In cities where land used to build houses, skyscrapers, roadways and parking lots trumps dirt to farm.
You don’t see food producers. Zip for farmers. But in rural areas, where there is plenty of space and less competition for creating large house lot subdivisions, shopping malls, there is migration happening.
I hear from more and more younger wannabe micro farmers that are savvy. Looking for simple, crime free living for their families. Not just chasing lofty salary career objectives. Not out to set the World on fire. Or make a big name for themselves.
But simply after a healthy peaceful living. Honest rewarding back to the land work. Creating wealth from the farm dirt.
Become Jack of all trades empowered to learn to do it themselves because big bankrolls to peel off bills to hire it done is not in the cards they hold.
But in rural areas, cheaper land is not the wolf at the door to tame, charm. Transportation to market ease, food hubs are just a few of the daily challenges.
The creative urban producers rent don’t buy land or form partnerships with older farmers. Land trusts to fend off developers for now makes it unsettling. But still easier to peddle what is grown, raised being so close to the consumer. In the tail end of the production food chain, the consumers surrounding their operations to create a way to monetize the back to the land lifestyle they seek.
Younger farmers are at a disadvantage over established ones with deeper pockets. And in our country a high percentage of farmers have graying temples, receding hairlines or no hair at all.
Averaging an age of 59 plus years and climbing. You have seen the many pick up commercials starring especially Dodge or Chrysler products.
Using a farm theme to showcase the guy or gal. In jeans, cowboy boots and sporting a farmer’s tan. Sliding behind the wheel putting in long hours for little pay. To homestead, advance the back to the land movement. Hopefully to pass what the hard working farm family creates on to the next generation of producers. Because we all know, no farmer, no food young grasshopper. Organic farming in Maine is growing in popularity too.
In my job as a real estate broker of 35 years, more buyers are asking do you have a food co op, a farmer’s market?
Not just asking the tell me about your hospital, schools and the quality of your local library now. Good food grown close to home, locally sourced and healthy, safe, in consistent abundance. It is so important. In small rural communties, where you know the producer on a personal level in a small Maine town.
Cheap dirt, quality of life, simple living but hard work round the clock. Hard to squeeze in vacations.
Especially if you have animals needing to see your smiling puss a number of times each day.
For winter flakes of hay, watering, the coffee can of grain. For conversation in the dead of winter to break up the boredom of barn yard life. Waiting for spring, fresh clover to eat and roll in, the warmer temperatures.
Unlike crops, orchards, tree plantation types of small farming require. Farming in Maine, growing, raising crops or critters. Where you are head honcho.CEO with a farmer’s tan, no cufflinks. But doing whatever it takes on the small Maine farm to perform the many tasks. Logging the long hours of labor. With no guaranteed hourly wage for the effort. At the end of a farm day starting in the dark, ending the same way.
But like anything worthwhile in life, hunger improves the taste. What hits you the hardest is what rewards you the most. Like being challenged by your toughest teacher that reminds you this is not your best work. Let’s try again. More effort this second time around though. Because we both know you can do better. And she was right.
As a small Maine farmer struggling to scratch the dirt. Eek out a living. To feed your family. Get them raised tall, strong, happy and best. With values, the right beliefs and morals. It os always pile on the hard work with farming. But your choice, was self inflicted. To buy and develop for farming as much Maine land as you can afford.
I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker