Best way to make money off a lifestyle block?

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11 years 1 week ago #460967 by Seaside
I grow and process chillies, and grow other stuff to sell from our roadside stall honesty box. I also work full time so all that is in the evenings, weekends and lunch breaks - I work from home. I probably put in 4 hours a week, including marketing and sales, during the quiet season and 10 hours a week during the two busy times a year (transplanting in early summer and harvest time). The biggest constraint to growing the business is lack of time due to my work and family commitments, but long term I'd like to think it will be lucrative enough when the mortgage is paid off and I retire. Meanwhile I'm acquiring all sorts of useful knowledge.

We also grow our own meat, eggs and lots of veg, which makes it worth it by itself.

A couple of LSB income generating ideas that I think are we worth looking into if you have the time, inclination and suitable location are supplying weekly vegetable boxes (all the rage in the UK now) and doggy day care for people with dogs that howl and/or rip their owners house to bits when left alone during work hours.

Aside from the cost saving of homekill, the only animal venture that has ever made us (minimal) money is beef fattening.

Kids, beasts, and chillies in Swannanoa South.
www.farmaway.co.nz

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11 years 1 week ago #460975 by kindajojo
1. What livestock do you run or crops do you grow-
galloway cattle,wiltshire sheep,chickens (4) ducks(6)
2. Does it turn a profit-
we run 20-25 ewes returning 30-40 lambs each year returning average of $100.00 each so between $3,000 and $4,000 per annum costs are < $500.00 including drench,vet call outs, and sheep nuts. so nett profit is around $3,000.00. however we also have lots of quality meat which is essentially free.
Same with cows - run 4-5 cows returning a calf each year 2 to eat, two to sell
3. How labour intensive is it-
15-20 hours per week average, includes improvements and maintenance.
4. Are there any helpful places/websites to get info from-
this place is good, vets are essential...have a relationship with your vet and the local farmers
5. How much capital outlay would you need to make initially-
piece of string...I bought quality stock and have not regretted it. For sheep the capital outlay was in the order of $2,500.00 but they have well and truly paid for themselves
6. How much prior animal husbandry would one require- prevously had farm experience and owned horses.
7. What is the most effective method you have found to make it profitable-
be realistic about what you can make. Dont overstock, feed is expensive..if you have to feed stock supplementary feed then the profit is out the door.
Call the vet early...learn to spot trouble before it gets to be expensive.
Make sure any stock have good feed, clean water, clean paddocks and shelter. Good yards are essential
8. Are there hidden costs the novice needs to consider in their budget- drought mud, broken everything, insurance for unexpected.
9. What have you tried which turned out to be a failure-
ducks are a waste of productive space, but they are fun to have around. Hens are break-even but also fun and you get fresh ethical eggs.
Pigs unless you have a source of feed are not cost effective but you get better quality bacon and they are interesting.
Raising calfs is break-even to loss if you count in your time as a cost.

10. Further comments/advice-

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11 years 1 week ago #460981 by jennym
i think that asking for ideas for making a living out of a lsb is a good thing to do. sometimes someone might say something that might lead to something useful.
while i cant answer to the points on your checklist, i have some ideas as follows.

certainly what needs doing is very high value stuff that can be done on a small footprint.

a good aim is to get it to pay for itself, possibly easier said than done.

there are alot of people doing tree crops such as hazelnuts, walnuts, stone pines. olives, often on 10ha. these can provide a decent supplement to existing income, the lsb should pay for itself and provide some income on top. you need irrigation.

truffles. you need to do some research because you need to get the right land. this is a high value crop. you can get truffle inoculated oaks, hazelnuts stone pines etc etc.

sometimes you could get into a position that enables you to take in other peoples product, process it and make a profit that way. one example is walnuts but that particular one is being done here already.

seeds. i once wondered why a 2 HA piece of land somewhere in canterbury was on the market for over a million bucks. i phoned up as if i was interested in buying and i finally extracted from the agent that they grew for seeds. seeds can be lucrative. there is an outfit called agriseeds that is worth a hell of alot.

stuff like chillies as seaside is doing, maybe herbs for example.

the above are just a few thoughts. there certainly is a whole lot of other stuff as well. all of them will need research and work. you need to know if it will grow in canterbury and you also need to buy with the right soil and you need to be able to irrigate. you wont get an immediate income either but if you do it right then you should be happy at the end.

i am afraid i have no effing idea about animals.

you havnt bought yet so you are off to a good start. you can decide, research and prepare.

