Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Self Reliant Farming in Mohave County

One of my favorite writers said this. I think the time to become a self reliant farmer is now for my generation and the one below me. If you research it there are startling statistics that lead one to believe that the price of food is about to dramatically increase at a time when Americans are already struggling.  According to the Labor Department, the median age for farmers and ranchers is 55.9 years old. With the high prices of farm equipment and and the farm land prices skyrocketing and a long drought we will see only corporations control the food supply.

25% of the food in the US is grown in California. California grows virtually all of the country’s walnuts and pistachios, 90% of the lemons and tangerines and a majority of the grapes, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, avocados, raspberries, kiwis, olives, dates and figs. It is country’s largest producer of melons, and it accounts for 60% of fresh vegetables.

One acre foot is 326,000 gallons. The state’s total agricultural and urban consumption, then, exceeded an incomprehensible 13.4 trillion gallons of water in California. Therefore I feel we are just a short time away from California restricting water use to farmers so much that is will have a huge effect on food prices for everyone in the US and abroad. The price of water, if supplied at all to the farmers, will be at increased rates and will force them to either cease food production or force the market to accept higher prices on the food from here on out.

Working as a real estate agent I always have people ask me how their land is "doing." Since the unprecedented downturn and the complete devaluation of land in Mohave County we don't see land values going up. Under rare circumstances the value goes up based upon what neighbors or doing or there being a scarcity of develop-able land in the area. However for the last decade land values have not escalated and probably won't. There are a lot of demographic trends that will contribute to flat prices but I'll get more into that later. I think the only potential now for your land is to convert it to something that does produce an income. We are finding that the soil and climate here are ideal for grapes for growing wine, nut trees such as pistachios, almonds, pecans, row crops, cotton and alfalfa ( the later two not being my favorite due to water consumption). There is probably potential for bee hives here as well, small chicken operations and maybe even hydroponics.

I think the time is now for millenials and gen-xers and even some young thinking baby boomers to buy land and start creating a sustainable, and self reliant existence. We have lost touch with where our food comes from and when we do find out where it comes from through a documentary or a clip on youtube we are repulsed to think that we make meat animals live that way for their short existence on earth. Furthermore we are disgusted by the amount of chemicals we are consuming with our food from spraying and poisoning pests. This would all change if we learned and grew what we eat.

I think it is also important to become self reliant as there will come a time when government checks and food stamps will cease due to increased debt of our nation. You can argue against me on this, however look at the situations in Greece and Venezuela when those countries basically collapsed. We would be ignorant to think that that could never happen here. We are not too far behind those countries in terms of the breaking point in the debt that forces those dire situations. Those who are self reliant, have educated themselves on food and have planned will be the ones who prosper in the coming times.

Land prices here are historically low. We can find nice land at 1,000 per acre or less. Some of the land at these prices even has water already supplied to it either with a well or by a rural water company. Therefore with 10,000 dollars you could start looking for your own land to buy to start your own mini farm or ranch. If you don't have that much money you can always find land where the owner will carry the note or the loan on the property so you can get started earlier.


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