I am sure every acreage owner has the same thoughts from time to time. There must be some magic crop that takes no room to grow and is incredibly valuable. Truffles, anyone?
Of course, the reason some crops are more valuable is generally that they're difficult to grow, labour intensive and need very specific conditions. If they were easy, everyone would be growing them.
The cottage gives us an advantage, luckily for us. With very little ongoing effort, our 11 acres will be soon be earning us $200 a week. The new tenant is due to move in in three weeks time and Dan will pretty much work without stopping between now and then to have it ready for her, but after that it should be a fairly low maintenance affair. In fact, it should actually be helpful for us as she's effectively renting about 4 acres and will be maintaining the grass and gardens there herself. It also gives us some tax breaks, as some maintenance costs around here become partly tax-deductible.
Maintenance costs. Did I mention our mower is in the shop having $1500 worth of repairs done? Maintenance costs are painful.
We're running our neighbour's cattle out the back on the flood plain (useless for much other than livestock), but not charging any money for it at this point. In return, he and his wife help us around the place here and there which - given Dan typically works a 50-60 hour week - is proving very useful for the jobs he doesn't have time to tackle.
But, I've had an idea for the rest of our land... An idea I'm nursing close at this point until I can do more research, plant a few test plants and make sure it is actually as cracking an idea as I think it is now.
I think I MAY have found a crop that will grow easily here, will be a good little earner and will tie in with some other skills I have to create another small income stream.
I will keep you posted.
Do you have a cracking cash-earning idea for small farms? I promise I might not steal it.