan and longer to make it happen I think?

Yorkshire Pre-Green

  • Joined Jan 2023
Re: 3 Year Plan
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2023, 10:50:11 am »
Hi chrismahon,

Flexibility is a great word and something no doubt I will need to employ more than I bargain for.

Thank you for the experienced words.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: 3 Year Plan
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2023, 04:40:42 pm »

And also inevitably spending a lot of time cold and wet...................................but I don't mind that.

The trick is to wear the right clothes so you are not cold and wet, plus to adapt your day's plan to suit the weather. 'Any fool can be miserable' as my (ex Military) husband likes to say. Many many older farmers suffer from arthritis. If only they had started protecting themselves at your age  :idea:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.


 

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2023. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS