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early retirement extreme

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15045
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
The general idea is:

1)  work a normal job, but live so frugally that you are squirreling away 75% of your income.  Try to get your living expenses under $500 per month.  (he outlines how it can be done)

2)  after five years, your saved money is invested.  The return on the investment is about $500 per month.  You can now retire.  Before the age of 30.

http://earlyretirementextreme.com/

It sounds like he now has a job where he works 4 hours per week and his take home pay is currently greater than $500 per month. 

I bought the book.  I saved a little money by getting the kindle edition and got the free kindle reader for the pc.  I discovered that I don't like the kindle reader.

I like how the book gives a map so you can find the numbers that fit you best.  I also like how he lays out mortgages, loans, working all your life, and all sorts of stuff like that is "for others". 

I wish I had grokked this way of thinking 20 years ago.




sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6498
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
Aint that the truth!  Why do we all learn this stuff at the end, instead of at the beginning?

The paradigm is "Work hard so you can support yourself."  In reality, it is "Work hard so you can support the system."
                                  


Joined: Jul 01, 2011
Posts: 13
Location: California
Hi,

I no longer do the 4 hour work thing. It was an editing job for a math journal.

You guys might like this book review from another permaculture site.

http://permaculture.org.au/2010/11/08/early-retirement-extreme/

cheers,
Jacob/ERE
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15045
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Jacob,

Do you have a position on permaculture?

Do you have a garden?

Do you have a page that talks about your current situation?

(currently reading through your 21 day makeover)
                                  


Joined: Jul 01, 2011
Posts: 13
Location: California
I've read Mollison's and Holmgrens books but I've been moving every 2-4 years since I was 19 and I still haven't moved from in the place of my last job. Thus I haven't built anything "permanent". This year is my first serious attempt of gardening (beyond a few tomato plants and some failed attempts at other plants). I'm building self-watering containers out of 5 gallon buckets. I'm not allowed to dig into the ground where I live. The self-watering aspect is important/useful since temperature often reach 100+ in the summer and I don't like to waste water which seems to be a California state-sport---the nightly runoff from people's automated sprinkler systems and straight into the drains... ARGH. I'm in hardiness zone 9. The buckets seem to work. It's the first time we've been able to grow lettuce here. I figure that permaculture principles aren't applicable to my little container farm (12 buckets), so I haven't even considered it.

One could say ERE is permaculture without the gardening. It follows many of the principles laid out in Holmgren's book but applies them to consumption, work, and finance instead. All these are really general system theoretical concepts. They work wherever you have a system and you want to make the system sustainable and efficient.

I don't write detailed updates about my current situation. It's a blog, so it's spread all over. The best thing is probably the About ERE and About Me pages that are linked at the top of my homepage.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15045
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Are you familiar with Rob Roy's book "Mortgage Free"?
                                  


Joined: Jul 01, 2011
Posts: 13
Location: California
I've heard about it. I haven't read it.

My very first motivation (when I was 24ish) was to save enough money to buy my first house in cash to save on interest. Figure 30 years times 6% and you get 180% of the price of the house, effectively paying for it three times. I wanted to avoid that.

So when we ultimately decide on a state to live in, we'll be paying cash.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15045
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
"Mortgage Free" lays out a lot of stuff similar to your stuff. 

1)  cut your living expenses to the bone and save up a "grubstake"

2)  buy a chunk of bare land outright and build a crappy shack on it

3)  while living in the crappy shack, build a tiny home that is designed for future extension.

4)  remodel and expand as needed.

Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1402
Location: Chihuahua Desert
my problem is that I want to retire without having to earn money in the first place....


Living off grid - guides for the off grid lifestyle in the modern age
Homesteading - latest updates and projects from our off grid homestead
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15045
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
It's good to want things. 

I think the "early retirement extreme" stuff makes it look easy enough.  And you can choose your own path.



 
                                  


Joined: Jul 01, 2011
Posts: 13
Location: California
You could do it without having saved a nest egg.

I picked up the editing job mentioned above (it paid $30/hour on a 1099 basis) while I still had my career/salary as a fun side-job. After quitting my career, I kept the editing job until I got serious on finishing up my book. Then I quit the editing job too. I found that working 20-30 hours per month was enough to pay all my expenses. That's basically 45 minutes to an hour per day.

Of course if you don't have any investments, you don't have the option of quitting, but comparably speaking, working an hour a day from anywhere you like as long as there's an internet connection is not bad.

