Moving to a Rural Property

by : Gary Ashton



In these days of stringent cash flow, when even the New York Times publishes a story about the 'recession diet', some of us must be wishing we still owned the family farm! The thought of selling up and buying a small acreage is something that many of us think of when the cash runs short and days start getting sunny and long. Often rural property can give you more for your buck, so it may be worth getting an appraisal to find out.

Being your own boss and bringing 'home' the bacon sounds like an idyllic life. Many people think they will give it a try when they retire and maybe this is one of the best times to do it, when you have a small income coming in as well as your produce. Other people think it is an ideal way of life when you have young kids, and so they give it a try with the family still young.

Are there really lots of advantages to owning a small acreage? Well, a small acreage does not allow for many farming choices, but they can still offer tax breaks. One of the animals that can be bred on a small acreage is the Alpaca, and this will still allow you to slide into the bracket for income tax relief. Tax breaks are listed in the leaflet, #225 - The Farmer's Tax Guide.

Once you have your tax break established, you can think about raising your own vegetables which will help your budget in a big way. It will probably also give you lots of backache, so you have to offset the price of some deep tissue massage oil.

Chickens are one thing that will feed you without your getting backache. The taste of fresh organic eggs is something that not all of us are familiar with. You need to have a coop and a chicken shelter, commonly known as a chicken house. The chicken house will need to be cleaned, but these days there is a new method called 'deep litter method' which requires clean up about four times a year. You can check it out on the Internet.

A chicken coop is a wired-in area that stops your chickens from roaming all over the place. Although chickens have wings, they only fly in 'low and short' spurts. However, if you want to have a vegetable patch or a lawn, you will not want them in there - hence the coop.

They also need a chicken house for shelter at night. Some people make a small portable chicken coop which they move around their yard. This gives you control over which new areas the chickens will use to scratch and to feed. However, they can only do this on the rougher parts of a yard - do not let them near your lawn - they will ruin it!

Some people let them have a free run at dusk; this is because once darkness comes they always make their own way back to the chicken house, so they cannot do too much damage in such a short period of time. If you do this, you will need to wire off your vegetable patch.

Apart from the free eggs, there are many vegetables that can be grown on your own land. Some people grow enough and sell their excess at farmer's markets. Others do 'swaps' for fresh milk or home-grown meat.

If you do not like too much hard work, then you can plant an orchard of varied fruit trees; your local nursery will carry the type of tree that is suitable for your area. Cherries come early in July and apples are harvested late into September, with most everything else in between. Choose a variety of fruits to eat all summer long.

In rural life, a freezer is a necessity, as vegetables tend to harvest simultaneously, and can usually be frozen. Leaf vegetables such as spinach freeze best after being cooked.

The country life is a lot of work, but it is a healthy life. If you wish to explore the possibility of moving to the country, your local real estate agent will be able to help you investigate the financial aspects of a move.