2014: The search for perfect haskap farm land
2014’s theme was all about juggling life decisions, planning for the worst, expecting the best.
Started with an online horticulture business plan course, put on by the University of Guelph.
Initially trying to see if I could start up a 5-10 acre haskap farm, while being a firefighter. Different scenarios, looking into financial models, all before talking with two good friends asked me the question; do you really want to be a firefighter?
My answer was a no, I want to live off the land and work for myself.
Crunching the numbers proved I could not afford both, there was no way it could pay for the start-up costs of a farm while being in the force, however my already going career of Boilermaking could afford me a start-up. Even though it is called a start-up, haskaps take a minimum of 3 years to grow before harvest. So it was more like a start-up and wait.
The summer was spent looking around at land, trying to learn the business.
The truth is schooling never prepared me for the complications that come with real estate. Thinking it would be as easy as a MLS search, make a couple calls, ask for the best deal. Happily and quickly receiving the best deal, celebratory handshake, jumping high five and done. Unfortunately not even close.
The reality was the MLS search came up with many different locations, soil types/ depths, price points, sizes, topography, agents, just to name a few.
The solution was to create an attack plan. Starting with a list of needs and wants.
30 minute drive
40 Acres plus
Less than $4,000 per acre
Sloped land- 2%
No wasted land
Paved road access
Minimum 40 acres
Maximum 45 minute drive out of Edmonton
No more than $4,000 per acre
Hire a real estate friend, one of my two good friends who helped give my head a shake. At the time he was taking his real estate exam. Perfect fit. Kind of a win, win.