The main thing is really learning how to live well without spending money and be so self-reliant that you only need to spend $500/month. If you can't get below $1500/month, it would be a whole other story. The journal I worked for didn't have enough work to make that much on a consistent basis and so one would have to seek out multiple clients and before you know it, you'd have a full-time job again.

I'd also recommend Charles Long's "How to live/survive without a salary".
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
It sounds like you really enjoy the challenge of living minimally, and that's great! I can relate to an extent, for sure.

I found what I've read on your blog and PRI to be potentially insightful/a good kick in the butt to get people to look twice at how they live. To me though, I felt a bit protective of my inner artist/little kid. Yes, I think one can live both simply and aesthetically richly, but I have to watch my attitude--frugality too easily can bleed over to sucking myself dry. I think as long as this whole self-examination/shifting process feels creative and full of discovery, it is life-nourishing. If it ever feels stifling, I would re-shift so that I could follow my inspirations in the moment, even if it costs a little money. Often, I find that my willingness to do so leads to something better than had I held back, even ultimately in my flow of monetary abundance.

Your thoughts are certainly a nice contrast to the often numb hyper-indulgence many are used to. Thank you!


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
Abe Connally


Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1402
Location: Chihuahua Desert
we survive on less than $500/month (family of 4) for more than a decade, but because our needs our low, our income is as well.  Sure, we could earn $1500, and save $1,000 a month, but we wouldn't have time to do all the other stuff we love doing, like watching bees and playing with pigs....

My point is that voluntary poverty is fine, and as long as you have regular income, you can use that to leverage a nest egg.  But, if you don't have the income, then saving isn't really in the stars for you.

I don't want to work more, and I work about 20 hours a month as it is.  In fact, I would like to work even less, so that I can focus more on the homestead.

So, my approach is to leverage my time on the homestead to earn more of the income required.  I feed the rabbits, pigs, chickens, etc anyway, they might as well earn some money while I am at it.  Diversity is key with this, as is reducing costs.  Permaculture helps me achieve what I need to.

The big question here is how can those who are truly poor (earning less than $15/day) leverage their way out of poverty.  In many ways, they know how to live fairly frugally (though anyone can be better), but they lack the capital to invest and create a nest egg.

I find there are a whole lot more people who currently live below $500/month than there are of people who have trouble living on less than $1500/ month.
Steven Baxter


Joined: Mar 22, 2011
Posts: 254
velacreations wrote:
my problem is that I want to retire without having to earn money in the first place....




Hahaha, dont we all. 

Ya, its not how much $ you make, its how much you save and don't spend
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
I am frantically trying to pay down what little debt that we have so that I can take an early retirement.  I could hold out for another TEN years for a full retirement but I really don’t think I need it.

  What I need is to be at home doing the things I enjoy.  Fortunately the things I enjoy provide me with food. 

We bought a fixer upper and we have lots of ‘toys’ but all of our toys serve multiple purposes and are fuel efficient.  For example my scooter (retirement transportation) gets 80+ mpg.  Hubby bought a used Harley (I hate Harleys) but it was O.K. because it was cheap and gets 56mpg.

  We live in what most people like to call the ‘bad’ side of town.  Suits me just fine; my taxes are about $350 per year, no HOA fees, and I like my hardworking blue collar neighbors – we can count on each other.

Part of what drew me to permaculture was the idea that you can provide for yourself in a ‘closed-loop’ manner.  In other words – no money needed to provide food. 

So, really, if you have food, and you have shelter, what else do you really need?  At that point if you have any income it can be used for those ‘wants’ that most of us think we need.  In my case that would be chocolate and a good bottle of brown liquor.  Oh, and coffee!

1. my projects
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
South Carolina wrote:
So, really, if you have food, and you have shelter, what else do you really need?  At that point if you have any income it can be used for those ‘wants’ that most of us think we need.  In my case that would be chocolate and a good bottle of brown liquor.  Oh, and coffee!



Mark Vander Meer


Joined: Dec 12, 2009
Posts: 74
What's wrong with work?
Pat Black


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 123
Location: Northern New Mexico, USA
erejacob wrote:
I've heard about it. I haven't read it.

My very first motivation (when I was 24ish) was to save enough money to buy my first house in cash to save on interest. Figure 30 years times 6% and you get 180% of the price of the house, effectively paying for it three times. I wanted to avoid that.

So when we ultimately decide on a state to live in, we'll be paying cash.


Well, 15 year mortgages with good credit are under 4%, so it's more like 133%.

