A Farm Of Interest

Thought I would keep you all up to date and let you know what is happening with our farm search. At this time we have had no offers on our farm and Niki and I have not found a farm that we want to pull the trigger on yet. I did come across a farm that I thought was interesting and would make a good farm that a contrary farmer could make a go of and make some money on. I call it “A Farm Of Interest”, It is listed here    http://www.landandfarm.com/property/40_acres_in_Grundy_County_Missouri-552290/

It is a 40 acre apple orchard in Missouri that has over 1400 apple trees. It has a house, barn, cooler, and a store front already on the property and at only 118,000. What more could you ask for? I tried to get Niki interested with this but she wouldn’t go for it.

As you can see from this picture below it has some pasture too.

View of apple farm

My thought for this farm other than just keeping it as apple orchard where family’s could come and pick their own fresh organic apples is to also raise pigs and feed them grass and apples.  All the apples that fall to the ground you could let the pigs harvest themselves. I bet the pork would be the best tasting pork you could find. You could sell the pork out of the store front on the property along with all the other things you can make with apples. Things like applewood smoked bacon, apple butter, apple pies, apple jam, and apple cider to name a few. I would also like to make hard apple cider. We could bottle it like beer and call it “Milligan’s Hard Apple Cider”

The house has some character and would be worth restoring.

Cute house on this farm

I think it would be a good idea and with me not having any farming experience I wouldn’t know if my idea for the place would work but would be willing to try if I could just get my wife to go for it. Look at the listing and then tell me what you all think,  could my idea work? What are your thoughts on this place?

About Gordon Milligan

I am a retired conductor for a commuter railroad in Chicago IL, I now live in and have bought a 40 acre farm in South Central Iowa that I have built from the ground up. My wife and I are trying to raise and grow most of my own food using sustainible and organic methods. I have a blog that journals my journey to becoming a farmer.
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20 Responses to A Farm Of Interest

  1. Langela says:

    I guess my question would be, if it can make money, why are they selling? I am always leary of buying a business unless the person is retiring. Is there good hard-surface road frontage? Does the area look as though it could support the business? The house is cute, though. And the dream is a wonderful sounding one. I’d love to have an orchard. Is the location one that would work for you?

    • Thanks for replying langela. To answer your question I don’t know why they are selling the place. They might have went out of business this year because of the 80 degree temprtures we had in March. It caused a lot of fruit trees to blosum early then there was a hard frost again in April. That knocked off the blosums and most fruit ddn’t happen. This is just a guess on my part. By the looks of things it looks like an old Orchard so the couple who owns it could be just retiring. That would be a good question to ask, thanks for that advice.The last question is no the location is one that would not work for us. It is too far from my daughter in Des Moines and farther from Chicago and that is why my wife don’t like it.

  2. Dennis McDonough (RR guy on the train) says:

    Have you looked into farmland in Canada?

    • Hi Dennis, thanks for stopping by. I would love to look for farmland in Canada, the hunting and fishing is fantastic there. I also don’t mind the cold and I think my Scottish Highland cattle would do much better there too. Sadly my wife thinks Missouri is to far from her family in Chicago so I know she won’t go for Canada, she said she wouldn’t be willing to move that far away. We would like to keep the drive back to Chicago under 6 hrs.

  3. Karen says:

    The house does have a lot of charm and possibilities. Just remember all those apple trees have to be harvested at the same time, a lot of work! I wonder what apple/orchard equipment is for sale, how far away from a town?

    • Hi Karen, when I looked it up on google earth there is a nice size town close by. I don’t remember the name of the town, but it looked like less then 10 miles away. I know it would be a lot of work to harvest all those apples and would probably have to hire some seasonal help for the job.

      • Karen says:

        You will find the perfect place you will both love! You are going about this in all the right ways!

  4. Pigs sound like a good idea to me, but the orchard part might be quite a bit of work. I’m no orchard expert, but I beleive that the trees need to be replaced every 5 years or so. Not to mention all the mowing (grazing) and pest-control that they require. Make sure to do your homework: http://extension.missouri.edu/main/DisplayCategory.aspx?C=36

    • Karen says:

      I wonder how chickens would work for pest control on the ground and to eat the apples on the ground. My chickens love apples!

      • I bet chickens would work great too and would make a great asset of this farm. Farm fresh eggs would make another nice product to add to the store. Chickens would definitely help keep the bug and fly populations down, I could pasture them under the trees as well. Great idea.

    • Thanks for your input Andrew and thanks for the link. I have saved it to my favorites and will be using that site plenty with all the information it has on a variety of things. Yea before I buy this place I would need to do more research, I had no idea you might have to replace the trees every 5 years.

      By the way, how long did it take you to find your new farm?

  5. My fear would be those pigs in the orchard. Fresh animal manure equals possible e coli contamination on all those apples that fall to the ground. Contamination could carry over to children picking up the fruits, or to the cider if proper pasteurization wasn’t done. Then there would be the problem of wormy apples if the trees aren’t properly sprayed. Wouldn’t anything sold to the public have to be inspected or certified or licensed or…..something? Lots of red tape, I’d think. You’d have to be a very adventurous soul to tackle something like this.

    • Thanks Granny, you bring up a lot of good points. All those things I would have to consider. You are also right about the red tape, it seems if you sell anything to the public they make you jump through a lot of hoops. I would have to learn all of those laws that deal with that, it is something else to consider.

  6. Sarah says:

    IM TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH THIS FARM AND YOUR IDEAS FOR IT! It lookes like some beautiful land….

  7. It looks like a lovely place, BUT (of course there’s a but) I’d think both you and your wife should be enthusiastic about wherever you end up. It does sound too far from the grandkids–and what a loss that would be, not being able to have them regularly on your farm.

    My husband has adopted the fruit trees we planted, and I can tell you, they are a LOT of work! Even with mature trees, there’s regular pruning, disposal of fallen branches and leaves, watering during drought, worrying about a late freeze after blossoming, getting up into the trees to harvest. And yes, that would be a tremendous amount of apples to be harvested all at once (or almost so, if they were smart enough to plant several varieties that mature at different times.)

    Pigs would definitely love apples, but I think you’d have to keep the pigs out of the orchard. Ours love to scratch against the fence posts or the portable chicken coop, and it doesn’t take long for them to get big enough to do damage. They even chew on the metal gate, so I’d really worry about them damaging the trees. Why don’t you ask Walter Jeffries at Sugar Mountain Farm: http://SugarMtnFarm.com/ ? He’s my pig guru! I would also think you would want to ration the number of apples the pigs got to make sure their diet had enough protein and not an excess of carbohydrates from the apples. But I could be wrong. And applewood smoked bacon is out of this world!

    I also think you might be surprised how destructive some people would be in a pick-your-own set-up, for instance with kids climbing trees and breaking branches by swinging from them, etc. Sad to say, but most people just don’t take care of something that isn’t theirs.

    Of course, you could always remove some of the trees like Brent did with the old vines on his place in France. That would make the work more manageable, and you could get more pasture. I do wonder if 40 acres is big enough for the number of cattle you hope to run–unless you’re going to switch to Dexters! 😉 Just kidding you!

    Finally, the house is truly lovely and has a lot of character, although it looks like it needs a lot of work. Did you see inside it?

    It’s exciting getting to go farm shopping vicariously! Lots of luck with this–and I hope you can even enjoy it!

  8. Jewels says:

    What a neat place! I like this one a lot! Keep looking, the right one will come along. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Iowa Farms For Sale | Milligan's Gander Hill Farm

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