If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know that we purchased a farmland a few months ago. I explained how we decided to go with a farm within 2-4 hours from Bangalore in a previous post. As we started our search for a farm, we figured out we could go several different ways. I explain one such method of owning a farm in this post, which is known as managed farmland. We did not go this route in the end but I just want to explain our thought process as we embarked on this journey of doing organic farming.

A park in a managed farm

When we started exploring farms, one method of doing organic farming was by the way of managed farmland. As I explained in some of my earlier posts, we have a constraint that we cannot move to the farm immediately because we have to take care of our parents and they are not confident to move into a small village with limited access to good hospitals and health care. At the same time, our kid has grown up old enough to have made some friends near the place where we are currently living. So we did not want to break her ties and force her to start over.

The managed farmland sounded like a possible option for us although we are not sure at the time if it was the right option. A managed farmland is somewhat like a gated community. Basically, a large farmland is made into smaller plots of fixed sizes. These could range from quarter acre to 2 acres or sometimes even larger plots. You purchase a plot and they will be managed by “professional agricultural specialists”. So you don’t need to know anything about farming. They will maintain everything for you including water, weeding etc. Some may charge a small amount per sq. ft for maintaining it.

Plots on either side of the road

Some managed farms plant commercial crops and will pay you a small part of their profit. Some just go for organic, natural, permaculture farming etc. So you can choose what kind of managed farm you’d like. The advantage of going with this kind of farm is that someone else would have done all the due diligence of checking the papers and making sure it has a clear title and free from encumbrance. Again, it is somewhat like purchasing a house in a gated community as opposed to buying a house from an individual. It lowers the risk but also increases the cost of ownership. However, you don’t have to take care of the farm. Useful for people like us who can’t move immediately and cannot visit the farm on a daily basis because it is far from the city where they live.

More plots on either side of the road

Given that we are so poor at assessing the correct value of things and also the fact that we are extremely susceptible to getting cheated, we thought this might be a good option. Although we were not really sure if managed farm is the thing we would like, we decided to check one out. I try and avoid giving names as much as possible in this blog whether it be places we visited or mutual funds I invest in or people who asked me advice etc, so I will leave out the name of the place we visited. It was about 2 hours drive from where we live. it is actually very close to south Bangalore and would take much less time to reach there, but we live very north of Bangalore.

Admin building of the managed farm we visited

We visited the place and the admin building was huge. The reception area was almost like that of a 5 star hotel. Nice couches, coffee when you need it, air conditioned with large glass windows and doors. It had a very upscale feel to it. After doing some basic paper work, an agent took us in a jeep to show the place. The surroundings were well maintained. There were some water bodies here and there but not a whole lot of water. They have bores as well. Not sure how long the water bodies and underground water table can support the farm with such lush green grass and lots of trees. We saw a few available plots and I liked a couple of them. Some built very fancy “farm houses” on their plots. They were surrounded by greenery.

Reception area

It gives you a feeling of living in greenery, but not the feeling of living in a natural farm inside a village. It had a very artificial look, something that I can’t put my finger on. Moreover, we did not like the fact that they are managed by someone. We will lose our autonomy and will not be able to design our farm the way we would like it. It will be like moving from our gated community living in a house to another gated community living in a farm. It did not take much time for us to take the decision. We are not the “managed farm” kind of people. All the pictures you have seen thus far are from the managed farms we visited. It looked more like a resort than farm :).

Some water bodies

So our search for more managed farms came to an end. Another method of owing a farm is to go with a few like minded friends and buy a big area and split amongst the friends. This is how we started, but the problem is getting liked minded people. I mean even if we are like minded now, our thoughts may drift in the future and then how will be split the farm if one of the friends want to sell their part of the farm. Moreover, the friends we find like minded don’t all agree on the location. Some like western ghats, some want closer to Bangalore and so on. Hence we decided to give this model of buying a farm a pass too,