But what is the opportunity cost of not investing all that cash and putting it all in your house? If you make 6% a year on $100K and pay 20% of that 6% in taxes, you're getting a return of 4.8%. Reinvest that annually and after 15 years you've doubled your money. So in your scenario you want pay upfront to avoid 33% expenses rather than gain 100%. And that is not even taking into account the home mortgage interest deduction. There may be reasons to do this, but don't kid yourself that you're doing it to save money.



                                  


Joined: Jul 01, 2011
Posts: 13
Location: California
The risk is that interest rates go down. By taking on a mortgage when you have the money, you're essentially using leverage. What you suggest is the equivalent of owning your 100k house and then taking out a home equity loan for the entire amount at 4% to invest at 6%.

Leverage works fine as long as the interest rate you pay is lower than the interest rate you get. But it's very risky. If your investment return drops to, say 2%, you're losing money.

For example, since 1999 the market has gone exactly nowhere. Evaluations are as high as ever (P/E > 20), so this may well the story over the next 10-12 years as well.
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
I'm not real handy when it comes to all of the %s but here is my take on it:

When the SHTF and I lose my job, my pension, and my investments - if I don't owe any money I'm way ahead of every one else.

When I start calculating how much I'm going to have or how much I'm going to save - it is all dependent on my bank, my investments, and my pension.......still being there.

I am going to assume that they will not be there.  Then, if they are, I will be in gravy.  If not, then I still have my paid for property.  Yes, I still have to pay taxes but if it is that bad there will be a whole lot of people in worse shape than me.
jacque greenleaf
volunteer

Joined: Jan 21, 2009
Posts: 464
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
"What's wrong with work?"

Who says retired people don't work? We're just no longer trapped by bosses, evil co-workers, time clocks, and soul-sapping commutes.

If you have a paying job that does not involve any of the above, and you are happy to show up there, congratulations! You've won! Many of us were not so fortunate, and are very grateful to no longer have to dance to someone else's tune.
Pat Black


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 123
Location: Northern New Mexico, USA
Personally I don't see a great risk in interest rates going down right now. If anything, they probably will rise.

Yes, you have to be a smart investor to make it work. You have to evaluate the risk of your property declining in value just as much as any other investment such as securities. Plenty of people have lost money in both stocks and real estate, and still others have made money on them over the same time period. Some people can take advantage of leverage and make money, others cannot.

One reason that people might prefer to buy a house with cash instead of credit is that they don't think they can make a good return on their money elsewhere. Another reason might be if you felt the SHTF scenarios will start to play out sooner rather than later.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
$852 a month and debt free.


"When there is no life in the soil it is just dirt."
"MagicDave"
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
O.K., I hate playing devil’s advocate but I can’t help myself:

What is the risk of your property value declining if you don’t owe any money on it and you are not going to sell?

Seems to me the only risk there is that you have is  less equity to borrow more money against; that would be a bad thing if you want to get back into debt.

Also your property taxes should go down; that could be a very good thing.

I am hoping that nothing happens in my neighborhood to raise my property value for a very very long time – I don’t want to pay any more in taxes.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
I may be selling for any reasonable offer in a few months.  I only own the dwelling, not the property so I only pay personal property tax which is around $100 a year and has been going down for the last few years.  I live in a smallish mobile home so the first person that walks up and wants to hand me $4000 gets the title and I will load up my "stuff" and hit the road for a place where I can grow more food than here.  I have a friend with 50 acres which is mostly trees with some open areas.  I only need a couple of acres to do what I want.  He is a lifelong friend and will take food in lieu of any rent.
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
jacque g wrote:

We're just no longer trapped by bosses, evil co-workers, time clocks, and soul-sapping commutes.



Amen Brother,  I can work 16 hours a day on my place; sweating, pushing, hauling and swearing and it feels good.  The only moron I have to contend with is myself and we usually agree with each other.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3818
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  53
Mark Vander Meer wrote:
What's wrong with work?    Dale here. There's nothing wrong with work when you're doing what you want to do.Work for yourself if you want to escape bosses and time clocks.


QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Kirk Hutchison


Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Jeanine Gurley wrote:
The only moron I have to contend with is myself and we usually agree with each other.


LOL. I AGREE COMPLETELY!


