If you call yourself a beginning farmer, but you aren't farming because you have no place to farm does that mean you are still a farmer? That question is really a bit to deep for me, but I did want to spend some more time talking about land because I know how big of an issue this is for beginning farmers. If you remember from episode 75 I spent most of the episode talking about my latest beginning farmer idea ... renting an abandoned homestead area to begin your farm. Of course that idea may not be possible or appealing to everyone, so I wanted to share a few more ruminations on land that I have been running through my head lately when it comes to beginning farmers.
After our first official "farm building" (besides the house) was done I was showing it to my uncle and explaining how I planned on using it. He really only had one comment, "It's not big enough." Of course I tried to explain that I built it as big as I could afford, but what he was really saying is that no matter how big it is you'll never have one big enough because there is always something else you want to have indoors or under cover! He was right ... and now that I'm almost 6 years into my farming journey I'm wishing I had more land. In my mind that is another plus for renting because it may not tie you down to a very specific area like purchasing does. Plus, if I would have tried started out on a very small parcel I may have had a better idea of just how much area was needed for my farming ventures.
Another way to find access to land that I think isn't pursued enough is the idea of partnering with a current farmer. That may mean coming to some sort of agreement with a potentially retiring farmer, possibly finding employment with a farmer looking to change directions or slowly work their way out, or maybe even just come alongside a farmer who has areas of the farm that aren't being utilized. Whatever the agreement may be I believe the value that you would gain as the beginning farmer would be more than just access to land ... there would also be a potential wealth of knowledge that you could mine!
Do you have any advice for the beginner looking for a place to farm? Let us know in the comments below!
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