Having decided on the sort of enterprise to which you are most
suited, the next stage is to analyse where you intend to carry out
With the urban kitchen or shed the choices are
fairly clear: cooking in one, woodwork, pottery and other bench
crafts in the other. Spinning only occupies a space some four feet
square and weaving not much more, depending on the size of
loom. These are all traditional country-style occupations from
which you can earn money in an urban setting.
The most shabby
looking buildings are valuable if they suit the enterprise you have
in mind. Sheep like plenty of ventilation if housed; hay and straw
can be stored in not much more than a roof on legs. Cattle also
thrive in fresh air if you have room to keep them.
buildings, like stables, solid-sided barns and so on, the choice of
enterprise increases to include pig- or poultry-keeping.
buildings make the choice easy. We bought a property once with
a pig farm on it. There was a farrowing house (a maternity unit),
pens for the sows and fattening pens for porkers. To build that
from scratch would have cost us more than we paid for the house
and buildings so the asset was extremely valuable to us. When we
sold the house and pig farm many years later the new owner
knocked the whole lot down because the asset had no value for
him. We just wished we could have transported the buildings. A
dairy or similar building has beautifully lined walls, it is ideal for
milk or other food production, drains will have been laid to carry
water well away - that is assuming, of course, that whoever
constructed the dairy did as they were meant to. Even the dirtiest
old dairies tend to respond miraculously to some tender loving
care and a great deal of soap and water.
If you have a range of glasshouses then their value is dependent
on their condition. Acres and acres of glasshouses have fallen into
disrepair. Almost inevitably it is then cheaper to pull them all
down and erect polytunnels. Having said that, it is cheaper still
more often a liability than an asset.
With a great many buildings of
all sorts of shapes and sizes your choice is governed by the land, if
any, that you also have. Many enterprises with livestock can be
carried out without land whereas some, like sheep-keeping, are
really only practicable if there is land in the summer. Of course,
the land does not have to be with the buildings. Many sheep and
cattle farmers rent land to which they travel to check their livestock.
With a lot of land and buildings you can either separate the
two, running intensive livestock in the buildings and farming the
land, or you can use the buildings with the land, for inwintering
livestock and so on.
...pigsty, shed, barn, garage