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11 years 1 week ago #460985 by Anne
A few years ago I had a smaller block and was mortgage free (but then I bought a bigger place - that's another story). I had 5 of my own acres and 5 leased next door. I was handling, starting and working with horses and ponies. Without a mortgage and by working all the hours that existed, and working part time off the farm I could cover all my costs. I did it because I loved my lifestyle. BUT I was on my own - had other people's kids to stay, none of my own, I rarely socialised apart from at horse related events, grew all my own veges, swapped for eggs etc, didn't eat any meat - except for chicken and did everything by hand. No quad, no tractor, nothing. Hay was made be machine but fed out with a wheelbarrow.

I had excellent clients and never advertised - word of mouth was enough. I also had access to all the farms around me which gave me fantastic riding and training - clients paid because of the access I had to other people's farms.

Now, I work 0.8 off the farm and still work with horses. I am trying to cut down on the horses because I would like to increase my nurse cow herd and raise more calves on nurse cows. I am not sure that this would break even in Canterbury, but I think I could here.

The best thing about a lifestyle block, especially for kids, is the lifestyle. They grow up knowing about hard work and that the long term goal is worthwhile. They raise lambs and calves and work with them everyday in order that they can take them to calf club and get a length of shiny ribbon - but they know that that ribbon is a direct result of their work. They get to know how the earth works, how cycles happen, how one door closes and another opens. They learn to rejoice and grieve. They grow up into well rounded and knowledgable people.

And you know what? - there is no price that we can put on creating excellent, caring citizens of the future.

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11 years 1 week ago #461018 by Mrt007

Aria;462636 wrote: Glad it's another idea for you. Bear in mind with firewood - folks also want it delivered, so close in to your main market is pretty important as you have to be able to compete on cartage cost as well.

With boarding kennels and catteries - I see alot of them advertised for sale; so worth doing your market research there - as buying an existing se up might be worthwhile as well.

You also mentioned gun dogs. Some of the hounds out of the US are quite rare here - they are lovely dogs and so importing some breed stock from the US might be a good idea.

Thanks again
Yes some of those rare breeds are very nice and lucrative I really like the white Shepherds which have recently arrived, but my passion is labradors that work and conform to the show standard, my dog's father is by American Semen, the bitch I am training is by parents who are both from English imports and I currently have frozen semen coming from Aus and Italy, like a life style block sourcing from the best is the only way to improve, expensive hobby that will most likely never break even but it defines me. :)

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11 years 1 week ago #461042 by kindajojo
labradors that work and conform to the show standard

Having seen the misery that so call pedigree dogs have caused for people who pay high prices for "show standard animals" which then turn out to have dodgy hips, deafness or skin allergies or just plain nutty, I personally wont go near these animals.
If this is your market I would research it first as a lot of people I know are steering away from these animals

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11 years 1 week ago #461044 by Aria

kindajojo;462728 wrote: labradors that work and conform to the show standard

Having seen the misery that so call pedigree dogs have caused for people who pay high prices for "show standard animals" which then turn out to have dodgy hips, deafness or skin allergies or just plain nutty, I personally wont go near these animals.
If this is your market I would research it first as a lot of people I know are steering away from these animals


A really unfair generalization in my opinion. We for example have always had excellent runs with our pedigrees. It's all about choosing a good breeder.

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11 years 1 week ago #461045 by Denneaux

Aria;462730 wrote: A really unfair generalization in my opinion. We for example have always had excellent runs with our pedigrees. It's all about choosing a good breeder.

I agree, and good breeders cull their mistakes (yes I know they are cute widdle puppies) , but if it ain't right in the head or has congenital defects a good breeder doesn't onsell their problems!

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11 years 1 week ago #461048 by kindajojo
My comment wasn"t directed at good breeders...my comment was about the market for these animals

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11 years 1 week ago #461096 by Mrt007

kindajojo;462734 wrote: My comment wasn"t directed at good breeders...my comment was about the market for these animals

Cheers for your concern but the market for these dogs doesn't worry as it is not a source of income but something I have been passionate about since I were introduced to the breed as a kid, and started gun dog trialling at 14.
I have more people waiting for pups than I can breed as I breed rarely for quality. My pups come with a guarantee for hips, elbows, and the two main genetic disorders which we can DNA test against.
Allergies is a hard one as we can only go by what we see in parents and generally the fact that we feed top quality food often means this does not show up but if someone is feeding a cheaper food which derives its protein from plant base rather than beef or poultry it often where the allergy lies, to wheat etc. I would imagine the deafness you refer to is in the same dog as allergies often show up in the ears and cause scarring on the ear cannel which continually reduces the size of it.
As for them being loopy well that is often a boredom or untrained issue which lies in the hands of the owner.
Yes there are bad breeders out there and still breeders who don't DNA test or X-ray which is sad but at the end of the day we can only do things correct ourselves and hope they follow suit and that prospective puppy buyers choose the right breeder and have the patients to wait as good breeders often have waiting lists.

