No Land...No Problem
This post is for all my readers who live in town and keep having the "if I only had some land" thoughts. The other day Leah and I were riding in the car and couldn't help but notice all the land around here that is just sitting there doing nothing. We passed field after field of headed out orchard grass and weeds. With the demise of the small dairy farms in the north east we have lots of small farms that just sit and I imagine its the same somewhere near you. Leah said something about what a shame it was to see all that potential grass land wasting away. We both remarked how great it would be to see that land covered with pastured broilers or layers. Latter in the week I was reading something by Joel Salatin, and it hit me. The beauty of these pastured poultry models is that they are cheap and portable. Sure everyone wants to own land, and it is a noble and good thing to desire. But.... If you are just starting out and have a lot of learning to do, the time to learn is NOT when you start having mortgage payments due. As I travel around I see lots of land that is just begging to have chickens or something on it. If you stop and ask, chances are pretty good the land owner would love to see it being used. Especially the older folks. You can rent most of this land cheap and if you find the right folks,, you might get it for nothing or for some frozen birds. You could build up your business and get a running start without the worries that come with land payments. You could build a customer base and when you had a good cash flow, then you could start looking at land within a reasonable distance of your buyers. As Chad Degenhart has been writing about, this may not be the best time to go buying land anyway. Prices will come down to more reasonable levels. So, go get in the car and start driving around. Stop and chat with land owners. Build some floorless cages in the garage and start rounding up some feeders and waterers. This next spring you could be farming. Sure it might be a small step, but you need to do SOMETHING. You want raise chickens? No Land- No Problem.