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Spainish Newbies

Spainish Newbies

Old May 31st 2020, 8:57 am
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Default Spainish Newbies

Hey Everyone, we are Steve & Debbie and it is our dream, and we focus, to sell up and move to Spain permanently.
We have holidayed there many times and absolutely love the people and the vibe.
We will need a small income and so are looking for a small holding of about one hectare.
We are thinking of the following to give us a little income, and any comments would be really appreciated 😀
Olive farm of about 200 trees
Space for tent/caravan or a small hut type dwelling to let out as holiday lets
Some form of small market garden for veg to sell locally
Bees for honey to sell locally
We are also looking at any ways to be as self sufficient as possible so a well for water, solar panels for electric etc
We are not sure about areas to look at but we know we want to be somewhere with great cycling and walking routes, within 1 hour to an airport and the sea, and have fab views
We know there is a lot to consider and we have a lot to check out but with all going well we hope to be moving next year (corona virus depending)
Anyhow that’s about it for now, any feedback would be really appreciated
Salud
Steve & Deb



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Old May 31st 2020, 11:36 am
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Good luck, nice to have a dream :-)
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Old May 31st 2020, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

What passport do you hold? If you are from UK, implementation period finishes at the year end and from next year you become third country national. To live in Spain, you will need a visa and income requirement is going to be about 4 times the current level for EU citizens, around 32,000 euro a year.
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Old May 31st 2020, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

When you mention olives, I reckon many people here would naturally think of Andalucia. However, olives grow in other parts of Spain, successfully.
We live in the Basque country, not so good for olives, but if you were looking for a smallholding, then what comes to my mind could be Navarra, especially the drier south, or La Rioja, where lots of olive trees have been planted in favour of vines over the last few years.
Andalucia or similar is fine, but extremely hot in summer so water would be the number one priority. Yes, there is a big ex-pat community all along the various Costas, but is it what you really want?
Asturias is full of smallholdings, and reasonable land/property prices but too wet for olives.
Are you aware of the problem with the olive pest Xyllela fastidiosa devastation in Italy? so far, Spain seems spared, but one never knows.
Best wishes for whatever you find.
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Old May 31st 2020, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by Retired in Euskadi View Post
When you mention olives, I reckon many people here would naturally think of Andalucia. However, olives grow in other parts of Spain, successfully.
We live in the Basque country, not so good for olives, but if you were looking for a smallholding, then what comes to my mind could be Navarra, especially the drier south, or La Rioja, where lots of olive trees have been planted in favour of vines over the last few years.
Andalucia or similar is fine, but extremely hot in summer so water would be the number one priority. Yes, there is a big ex-pat community all along the various Costas, but is it what you really want?
Asturias is full of smallholdings, and reasonable land/property prices but too wet for olives.
Are you aware of the problem with the olive pest Xyllela fastidiosa devastation in Italy? so far, Spain seems spared, but one never knows.
Best wishes for whatever you find.
Thanks for your post; I have certainly read a lot about this pest and how it can decimate olive trees. If olives turn out to be a valid option then we will need to get a lot more savvy with running an olive farm; whether to go down the route of organic or mechanical (this I think will depend on if we could cope with the extra work involved in going organic!).
We have decided we would benefit from buying a property which already has a well (or cost for a bore hole to be drilled).
There also seems to be a few properties which grow almonds but I have no knowledge of this as a crop.
We are looking to sell our house early next year and move into rented to free up the capital to buy in Spain. We would then have the option to come out as often as needed to get the property ready to move in, whilst continuing to work in the UK.
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Old May 31st 2020, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by Joppa View Post
What passport do you hold? If you are from UK, implementation period finishes at the year end and from next year you become third country national. To live in Spain, you will need a visa and income requirement is going to be about 4 times the current level for EU citizens, around 32,000 euro a year.
Oooo thanks for this; I’ll have to do a lot more checking on the requirements we will need to adhere to.
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Old May 31st 2020, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by Free4ever View Post
Hey Everyone, we are Steve & Debbie and it is our dream, and we focus, to sell up and move to Spain permanently.
We have holidayed there many times and absolutely love the people and the vibe.
We will need a small income and so are looking for a small holding of about one hectare.
We are thinking of the following to give us a little income, and any comments would be really appreciated 😀
Olive farm of about 200 trees
Space for tent/caravan or a small hut type dwelling to let out as holiday lets
Some form of small market garden for veg to sell locally
Bees for honey to sell locally
We are also looking at any ways to be as self sufficient as possible so a well for water, solar panels for electric etc
We are not sure about areas to look at but we know we want to be somewhere with great cycling and walking routes, within 1 hour to an airport and the sea, and have fab views
We know there is a lot to consider and we have a lot to check out but with all going well we hope to be moving next year (corona virus depending)
Anyhow that’s about it for now, any feedback would be really appreciated
Salud
Steve & Deb
As others have already said, after Dec 31st you will be treated the same as someone from the US, Canada etc. So you will need a visa. (although if there is a deal, you may get some 'special treatment' being UK)

I will take the rest of the points in order.