Paleo Gardener Blog
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
I agree about 16 hour days doing what you love isn't really "working" but something completely different.  I love doing "stuff" like taking a piece of Hickory or Osage orange and sitting down at my pin vise with a draw knife and coaxing a tool handle or a bow from that piece of wood.  I have been known to only stop long enough to "use the facilities" LOL.  My "workshop" is outdoors under a tree in the shade unless it's raining or snowing.  The same was true when I was a performing musician.  I could play all night long as long as the audience was having a great time.  I still sit down to "wail" on my guitar for hours at a time when the "spirit moves me."  I want to have the opportunity to take a future flock of goats for walks in the woods.  None of it is anything like "work" even though it can be physically demanding at times.
Troy Rhodes


Joined: Feb 17, 2011
Posts: 202
    
    2
Borrowing money against your primary residence, and investing it to make money on the interest spread is valid, mathematically.  Borrow at 4, invest at 6, make 2. Simple.

Except not really.

Good financial advisors can quantify the risk, as a percentage.  But, for this discussion, let's say it's 3%.  That means that, on average, for thousands of people who do this, if you borrow at 4, and invest at 6, the group, on average, will lose 1%.  In reality, the quantified risk can be much higher than that, depending on what you invest it in.  So, if you're going to do this in a sophisticated way, you better make sure the spread justifies the additional risk.

Lots of people lost everything by purchasing rental real estate on highly leveraged, "no money down" situations.

Hey, it's a free country.

I would never do it against my house.  If you want to do it against other,  paid for real estate, your life won't get turned upside down (as much) if you lose it.

Dave Ramsey gets those calls all the time about people screwing up their house and losing it because everything didn't turn out just right.

HTH,

troy
                                                                    


Joined: Jul 10, 2010
Posts: 114
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Inflation is running about 10% per year in the USA.  This makes it very hard to "save" money.  The published CPI is not accurate and I do not recommend using it as it greatly understates the problem for political reasons.

A better solution for many is to work about 20 hours a month at something high paying.    This might be any number of high skilled jobs needed in the local economy. 

Permaculture can generate income via food production but it is usually a modest income but possibly adequate.   

Sorry to be negative on such a noble idea but that is the state of our economy.

The wonderful thing about fruit bearing trees is that fruit production grows exponentially for many years.  That is some good return on investment.

We live in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
www.permavations.com
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
paul wheaton wrote:
"Mortgage Free" lays out a lot of stuff similar to your stuff. 

1)  cut your living expenses to the bone and save up a "grubstake"

2)  buy a chunk of bare land outright and build a crappy shack on it

3)  while living in the crappy shack, build a tiny home that is designed for future extension.

4)  remodel and expand as needed.



This is the model of life in most places in the world.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
                                            


Joined: Jul 22, 2011
Posts: 13
I like the idea but I would want to do it a bit differently. I would LOVE to live for under $500 a month but I would take the excess and buy gold with it.

I know that alot of people say that and they sound crazy but unlike cash, cars, guns, or houses, which depreciate, gold is only running out and has been steadily rising for years.

I wouldn't want to retire at 30, I would want to keep working, keep saving, and keep buying gold until I have enough to buy a few franchise restaurants and have a decent amount left over.

unfortunately the problem would be convincing my wife to go along with the plan...the end part would be great, but she isn't the biggest fan of buying a house, or even living in the tiny house that I am building as a part of a homeless outreach project [I want to live in the house so that I can get a feel for what I would need to improve for real world applications.]

she really likes the idea of renting, but we don't ever use any of the perks of renting such as putting in repair calls or anything. I have tried showing her numbers and how I fix every thing but she still doesn't want to. Is there any way to convince her to make the plunge?


Nathan Wrzesinski
Http://TinyGreenLove.blogspot.com
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
misterinnovation wrote:
I like the idea but I would want to do it a bit differently. I would LOVE to live for under $500 a month but I would take the excess and buy gold with it.

I know that alot of people say that and they sound crazy but unlike cash, cars, guns, or houses, which depreciate, gold is only running out and has been steadily rising for years.


Just a quick comment for you to think about. What do they use gold for that is not recyclable? Secondly, they are mining gold all the time, and if they ever get nanotech working, they can extract it from seawater. Gold isn't that scarce and it isn't "consumed".

The reason the price has steadily gone up, is the value of the dollar has gone down. In other words, gold holds its value, it doesn't move. It is currencies that move against it.

So, an investment in gold is saying that you don't trust the currency you use at this time. If you want think about something that they aren't making any more of, and always yields additional value, productive land. It was inflated because of the bubble, but there are good deals out there, and there is a finite amount.

Hard to go wrong with good land.  Keep your house small, but get as much land as you can.

Just my opinion.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
Fred Morgan wrote:
Just a quick comment for you to think about. What do they use gold for that is not recyclable? Secondly, they are mining gold all the time, and if they ever get nanotech working, they can extract it from seawater. Gold isn't that scarce and it isn't "consumed".

