Friday, February 13, 2015

Greenhouse woes and small farming article

You all know that I was going to buy a large polycarbonate greenhouse to replace our polytunnel which is always needing its skin repaired.
Well I was going to get one a bit bigger at 9m long but I went onto the shire council website to see if I needed planning permission for it but it was too big, so I decided on two 6m ones which I thought I would be fine with.

It turns out that I read the councils measurements wrong and these were still too big. Our council is well known to be difficult with getting planning permissions, and it costs a lot of money so I didn't want to try going down that road.

Anyway, I have decided to go for three of these 3.7 x 2.5m ones. It is not an ideal solution but we will still end up with the same total floorspace that we have now and they are small enough not to need permission. I just hope the council doesn't inspect them one day and tell us we cheated the system and tell us to get rid of them.

At least it will save money if one gets damaged in our high spring winds and needs repair as it will be a lot cheaper to repair or replace a singe one rather than the lot. I am hoping here that the wind doesn't damage the lot, lol.


Today someone posted a link on Facebook to this article: http://www.salon.com/2015/02/10/what_nobody_told_me_about_small_farming_i_cant_make_a_living/

It really shook me up as they couldn't make a living on ten acres so what am I going to do with less than two. Up till now I have held out hope that with a bit more time and more efficiency I would at least be able to break even but I think I am going to have to work on a different strategy. I have been talking about concentrating on mostly seeds and maybe I will have to do that and grow a lot more seedstock.

Everything in the article is exactly as I have experienced and it is hard to come to grips with the fact that with society as it is it probably won't get better *sigh* I am going to have to do some thinking but I really hope I can come up with something that doesn't involve going back to a 9-5 job.



1 comment:

  1. Rowan, I too am in the same boat. The most money I have ever made farming is $12,000. That was the first year there was a farmer's market, and I went to 2 a week. I couldn't keep it up. Farming 60 hours a week, and then another 5 at each market.

    The early years, the fees at the markets were very low. Now, they take a percentage and with the inspection fees, I end up spending almost $2000 before the market ever starts.

    Having to purchase things like greenhouses, row cover, timers, irrigation equipment, and seeds sort of takes all the money I make.

    I haven't figured out how to change the dynamic of this, so no my farm isn't sustainable either, and it's been 25 years.

    It's sad isn't it?

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