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Turning 2 acres into a profitable business

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    We’re on 2 acres here in the Adelaide Hills. I’d like to make this property make enough money to help pay the mortgage. We’re on a north facing slope & have bore & rain water only, but enough of it with average yearly rainfall 900-1000mm. I’m after ideas as to what we could do here that would turn a profit. Animals and/or vegies & fruit.

    Also any good books to read about it.


    the only book I know about is Jackie French, ‘MAKING MONEY FROM OF YOUR GARDEN’ – there is also a couple of magazines, ‘THE HOME FARMER’ it’s full of people on the land etc, – hopefully your library can get them in

    hopefully someone else on here, knows of the Home Farmer 🙂 as I’m not sure that is the full title


    All fruit and veg are seasonal, so there will always be times when your not producing. Same with animals. Though with only 2 acres, you woldnt fit many on it. Breeding chickens could work..? We used to do it down in Millicent and dad used to travel with the show chooks, gave our chicks extra credit to be bred from good stock. We would hand raise the chicks, andtrain them (theres lots to train for showing, they have to be able to sit still, stand up straight, you need to be able to bath them and clip wings and nails etc. They really have to be calm.)

    Anyway, its just a suggestion, it worked well for us on a small block of land. Oh, and dad and i had a little competition going. He had some really huge expensive roosters, i had bantams… my bantams were not show animals when i got them, but i trained them myself and in the end I won more awards with them than dad! 😉


    I am not sure about books but as crystal says, crops are seasonal, but you can mix crops so that you have crops coming on at regular intervals. For instance something like berry hedges around the external area allowing for other crops to be planted in the centre. With this sort of use, you would need to consider your market and perhaps cool storage. Just a thought anyway.

    I agree that 2 acres is not enough for a livestock production but plenty of room for a market garden. I would probably not do chickens on this amount of land but if you did then you would also need to think about proximity of an abattoir (for meat birds) and check out the regulations for eggs. I would think that for free range birds, 2 acres would not be sufficient to have enough numbers to be viable and still be able to rotate or rest your land.

    Good luck, sounds like a good plan.


    there is a fellow up here, who makes his whole living off his 2acres, with his vegies, he is chemical free, he sells and the markets and ALWAYS sold out early – 🙂


    Its important to do your market research on possible financial ventures first.

    Have a look at your soils (I’m hazarding in the Hills they are primarily metamorphic and would be pretty shallow and with poor fertility in parts, and its a relatively low rainfall area?). How would these relatively inflexible parameters affect your business bottom line?

    Go to all the markets and check out the competitors

    Consider growing a niche market crop that only needs harvesting a few times a year and does its thing for the rest of the year (eg: garlic, rhubarb, fresh berries). There is no point growing something that everyone else does at home, or that is already oversaturated in the existing market.

    Investigate costs of organic certification and weigh up the difference in prices you may be able to claim from your consumers. It is 3 year process to become fully certified (with BFA).

    Write YOUR BUSINESS PLAN – very important. PM me if you like and I’ll send you a good plan template.

    Talk to your family about this venture. A lot. See how much help they are prepared to give. Many businesses fail because the proponents assume that the partner and/or children are willing to help, then when push comes to shove, there is not enough engagement in the objectives for family memberes to pull their weight, leading to a lot of stress and marital disharmony.

    Attend a BEC course or equivalent (generally about 50 bucks per session) to fully understand the risks and pitfalls of starting up an agricultural business.

    Hope this helps



    Sprite post=335251 wrote: Its important to do your market research on possible financial ventures first.

    Consider growing a niche market crop that only needs harvesting a few times a year and does its thing for the rest of the year (eg: garlic, rhubarb, fresh berries). There is no point growing something that everyone else does at home, or that is already oversaturated in the existing market.


    Or look to “Value Add” to something.. EG, grow tomatoes, but sell sauce and pickles.

    Also look at cut flowers.. I know a couple of people who make a good profit growing native flowers and foliage. The benefit of this is you should be able to grow something local to your area, natives don’t require much water or care 🙂 Down side would be you would have to find your market, and it would most probably be in the city. If you were able to sell direct as a supplier though this would make it easier.





    If you decide do anything that requires a commercial kitchen. Look at hiring it out too. Someone local to me does this when they aren’t using it.