One hectare would give you 400 plus olive trees. They don't bear any decent amount fruit until about 5 years old and peak at about 70 years. You can get about 4 to 5 litres per tree if it yields 50kg of olives (it won't be top quality) You do the math.
My FIL has about 200 trees on his land and he lets a local community picker take the harvest. After costs (harvest, pressing, filtering, batch testing, bottling) he gets next to nothing but about 50lt of oil a year. Its not worth his time picking them himself. Im planning on removing some of the trees when we get out later the year to plant other fruit trees.

Holiday lets. You NEED a licence and the site must conform to the local laws. If camping you will need proper toilets, showers, food storage etc. Also the land must be defined as not farm land. You can't build on rustic land (if there are no services its likely to be rustic)

Selling veg. Its possible but you will be competing with locals (so unless you speak the language you are already on the back foot)

Bees. Again you will need a licence if you wish to sell the honey. Not easy...

Cant answer the off grid living, but it might stop the licence for the camping site. Ive been to a few places with no power of water and its not the easiest life. Could you survive without some of the modern items we all take for granted (ok you can run some stuff on gas, but washing machines etc consume lot of power)

A couple of years ago we looked at a large parcel of land with an existing house, with power and water to run as a holiday adventure site (offering the chance for people to spend quality time with few distractions, picking fruit and veg for their own use). By the time I had spent weeks looking into the paperwork, licences and costs, it worked out I would need to keep a job in the Uk and commute to cover the bills. So unless you have a large sum of money and are prepared for hardship. Think twice, or even 3 times.

You might be better off moving over and getting to know the area and then branch out. That what we are doing.

We have family and friends in the area we now have a property in. Have visited 3 plus times a year for the last 15 years. We still plan on doing something similar to you but its better to make the arrangements once you are living in Spain permanently, which is what we plan to do in a couple of years.

Not wishing to give a negative answer, just trying to ensure you think long and hard. If you decide to go ahead I would love to hear what happens.
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Old May 31st 2020, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

We've got quite a few olive trees and I let a neighbour sort them out for a few bottles of oil every year. I think you either need a lot of trees to make anything from them or none at all and concentrate on other things.
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Old May 31st 2020, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by Free4ever View Post
Thanks for your post; I have certainly read a lot about this pest and how it can decimate olive trees. If olives turn out to be a valid option then we will need to get a lot more savvy with running an olive farm; whether to go down the route of organic or mechanical (this I think will depend on if we could cope with the extra work involved in going organic!).
We have decided we would benefit from buying a property which already has a well (or cost for a bore hole to be drilled).
There also seems to be a few properties which grow almonds but I have no knowledge of this as a crop.
We are looking to sell our house early next year and move into rented to free up the capital to buy in Spain. We would then have the option to come out as often as needed to get the property ready to move in, whilst continuing to work in the UK.
Barriej and others have given good advice. Even Spanish who grow up running Olive farms would probably tell you it's not profitable, unless it's really at a huge scale. And if you don't know the land and climate like locals do, it brings even more challenges. We grow fruit at home and have a large greenhouse but decided to only have something small in Spain, so we can actually enjoy time off when we are there. I don't know where you are looking in Spain but there is a lot to consider. The Girona province is well known when it comes to food and wine, as it has the right climate. Yes there is a huge market but one really has to have the knowledge. https://en.costabrava.org/what-to-do...and-gastronomy

Last edited by Moses2013; May 31st 2020 at 10:12 pm.
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Old Jun 1st 2020, 9:52 am
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I would mirror what others have said.

200 olives trees? Ours yield typically on average 40kg a tree. 5 kilos yields a litre of oil. However I have seen "200 trees" that would yield 5 or less per tree.

As well as the threat of xyella you would be entering the business at a bad time. Prices for your olives at the factory gate (though I would recommend joining a local co op) have plummeted this last year. Why? Over production through lots more planting and by using irrigation. Changing habits- younger folk are moving to other oils and butter. Trump putting on tariffs on Spanish olive oil because the EU illegally subsidised Airbus. It is quite a long list. I cannot see things changing quickly. There is also the serious threat of EU subsidies coming off or reducing. You need to be a registered farmer , in a co op and have a minimum holding (owned or rented) to qualify and the rules keep changing. If you are in a co op there are very strict rules to follow. For example to spray your trees or weeds or prune them you need to have been on a course for each and gained accreditation. The Co op runs the courses and they are free at ours. The pruning one is 8 days , four hours morning and four hours afternoon. You have follow up courses to keep you up to date. On the plus side it is a great way of integrating and learning. Oh forgot to mention the latest problem. Olives are susceptible to the olive fly. A Couple of years ago we noticed a new variety in our village dubbed the African olive fly. (who knows?) but it is resistant to the current spraying regime.