The reason the price has steadily gone up, is the value of the dollar has gone down. In other words, gold holds its value, it doesn't move. It is currencies that move against it.

So, an investment in gold is saying that you don't trust the currency you use at this time. If you want think about something that they aren't making any more of, and always yields additional value, productive land. It was inflated because of the bubble, but there are good deals out there, and there is a finite amount.

Hard to go wrong with good land.  Keep your house small, but get as much land as you can.

Just my opinion.
The deal with precious metals is that it has traditionally been considered "hard currency" and if a total economic collapse occurs we will experience hyperinflation.  Precious metals will be accepted for goods more readily than relatively worthless pieces of paper.  I have been slowly purchasing 1 oz. .999 pure silver ingots for the last several years.  The price has been pretty stable but does rise as gold rises.  It will always have similar liquidity as gold but doesn't "break the bank" to purchase it plus is has plenty of other uses. 
Land is a much wiser investment in the long run.  Will Rogers made that point way back when.  The problem with "real estate" has more to do with people thinking that buying a house was a wise investment but the reality sure hit home when the corrupt mortgage system collapsed. 
My younger sister and I are making a deal this week on a small parcel in western Pa. so I will have a little over 6 acres of mostly raw land to put my forest farming into practical application.  It is mostly trees and much of it will stay that way with the exception of an areas for some pasture development for our grazing livestock.
We are getting this land that was a farm 20 years ago or so.  The majority of the property was left wild which suits me perfectly well.  There is a very good well on the property too.   I am pretty excited about it.
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
I'm investing in apples, pears, and nut trees 
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Dave Bennett wrote:
The deal with precious metals is that it has traditionally been considered "hard currency" and if a total economic collapse occurs we will experience hyperinflation.  Precious metals will be accepted for goods more readily than relatively worthless pieces of paper.  I have been slowly purchasing 1 oz. .999 pure silver ingots for the last several years.  The price has been pretty stable but does rise as gold rises.  It will always have similar liquidity as gold but doesn't "break the bank" to purchase it plus is has plenty of other uses. 
Land is a much wiser investment in the long run.  Will Rogers made that point way back when.  The problem with "real estate" has more to do with people thinking that buying a house was a wise investment but the reality sure hit home when the corrupt mortgage system collapsed. 
My younger sister and I are making a deal this week on a small parcel in western Pa. so I will have a little over 6 acres of mostly raw land to put my forest farming into practical application.  It is mostly trees and much of it will stay that way with the exception of an areas for some pasture development for our grazing livestock.
We are getting this land that was a farm 20 years ago or so.  The majority of the property was left wild which suits me perfectly well.  There is a very good well on the property too.   I am pretty excited about it.


I concur. I do think that one of my sheep or cattle will be easier to sell than gold, if I really have to.  By the way, to show I put my money where my mouth is, we own nearly 900 acres. Okay, maybe I am out of control. 
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1279
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Fred Morgan wrote:
I concur. I do think that one of my sheep or cattle will be easier to sell than gold, if I really have to.  By the way, to show I put my money where my mouth is, we own nearly 900 acres. Okay, maybe I am out of control. 


In some places 900A is not that big... Where I grew up you could just barely make it on a half section (320A but in that area a quarter is the smallest anyone talks about and 6 sec in a family farm is common) but where I am now, 5A can grow enough to live on and maybe even pay the land tax. Farm sizes are often 40 to 80 A.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Len wrote:
In some places 900A is not that big... Where I grew up you could just barely make it on a half section (320A but in that area a quarter is the smallest anyone talks about and 6 sec in a family farm is common) but where I am now, 5A can grow enough to live on and maybe even pay the land tax. Farm sizes are often 40 to 80 A.


A lot of the time, the really monster farms are poor soil. You might have one head of cattle per ten acres, here on volcanic soil in the tropics, 1.5 acres per head is about right.  But yeah, 900 acres in Texas is a hobby farm. Here, the average is about 40 acres.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1279
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Fred Morgan wrote:
A lot of the time, the really monster farms are poor soil. You might have one head of cattle per ten acres, here on volcanic soil in the tropics, 1.5 acres per head is about right.  But yeah, 900 acres in Texas is a hobby farm. Here, the average is about 40 acres.


Climate has somewhat to do with it too. I grew up around Calgary, Alberta. The growing season is maybe half what we have on the west coast... still about 49.5 deg north.
 
 
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cast iron skillet 49er

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