    Bandicoot Valley, it sound like a great idea. However, do you need to start a business and is it the best way of helping reduce your mortgage? Maybe consider trying to grow and make all the things you need therefore spending less and having more of your exiting income to pay off the mortgage.

    Business’ cost money to run whereas home growing & production does not have the added costs of bureaucracy, travelling to markets, taxation, and all the flim flam associated with having a shingle. You cant claim input costs for non business home production but your inputs are way lower thus far exceeding any taxation benefit.

    I grow mountains of food at my place and have cut down my food bill enormously. Any excess can be bartered/swapped for shortages with local like minded people and you may like to start a food swap like Diggers seeds does every month. I have just made my second batch of semi dried apricots and frankly they taste so good that I would not want to sell them.

    In addition you know exactly what you are eating and your food miles drop to a casual stroll from your patch to the kitchen door and a happy greeting from poochie.


    One of the things I’m going to do when I (finally) get to move is set up a pen to look after friends dogs during their holidays… The dog/s can hang out with my family most of the time but are penned while I’m away from home to make sure they are safe… I regularly look after a dog while his family is away and the idea ccame from that… Not a colossal moneymaker but several small things like this will certainly add up…


    I like Porgeys reply best or at least to start with. We have just bought 2 acres in Country Victoria. I would love my hubby to retire from paid work but it will be a few years yet. I work from home, growing veggies, looking after the chooks and now 2 goats.

    I also sew quilts, cushions, tablerunners and stuff like that which I sell on in my own little shop. I don’t sell much but it helps and keeps my hobby/interest in sewing booming along.

    We hope to get some bees in the future.

    Aquaponics system will be setup this year.

    I am always open to ideas to raise a bit more capital but my forte lies in saving money I think.

    Good luck I will listen to how you go.



    Hi Dayla, I appreciate your view on my slant on things. We all have to earn money but decreasing what you need to spend by being self sufficient can be a really great help in paying off the mortgage. You can grow oodles on two acres, have room to build and make things, store salvaged stuff for later use, and observe, learn, and participate in the natural world that imho is the best classroom and reward especially if you have children.

    You dont need anything really fancy to create a wonderful veggie garden and my most enjoyable part of the self sufficiency journey has been growing food from saved/swapped seed, in free soil and bartered manure.

    Currently I am growing a years supply of pumpkins, waiting to collect & store carrot, parsnip, lettuce & zucchini seeds, wondering were to store all the potatoes as I want a bath sometime, stewing/drying/preserving apricots/apples/peaches(soon)/nectarines(soon) etc,

    planning the great beetroot cook off and generally growing heaps of healthy organic food with no food miles that has slashed my food bill by about 90 percent.


    Thank you all for your replies. Yes, porgey’s reply did give me a lot of food for thought. I have pondered it all for a couple of days before responding & had a big chat to DH last night about what porgey said. We spent three hours this morning with a fencing contractor, talking about large yards for chooks, ducks, turkeys, including the run of the orchard & a wallaby yard too. The breeding of the chooks here has been going brilliantly & we now have about 70 birds. Breeding them to sell, keeping some to eat, selling the excess eggs seems to be the way to go. Growing the majority of their feed will be the next step. It will be small scale, keeping it more as self sustaining pocket money more than anything else. We homeschool our children and yes, porgey, your point is spot on about this place being a natural learning ground. I think the best thing you can teach children these days is how to grow their own.

    The reality of an enterprise being run from here, while I believe is absolutely possible, I think would detract from the enjoyment of living this lifestyle. It’s like the old story of the man who lived a simple life by a beach on a tropical island and spent his days fishing. A businessman was holidaying nearby & spoke to the man “you have such a fantastic place here, you should build some huts & rent them out to holiday makers. Then you could afford to buy more things, make more money. You would have to work long, hard hours, but you could make a fortune!” The man said “and then what would I do with my fortune?” The businessman replied, “well, then you could afford a holiday somewhere beautiful and sit and relax & spend as long as you want fishing.”

    I will still pursue smaller passions with the aim of making a bit of money, but when they become too much like work & not enough about passion, then it’s time to scale it back. No need for biggering. At least not until our children are grown.


    sounds like a wonderful plan, goodluck


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