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Advisor

Re: Greener grass/other side of the fence?

You are right about keeping up more than one house.  It gets more and mroe expensive to maintain, and managing rental property is not for the faint of heart.  Our 34-year-old son handles ours, thank goodness.  I woud sell them all, if they were not smack in the middle of Mike's homeplace. 

Hope you can realize your dream.  Your background in horticulture has helped you avoid the worst of the climate, and benefit from microclimates on your property.  Had you thought about raising some ornamentals from cuttings.  Something that is deerproof, or that you can raise in a small area that can be secured?

We have a neighbor who starts boxwoods from cuttings.  He manages to sell thousands of them every year.  Another neighbor raises chrysantemums and sells them at farmers' markets and to groups who mark them up and use them for fundraising project sales in the fall.  I've also seen some stories about farms that raise and sell fresh herbs and veggies to high-end restaurants in town. 

Your well would make a cheaper water supply for a hort operation.  You can diversify into several smaller enterprises, and not be dependent upon a single crop.  I love hazelnuts, though, so hope you do get to raise some down the road...they aer delicious!  I've heard way wilder schemes. 

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Contributor

Re: Greener grass/other side of the fence?

My "dream home" was found due to my sister. She bought the house next door.  I bought the farm through HUD.  Seems the couple who bought it a several  years earlier had lied about thier income and couldn't afford it. (so goes those lax standards for loans) When it went into foreclosure it sat empty for nearly two years.  It has been more like the movie "Money Trap" due to having to replace all the leaking plumbing, new furnace, now the water heater might be leaking but we're not sure due to the flooding rains lately?  It's always something.

My sister's property connects to mine so we gain about six more acres. She wants to make a business creating a "You Cut "cutting garden where people can choose their own bouquets.  We are both into crafts and herbs.  As far as selling ornamentals we have quite a bit of competition with so many greenhouses in our area.  We have many Amish communities who sell dirt cheap. They have no overhead and their families keep labor costs low. They are hard to beat when it comes to prices. 

I'll be encouraging others to grow filberts/hazelnuts since there isn't a market for them in the Midwest. We need organizations/associations to move the market into something that hasn't been done before.

That my mission in life...Go where no man has gone before. Smiley Wink

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Advisor

Re: Greener grass/other side of the fence?

Best of luck to you and your sister.  Every business is about location, location, location!  That includes whoever else is in the same marketplace with ability to make money at lower prices to the consumer. 

Time is also an important element, which was why I was pointing out some  shorter turnaround crops.  I can see that you've thought this business plan through, and I am hopeful for you that you can limit the deer damage. 

You are singing to the choir on re-doing an old country home.  It is a never-ending endeavor.  We are lucky to have a son who is a very good contractor, but even at the family discount, he is not cheap.  Mike can handle most of the wiring repairs at a middling to minor level, and I eventually find time to wield a paintbrush. 

Wish you well...hope you will continue to stick with our group, and keep us posted on your progress. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Greener grass/other side of the fence?

I think the materials really take a chunk of change even if you're doing all the work yourself.

With the increase in gas, I'm sure everything will go up.  I maybe can't always afford the most expensive "top of the line", but I don't like to scrimp on the quality when we're doing a renovation. 

I'm waiting for warmer weather so we can finally get that window in my dining room.  I've been letting my cleaning go to pot; wasted energy when I know what a mess I'll be in soon.

Starting to look for wallpaper or something like that.  Hard to get my mind in that direction when I'm so anxious for spring gardening to start.  *sigh*

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Senior Contributor

Re: Greener grass/other side of the fence?

We own most of the land next to us, and the rest of it has been put in government trees. Land in our area is not for sale, so unless all of us decide to leave at one time, it will always stay in the family. There is a few hundred that could sell, but I don't see that happening either. Most new homes are going up around 15 miles from us. We are in an area where most people would not want to live, and its hard to pick our farm up and move.

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