6. Amazon Prime.
What does Amazon have to do with farming? Everything. The internet has shrunk the world and changed what it means to “be at work” or to go shopping. Even though he city is now pretty close to us on our farm, and stores are an easy drive away, Amazon is still my go to choice for things we need. This is a game changer for living in the country. You can have access to the world at your fingertips with the power of the internet. You can telecommute, you can video conference, you can even learn about being a farmer all from your computer while out in the country. Being “stuck in the boonies” isn’t the curse it used to be. You can be as connected to the world as you like, then turn off the computer and have this.
Taxes are their own topic. Heck, they are their own profession. Suffice to say, tax savings are the number one reason to own a farm, a topic thoroughly covered in these posts.
8. Work on what you want to
There is a lot of work owning a farm. Period. There is no way around that. If you don’t like cutting the grass on 1/4 acre, you won’t like 100 acres. However, it’s not all toil and drudgery. If you have a large farm, maintain your house as you like and lease out the rest of the farm to another farmer. You get the income, they get all the work. Lawn maintenance services can knock out big jobs like yours more efficiently than small jobs. The price isn’t too bad. Repairmen are still available just like for your suburban residence. Pretty much anything that needs to be done can be outsourced.
Or you can tackle the things you like and enjoy, improve your skill set, teach your kids a new skill, and drop that blood pressure again. There is no substitute for having a barn, the right tools, and some time to sit and work on something that matters to you.
9. Hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.
For some people, these would be the first things they’d list. I spent many hours fishing the ponds on our farm growing up, yearning to be Bill Dance and have a Ranger boat some day. When I got older, I finally bought a boat and went to the lakes to fish like a real fisherman. I learned that the fishing I’d been doing my whole life was so much better than what I could do on the lake and promptly sold my boat. A private pond is a treasure, one that you and your kids will enjoy. Deer plots, bird watching, honey bees, trapping, whatever your fancy, having a farm allows you to pursue and manage for the betterment of that activity. And usually there is an assistance program that will assist you in putting in the needed resources like wildlife habitats, be it cost assistance or technical advice. Putting land back to nature benefits not only you and your family, but the environment as well.
10. Do something tangible
When my father bought the farm, I couldn’t understand it. He worked 60 hours a week minimum. Then he came home and worked another entire job on the farm. He said it helped him relax and to think clearly again. To me, relaxing was sitting on your butt watching TV. But when I got older and entered the working world, I learned that work was challenging in ways I didn’t appreciate as a kid. I found that coming home to the farm, and spending some time on a tangible project was magical. Seeing the results of my labor, even if it was simply the clean rows of a freshly mowed pasture, was very fulfilling in ways that doing my latest TPS report could never provide. Seeing a newborn calf, or a new section of fence installed focused my mind and let me clear away the junk that had accumulated during my week. Over the years I’ve seen companies have corporate retreats. I was even invited on a few of them but politely refused. I never understood corporate retreats because why would I go on a retreat when I could simply go home to the farm. That’s where my real thinking was taking place.