A Taste of the Country- What Type of Farm is Right for You

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Considering a move to the New Zealand (NZ) countryside? Maybe you have always dreamed of collecting fresh eggs daily from your own chickens, feeding your kitchen scraps to the pigs, shearing your own flock of sheep to spin their wool and knit the cosiest of jumpers? What about growing all your own fruit and vegetables and working towards being self-sufficient for food?

Life in the country on a farm in NZ can be hard work with almost as many hours needed to maintain a hobby farm as a full scale farm. There will always be fences to repair, animals to move and feed, seeds to sow, harvesting etc. Farms cost money and often the expenses will exceed the earnings for at least the first few seasons depending on the crops grown as they reach maturity e.g. asparagus, nuts or grapevines.

A hobby farm may be called a lifestyle block in New Zealand often characterised by enough land to grow a fair amount of vegetables, room for fruit and or nut trees, keep a small flock of sheep, a large brood of free-range chickens, a couple of pigs, a house cow (for fresh raw milk), couple of beef cows for the freezer, a goat or two for milk and cheese making plus maybe a horse and a few ducks.

A hobby farm may be one you live on or visit regularly but you will also have a main source of income as the farm is just a hobby after all. Hobby farms can be scaled up when you have time for example when you retire or you find the hobby farm actually returns a significant income or living wage and you can quit your job early!

A hobby farm may allow you to grow all your own vegetables so that you don’t have to purchase from a supermarket. You may even find you have a surplus of seasonal vegetables to sell at a local market. If you are selling produce then you will need to keep a track of your costs and sales to work out profits for paying tax.

If you have a dream to live in the country the first thing you should do is write a list of what you need from your farm: livestock, pets, vegetables etc. or maybe you want to consider growing one product such as lavender commercially and using the oil to make natural body products for example. Whatever you decide remember that you will actually spend more hours ‘working’ on your hobby farm than you think you will with a never-ending ‘To-Do’ list or plans for expansion.

So whether you are looking to keep a couple of chickens in a coop or start selling fresh asparagus to the local restaurants on a massive scale, a move to the country could be just what you need to escape the hectic life of the city!

We at Stellar Machinery always have a stock of diesel and electric forklifts for sale both new and second hand forklifts. Visit our website www.stellarmachinery.co.nz for contact details and information on our used forklifts for sale in NZ. If you do not have the budget or need for a forklift full time consider our hire service to meet your needs.

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