Monday, May 26, 2008

Appreciate What You Have

What else can I use at the title? We were told about a farm to rent. Kinda an on again off again possibility for a farm to rent. It opened up and it looked like a viable opportunity. Well, it wasn't as cut and dry as that.

The free stall was kinda new relative to many of the barns we have looked at. It had been rented however. Tenents often don't give two s**** when renting a facility and there were clear wear and tear issues. The owner made it clear that we as tenents would be responsible for not only all repairs, but would have to pay the guy back for repairs he had done! Weigh jars I could understand, but the PVC pipe to fix the vacuum?

OK. If he was a reasonable sort, that can work... Just keep a detailed record of our repairs for the next guy...

Barn was $500/month. Ok. That comes with minimal pasture and the fellow across the street (who everyone likes a lot) would rent out pastures there. Then hay. We offered $30/acre or add on another $100/month for lease of land.

The deal killer, however, was the electric bill. Apparently we would have to not only pay the electric on the barns (reasonable as we are using them), we'd have to pay for them for their house and out sheds for their beef too! I am not naive enough to assume that it only costs $80/month or less to run electricity through a farm house... And why are we paying more in rent monthly for that anyways?

Contemplation as we go out into the pastures a little. Pig weed. The lad had been cleared of debris and I admit you can see that a lot of work had been done to improve the ambience of the farm. There wasn't the extreme clutter that is common on a lot of these "used farms". Cattle had grazed in a semi continuous system on the remaining pastures. Kinda spent considering the lack of rain. The counter from the to be land lord was $700/month if we used the whole farm. He liked what we do, but I guess that is a priveledge of his electric bills, improving his farm infrastructure and getting him a discount on taxes (ag assessment).

We are not that desperate to move. Well I am not. Dave is in a minor state of depression again. I suggested a realistic counter-offer to see if he would be interested in a viable farm business in the place, but Dave figures he would not be interested in this at all.

We then looked at one of the more realistic farms. In Fort Edward. The house and barns are on Rte 4. It would be interesting, but again we would have to eliminate the reduction of debt part of our considerations for moving. I'm ok with that as it is a great direct marketing location and I think that we could remove debt faster as I willnot have to marekt and distribute product so far from the farm. I think Dave realized I was right and this didn't set well.

We got home about 11pm. Belle was still outside. Joe on the poarch. (Abel was with us). We woke up in various states of recovery from such a long trip. One cow had a sore from foot. Claire woke with a cold. Joe had to get me up at 3am or so to go out. Dave didn;t get to sleep until 1:30am. I felt like I had a hang over (and haven't had a drink in ages...). I also woke up late.

It is a beautiful morning. Our farm looks pretty damn good compared to a lot of these places we have seen since January. I am ok with staying. We have done a pretty damn good job. I think we definetly listed our place at the right price the first time. You cannot find a place in better shape out there to do this kind of farming. Not in VT, NH, NY or MA. Not for less! I think we are ok with staying. I think we are ok with not taking less than what it is worth.

Now to start the haying season...

No comments: