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Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13488

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 16 10:53 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

A long, long time ago, when I was barely out of shorts I did my teaching practice in Bolton and I did actually take an incubator into school for my class. The kids thought it was wonderful and so did I. I wasn't over enamoured with the teaching practice but thoroughly enjoyed hatching the eggs too. I was every bit as excited as the kids.

I also arranged a farm visit for them too. I well remember the day that I took a full coach load of kids to the large farm, on which, my dear old mum had been evacuated on during the war.
Hopefully, there are a load of fifty something olds somewhere, that have fond memories of when Mr Bodger came to do his teaching practice with them.

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34886
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 16 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

At mt school we have a lady who lends us a batch of eggs each year. We hatch them out in an incubator and then give the chicks back.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1423
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 16 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a friend who runs two play groups locally to me, she has chicks from one of her helpers/mother, but she also does things in the bug world too like moths and butterflies 'emerging/hatching' from chrsalis, which could be another string to your bow; I will ask how much she pays and how close to home she gets them from-but I think it is mail order. I will also ask her what other services she uses for her groups. I make lots of wooden bits already for both her groups.
What area are you in? I have a couple of ideas for early learners which are not "in production" by the big boys and so I don't want to give too much away as they could become ideas that get off the runway before they get poached, if you see what I mean and could give you an edge.

feathersandfibre



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 16 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for all of the replies
I am in north Nottinghamshire at the moment and hoping to find somewhere pretty local to where we are now.

Child minding is an option I have considered too and as a qualified teacher with the 'novelty' of a small holding I think I could charge top end of the going rate. I'd also have potential customers for other aspects of the holding then too and good opportunities for word of mouth from people who get to see how well the animals are cared for.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 16 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am in the "Don't give up your day job camp".

As a governor and often going in to help, I know schools won't consider this an essential spend. Redundencies are happening all over the place. Whilst hatching is a lovely thing to do I would think most schools could borrow from someone, somewhere.

I bought some pigs from someone who did child minding on their small holding. The husband wasn't coping on his own, and the wife couldn't assist on jobs, because the children weren't safe to be helping too. In the winter it gets very muddy, and no-one wants to be outside, everyday.

High end meat prices take a lot of time and energy to build up.

Depending on how much money you wanted to clear each week, I would consider part time in the local school, and look at any smallholding activity as food in your own larder and a little bit of pin money.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13488

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 16 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Spot on. This is advice coming to you from people who've been there and done that. There are very few people who have been able to make a profit from smallholding activities, let alone a living.

feathersandfibre



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 16 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks all for the honest advise, it is appreciated.

There's a place on the market locally that has been up for sale for quite a while now. It is a little over budget but has nearly 12 acres and loads of outbuildings. Looks like it has potential and means we could continue working as we are while we do the work it will need and then hopefully transition to part time as we are ready, but 12 acres seems a lot to take on all at once if we are still working full time. Considering taking look. But then of course there is the question of why it hasn't sold already...hmmm.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13488

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 16 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Renting a place ( If possible) could be a less daunting prospect. It would allow you to retain your capital.

We currently have a smallholding for sale with 200 apple trees, a small but busy cider and apple juice business and a set up for pigs which eats the profits from the cider.

feathersandfibre



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 16 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We are definitely open to renting.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1423
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 16 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have been talking around and bee keeping is another potential string to 'cash' cropping.
Another factor of having 12 acres is that if all grass then you can let that for sheep keep-winter and summer if you want and only let as much as you need to ie keep a bit back for you-but it would be money coming in and no work as long as the ground is well fenced. You could also let for cattle keep, and collect the manure for your veg. garden. 12 acres would probably keep at 2 per acre of young cattle-starting grazing at about 12 months old and out at 18months old. If the holding is all arable then you let it to a farmer for one season's crop-spring barley for example, this way there are no ties of tenancy and you insist on half payment up front and the other half on exit. You supply water and they supply their own fertiliser/applications and cultivations-harrowing, rolling etc. you can stipulate if spraying is allowed or not. It is important that the letting you create for your own property is temporary and does not exceed a year as the 'tenant' could create a tenancy from you! Short term lets mean you are in control-long term lets almost mean you are not in control-beware!
In the past I have had horse grazers, and those I have had don't pay very quickly-one still owes 200 and promises to pay, but has never got the money! So if you go that route then get the dosh up front-all of it!
If you go for renting there may be ingoings-money you pay to an outgoing tenant for their improvements, new gates and so on. Subletting-summer grazing/other folks cropping may not be allowed if you take a tenancy, by the landlord.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33683
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 16 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Aye, the more land there is, the cheaper it will be, per acre, possibly in total. Ask Tahir why he's got half of Essex, when he only wanted a couple of allotments.

Too much land isn't really an issue. You don't ave to do anything with it, and there's usually someone else who will take it, or a crop, off you annually. Even if it's as simple as letting someone take the hay.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1423
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 16 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That is how I do it Nick,I allow a chap to make hay off my land, I don't charge and that way I am not chasing money.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13488

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 16 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Letting the grazing can be a good idea as long as your fencing is adequate for whatever livestock you decide on. If it isn't and you need to fence prior to letting, then forget it. Fencing costs an arm and a leg even if you do it yourself.

feathersandfibre



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 16 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

On closer inspection the whole site needs fencing, it currently seems to be hit and miss hedging and a bit of old fencing in places.

A second option came up, a stunning plot of 3 acres in a lovely hamlet with fabulous views but there is currently no house or even planning for the site, although there are 2 small buildings. We love it, it would be perfect. Sadly we cannot get the money together to buy the land before getting planning permission to build and then a self build mortgage. Shame because it would probably work out a very affordable option in the long run. So the search goes on...

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1423
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 16 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fencing is expensive, but if you let it to one occupier then a boundary fence is all you need. But, if you sold the grass as a hay crop then it would pay for most of the fencing if not all, but in any event at least half of it, so that you can make a start. I would look long and hard at the 12 acres.
I once heard said,"you will never get the opportunity again to buy at the current price", and someone else said "Always buy a place you think you can afford in 3 years-'cos in 3 years you would wonder what you were worried about and wish you had bought more land!"
Prices are not likely to come down dramatically, but will go up overall.

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