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11 years 1 week ago #461113 by Denneaux

Mrt007;462789 wrote: Cheers for your concern but the market for these dogs doesn't worry as it is not a source of income but something I have been passionate about since I were introduced to the breed as a kid, and started gun dog trialling at 14.
I have more people waiting for pups than I can breed as I breed rarely(YOU NEED A COMMA HERE) for quality. My pups come with a guarantee for hips, elbows, and the two main genetic disorders which we can DNA test against.
Allergies is a hard one as we can only go by what we see in parents and generally the fact that we feed top quality food often means this does not show up but if someone is feeding a cheaper food which derives its protein from plant base rather than beef or poultry it often where the allergy lies, to wheat etc. I would imagine the deafness you refer to is in the same dog as allergies often show up in the ears and cause scarring on the ear cannel which continually reduces the size of it.
As for them being loopy well that is often a boredom or untrained issue which lies in the hands of the owner.
Yes there are bad breeders out there and still breeders who don't DNA test or X-ray which is sad but at the end of the day we can only do things correct ourselves and hope they follow suit and that prospective puppy buyers choose the right breeder and have the patients to wait as good breeders often have waiting lists.


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11 years 1 week ago #461114 by sky
I think you've had some really good replies there and a few really rude ones. It amazes me how folk think they can talk to someone on a forum like you're a complete egit! If they spoke to you face to face in person they would never dream or dare to speak that way, or if they did they would be completely out casted by everyone else!
We have a forestry block that provides us with firewood for our own use and sell a bit every now and again. We grow veg. We raise goats and sell off the kids to lifestyle blocks every now and again too. We have a rabbitry for meat and it's unbelievable the demand for rabbit meat. We have more orders than rabbits at the moment. We grew our own cattle for the freezer and I sell rhubarb when it's taking over, I put it in a little cart at the end of our drive in bunches with an honesty box.
It's just bits and pieces like that that get us by, the rabbitry took off by accident, we wanted to raise our own meat but it ended up more folk wanted them for either pets or for meat themselves. We also work but part time hours only and I only work to have a bit of a social life and city fix three days a week.
I also craft and sell some of that.
Non of it is serious business stuff but it gets us by and we live a nice comfortable life. Lifestyle blocks are good for doing that, for you to live out your dreams, give your kids a healthy upbringing and appreciation of country life and animals.
Also a realistic one as they get to see animals being culled for the freezer etc, a lot kinder to homekill that send the beasties to the works and be traumatized.
Fancy someone throwing the comment at you that you were 'A Dreamer'!, it's good to have a dream and a passion to do something different with your life. If humans didn't dream, imagine, invent and take huge risks sometimes then we wouldn't have evolved!
Anyways good luck you sound like the right kind of person to take on the challenge ... Kia Kaha :-)

Canterbury

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11 years 1 week ago #461138 by LongRidge
I was going to post the same reply as already given "start with a large fortune and you might end with a small fortune". To me LSB means Life SENTENCE Block. On our land, we have to do it 24/7/365, or pay someone to help us out. Even with 24/7/365 we spend about $16000 per year on our LSB of 25 hectares.
Farming has cycles, where a product will be very profitable for a couple of years, less profitable for 3 years, a huge loss for 2 years, and an increasing profit for 3 years. Even dairying has a cycle.
I have grown walnuts. They have been in for 20 years now, but I cannot sell the darned things and they are very time intensive.
I grow pine trees on 15 hectares that would be impossible to grow anything else on. Before they were cut in 1997 they were valued at $250,000. We got about $70,000 for them. The problem with any tree crop is that there is a maximum size that a commercial mill can handle, so leaving them until they get too big is extremely unprofitable.
We are short of water, so run sheep on our property, mostly. At $70 per lamb at the works, that just covers the costs. We have only got more than $70 per lamb four times in the last 20 years. If I had based investing in sheep 3 years ago when lambs averaged $150, I would have been at the peak of the cycle and heading for 7 years of lower prices.
To even out this problem, and to help clean up the pasture, we run a few beef animals. When we started we bought some beautiful MG heifers at 5 months old at weaning for $180 each. Then Europe got BSE and we lost lots of the hoped-for profit.
I've tried doing firewood, but in Nelson and Christchurch, wood fires are banned. Thus those persons who live in the country and are allowed wood-burner have too much spare firewood to be able to sell any.
We have tried goats, but we missed the Boer meat buck boom where good bucks sold for $35,000, and fibre goats sold for $5,000. On our land, goats are far too difficult.
If you cannot irrigate then you are extremely controlled by the rainfall. We cannot irrigate, and would not be allowed a permit to drill a well for irrigation.
If I were starting again, I would set myself up for beef cattle, and buy beef calves each year and sell them as 24 month olds each year, so half and half of each age group. Those years with too much growth I would make hay or balage (but that's getting too expensive now), and feed it out when needed. The years with insufficient growth I would buy rye-grass straw in mid-summer from Ashburton way.
So, in summary, unless you are extremely lucky at picking trends and the next moneymaking animal or crop, don't budget on making anything but a capital gain on your property.

