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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Feb 2013
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    92210
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    samarai

    Default First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    First time poster and future hobby farm owner. I just acquired a 5 acres lot near Idyllwild Calif with an elevation of 4600 acres and zone USDA 8b (10-15F). Half of lot is a rock hill, rest is flat but half of the flat land is a ponderosa pine forest. Once a home site is cleared, I figure to have about 1-1.5 acres of land to play with. Soil is sandy.

    My objective is to have a small organic farm for vegetable (leaning towards raised beds) and would love to have a mini vineyard. I will not be livestock as I travel quite a lot. But I do have a neighbor that boards horse. In the meantime, there will be weeds to clear, trees to cut, and some grading etc.,

    Can I get away with a Suzuki sidekick? Buy a snow plow attachment and convert the backseats to carry stuff.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    68
    Location
    SE Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4035 HST, Bradco 485 Backhoe, WoodMaxx WM8M Chipper, Mule 610, ASW TW650

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    Well, let's see if this helps . . .

    About 1 year ago my wife and I bought 29 acres in SE Oklahoma - about 2 hours from where we live now. About 5 acres had been cleared, the rest is forest. A couple of trails. We quickly realized that we were going to need something to use to get around on the property, carry stuff, etc. So we bought a gently used 4WD UTV (American Sportswork Trail Wagon - used to be sold at TS). This was the best thing that we bought in the first year. Even went so far as to buy a Dirt Works 3-point Cat 0 hitch system and some implements to do a little ground work (and with an eye towards starting a garden.)

    But as we became more ambitious with our projects and our planning, we decided that we needed to add a real tractor. Looked at the tractor as a 'time saver' versus trying to do a job with the UTV or doing it by hand. And then there were the jobs that we knew would take a tractor that we would have just put off until we owned one.

    Now that we have our Mahindra 4035, I expect the task of clearing the 300 feet of ROW for the power company to run electric to us to take just 1 weekend instead of 3 or 4 weekends of just doing it with a chain saw and the UTV. Going to mark and cut a new trail this weekend to gain some access to part of the property that we can't currently drive to. Without the FEL on the tractor that would have taken me forever! (But the UTV will get driven and used as much or more than the tractor even in the future.)

    So my advise would be to spend some time on your property and get a feel for the jobs that you expect to want to do. (Setting up your vegetable patch and vineyard. Clearing trails. Mowing the parts that are not forest. Etc.) Think long term. Then buy something that will more than take care of everything on your list - that way you hopefully won't end up going back later and having to 'buy bigger'.

    Hope this helps.

    Martin

  3. #3
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    17,236
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK-40, MF-135, Ventrac 4500Y

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    to TBN and I agree with Martin, Get a feel write down what you want to do and how and what your going to do it with.
    Then buy one size bigger.
    Murph ------------

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    9,393
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    I have never understood the interest in the small utv's, I use an older pickup with 4x4 and seem to go wherever I need to go. And be able to carry something in it with a good hvac and defroster. If you can get a separate lawn mower and tractor you will be golden.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    4,282
    Location
    Murray, KY
    Tractor
    265 MF / JD 310B Backhoe

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    Welcome.

    It kind of depends on how much of your retirement funds you want to spend today.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    4
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    92210
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    samarai

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    Thanks guy for helping out. This is a city boy's first experience in "farming", my experience so far limited to gardening in a suburbia home on a 10,000ft2 lot. I guess first thing first, how about I set a $10,000 budget? I do have all the basic gardening tools including a electric rototiller lol. I noticed some old used tractors on craigslist, are they worth going after?

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    9,393
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    Quote Originally Posted by toffee View Post
    Thanks guy for helping out. This is a city boy's first experience in "farming", my experience so far limited to gardening in a suburbia home on a 10,000ft2 lot. I guess first thing first, how about I set a $10,000 budget? I do have all the basic gardening tools including a electric rototiller lol. I noticed some old used tractors on craigslist, are they worth going after?
    I think $10,000 is a good budget to start with and yes some of the old used tractors can be a great choice. Tractors tend to last a lot longer than automobiles. While most people think a ten year old car is "old" a ten year old tractor can be just moderately used. I have one tractor that is forty years old this year and is as good as it ever was primarily because a lot of the small tractors only see limited use yet are well built.

  8. #8
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,538
    Location
    Sacramento
    Tractor
    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    Get yourself a small tractor like a kubota B-series. Used ones with front end loader are under $10K.
    Other options: Ford 8N (~$3K). Lots of these on eBay and Craigslist.
    Farmall Cub, Farmall Super A (under $2K).
    Forget about trucks for these chores which are best done with a real, genuine tractor.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    691
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    Cruise former posts and determine what you want to do and read about the success and failures of other posters. The site search engine is decent and there is a wealth of information to glean ideas from that may be related to what you want to do. Don't be in a hurry to spend your money until you decide exactly what will be required to achieve your goals. Spend time and then money.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member troutsqueezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    1,148
    Location
    Pilot Hill, CA.
    Tractor
    Kubota B21

    Default Re: First time hobby farm owner needs advise what equipment to have.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    I have never understood the interest in the small utv's, I use an older pickup with 4x4 and seem to go wherever I need to go.
    Which one is more FUN?
    - Dennis

    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    Kubota B21
    Polaris Ranger
    Yamaha Kodiak

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