Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daily Report: A Day At Fox Lea Farms

Uncle Bob, Truck, and Trailer

Uncle Bob watches Marian and the
kids playing games.
Today I was invited by my cousin Jon to join him and his family and his father, Uncle Bob, at Fox Lea Farms in Venice to watch his older daughter, Brooke, compete in an equestrian show being held there.

Fox Lea Farms is a very nice place just on the outskirts of Venice, with large paddocks, great viewing, and lovely vistas. There are also 30 sites at which one can park a camper for the night, and an on-site restaurant to pick up meals. Uncle Bob and his friend Marian stayed on the grounds in Marian's trailer, which made the day even nicer, with a big comfy cool room to return to when the heat got to be too much.

I had a member of Brooke's stable, Olivia, explain things to me a little bit so I was not too confused — this was my first horse event of any kind.

There are lots and lots of horse-based sports, from a local Rodeo all the way up to the Olympics. What Brooke would be doing was called "hunter", which is a subcategory of jumping ("show jumping", the other category, is more about speed; "hunter" is more about a horse's style), and "equitation" which is a competition in horse-riding posture, grace, and horsemanship.

It was also fun to learn all the different types of horse colors (roan, bay, pinto, appaloosa to name a few) and breeds (thoroughbred, warmblood, mustang). What was also interesting is the costs associated with riding: This is definitely not a sport for those without deep pockets.

Overall, Brooke was the best rider of the day, taking home second place in 4 out of her 5 classes (which beats a first and a bunch of thirds and fourths, like all the other competitors). So well done there.

After the competition was over, Uncle Bob cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, and we had a lovely lunch. Then it was back home to have a nap and then get some work done!

It was a lot of fun going out to the show, and I appreciate the invitation!


mn dave said...

Hello, Jil, I'm Dave from Minnesota and I check in on your blog from time to time, mostly to find info on the Philippines, I wondered how your online writing endeavors are going? My friend told me that helium was a the best site, but I am curious as to how Odesk has treated you? I also want to move to the Philippines, but I need an income while there, what do most expats do while there? I have about 30 grand, but that does not seem to be enough to get me into the resort or restaurant biz, at least looking online, kinda curious as to what you see the other expats doing for work? Thanks Dave

Jil Wrinkle said...

oDesk has promise, but only if you have a marketable skill that you don't mind earning $6 or $8 an hour for... which works out to $240 to $320 a month... around 40,000 pisos per month. Some people could survive on that in The Philippines, I could not.

There are very, very few expatriates earning a reasonable "American-sized" living from businesses they started in The Philippines... I would estimate the number is in the 5% range. And yes, most of them did have a nest egg to start that business when they arrived. But, if you are careful and choose your business well (agriculture is still my choice, if I had the funds), you can expect to make a 80% to 100% ROI per year on a business venture.

An additional 10% to 20% of expatriates have set up little businesses of their own (internet caf├ęs, little grocery ("sari-sari") stores, taxis, restaurants, et cetera) from which they earn anywhere from $500 to $1,000 a month, that they use to supplement their retirement.

mn dave said...

thanks for the info, It is helpful, how much do you need to get into the agriculture biz? what type of crop? I actually have a background in organic farming and am good at it. thanks dave.

Jil Wrinkle said...

That's the nice thing about agriculture in The Philippines: It is scalable; most everybody in is involved in agriculture to some extent, even if it is a small patch of fruit or vegetables or a few chickens running around the yard for personal consumption.

The question is how to turn it into a profit that you can live on. You have to go to The Philippines, look into each individual crop and see how it is grown and harvested and sold ("sold" is the most important: work your business plan backwards through the growing process, not forward), and then come up with your own personalized solution based on how much money you can afford (to lose... always that chance).

I looked at 6 or 7 different areas of agriculture, and the one that I like best is chicken farming. Others to consider: pig farming, fishing (experience of one friend notwithstanding), rare hardwoods (for a long-term investment), and piggeries. I actually even looked at frogs one time: Huge profit in those as they breed like crazy and don't cost anything to feed.