sky, it is absolutely illegal to sell rabbit meat, or any other meat, unless your processing plant has the correct licences and Inspectors.

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11 years 6 days ago #461215 by Mrt007
Thanks longridge for your useful post.

I think Sky is saying they sell the rabbits not rabbit meat.

Anyways plans have changed due to the my partner not feeling comfortable with being out in the country while I am working away. So we are looking at a compromise of a 2acre block in a country park subdivision on the edge of town. Over the back fence is the show grounds to run the dogs.
Not my ideal but walking distance to shops and schools with enough space for me and the dogs will be a good fill in for now.

Cheers to everyone for the helpful advice.

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11 years 6 days ago #461218 by sky
Oh get real LongRidge, who hasn't sold a bit of homekill to their mates. We only give to friends or 'live' animals to strangers, or they come, buy and DIY with our supervision.
We've been offered homekill and also lots of other stuff grown or bred by land owners and if I can get stuff cheaper and not have to resort to supermarket sh*t then I will.
Don't we all do things to avoid the tax man?
Isn't that what bartering is all about.
Way too pc for me all this shinanigans, just live, be healthy, respect the land, love your neighbours and sell/ swap your socks off cos it's the only way to survive in good old NZ :-)

Rolling my eyes at the thought of any rabbit meat I may gift or swap being evil and unfit for human consumption. Too much red tape and tell tale sorts are ruining free spirit in life.

LongRidge;462835 wrote: I was going to post the same reply as already given "start with a large fortune and you might end with a small fortune". To me LSB means Life SENTENCE Block. On our land, we have to do it 24/7/365, or pay someone to help us out. Even with 24/7/365 we spend about $16000 per year on our LSB of 25 hectares.
Farming has cycles, where a product will be very profitable for a couple of years, less profitable for 3 years, a huge loss for 2 years, and an increasing profit for 3 years. Even dairying has a cycle.
I have grown walnuts. They have been in for 20 years now, but I cannot sell the darned things and they are very time intensive.
I grow pine trees on 15 hectares that would be impossible to grow anything else on. Before they were cut in 1997 they were valued at $250,000. We got about $70,000 for them. The problem with any tree crop is that there is a maximum size that a commercial mill can handle, so leaving them until they get too big is extremely unprofitable.
We are short of water, so run sheep on our property, mostly. At $70 per lamb at the works, that just covers the costs. We have only got more than $70 per lamb four times in the last 20 years. If I had based investing in sheep 3 years ago when lambs averaged $150, I would have been at the peak of the cycle and heading for 7 years of lower prices.
To even out this problem, and to help clean up the pasture, we run a few beef animals. When we started we bought some beautiful MG heifers at 5 months old at weaning for $180 each. Then Europe got BSE and we lost lots of the hoped-for profit.
I've tried doing firewood, but in Nelson and Christchurch, wood fires are banned. Thus those persons who live in the country and are allowed wood-burner have too much spare firewood to be able to sell any.
We have tried goats, but we missed the Boer meat buck boom where good bucks sold for $35,000, and fibre goats sold for $5,000. On our land, goats are far too difficult.
If you cannot irrigate then you are extremely controlled by the rainfall. We cannot irrigate, and would not be allowed a permit to drill a well for irrigation.
If I were starting again, I would set myself up for beef cattle, and buy beef calves each year and sell them as 24 month olds each year, so half and half of each age group. Those years with too much growth I would make hay or balage (but that's getting too expensive now), and feed it out when needed. The years with insufficient growth I would buy rye-grass straw in mid-summer from Ashburton way.
So, in summary, unless you are extremely lucky at picking trends and the next moneymaking animal or crop, don't budget on making anything but a capital gain on your property.

sky, it is absolutely illegal to sell rabbit meat, or any other meat, unless your processing plant has the correct licences and Inspectors.


Canterbury

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