A big plus is you could get into the health system. There is a reduced rate for farmers but there are hoops to jump through. they are easier if you are in a co op. You also get a slightly better price for your olives by being in a co op.

My view on xyella is it is inevitable in its arrival in Mainland Spain. The UK DEFRA has already banned the import of olive trees , oleanders and Rosemary to try and prevent it hitting native trees and shrubs. there isn't a cure, it has been around in the far East for some years. If your trees are affected then they are ordered to be cut down and burnt along with any other healthy trees within say 200 metres. A financial and personal disaster for people affected. The groves might have been in the family for years.
Another plus is you might be able to pick up a grove for a good price. Folk selling because they have seen the writing on the wall, selling because of the Covid19 created recession which I believe will take Spain maybe ten years to recover from.

The bottom line is if you have energy it can be done. You won't make a lot of money, you will encounter a lot of bureaucracy on the way which can be soul destroying. We had a well drilled and unlike most locals even now, wanted it to be legal. Lots of paperwork. The authority came all the way from Seville (150 mins each way). Filled in paperwork, then a different person came back because they had done it wrong the first time. In the first years it delivered 70 cu metres a day, now due to everyone having illegal wells running on solar panels the aquifer is compromised and delivers maybe 2 a day. If you are buying a property with well/borehole water make sure it is as it says it is. My advice would be to think of a unique way to add value to a humdrum product. Like holidaying on a farm (but see warnings about holiday lets), guided tours. Eagle watching in Soria , lavender for oil and home produced products etc. Preferably choosing somewhere well off the beaten track.

The key thing mentioned earlier is do you qualify to become a resident post Brexit?

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Old Jun 1st 2020, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by Barriej View Post
As others have already said, after Dec 31st you will be treated the same as someone from the US, Canada etc. So you will need a visa. (although if there is a deal, you may get some 'special treatment' being UK)

I will take the rest of the points in order.

One hectare would give you 400 plus olive trees. They don't bear any decent amount fruit until about 5 years old and peak at about 70 years. You can get about 4 to 5 litres per tree if it yields 50kg of olives (it won't be top quality) You do the math.
My FIL has about 200 trees on his land and he lets a local community picker take the harvest. After costs (harvest, pressing, filtering, batch testing, bottling) he gets next to nothing but about 50lt of oil a year. Its not worth his time picking them himself. Im planning on removing some of the trees when we get out later the year to plant other fruit trees.

Holiday lets. You NEED a licence and the site must conform to the local laws. If camping you will need proper toilets, showers, food storage etc. Also the land must be defined as not farm land. You can't build on rustic land (if there are no services its likely to be rustic)

Selling veg. Its possible but you will be competing with locals (so unless you speak the language you are already on the back foot)

Bees. Again you will need a licence if you wish to sell the honey. Not easy...

Cant answer the off grid living, but it might stop the licence for the camping site. Ive been to a few places with no power of water and its not the easiest life. Could you survive without some of the modern items we all take for granted (ok you can run some stuff on gas, but washing machines etc consume lot of power)

A couple of years ago we looked at a large parcel of land with an existing house, with power and water to run as a holiday adventure site (offering the chance for people to spend quality time with few distractions, picking fruit and veg for their own use). By the time I had spent weeks looking into the paperwork, licences and costs, it worked out I would need to keep a job in the Uk and commute to cover the bills. So unless you have a large sum of money and are prepared for hardship. Think twice, or even 3 times.

You might be better off moving over and getting to know the area and then branch out. That what we are doing.

We have family and friends in the area we now have a property in. Have visited 3 plus times a year for the last 15 years. We still plan on doing something similar to you but its better to make the arrangements once you are living in Spain permanently, which is what we plan to do in a couple of years.

Not wishing to give a negative answer, just trying to ensure you think long and hard. If you decide to go ahead I would love to hear what happens.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, and to give us such a lot of information.
We have a lot to look into.
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Old Jun 1st 2020, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by olivefarmer View Post
I would mirror what others have said.

200 olives trees? Ours yield typically on average 40kg a tree. 5 kilos yields a litre of oil. However I have seen "200 trees" that would yield 5 or less per tree.

As well as the threat of xyella you would be entering the business at a bad time. Prices for your olives at the factory gate (though I would recommend joining a local co op) have plummeted this last year. Why? Over production through lots more planting and by using irrigation. Changing habits- younger folk are moving to other oils and butter. Trump putting on tariffs on Spanish olive oil because the EU illegally subsidised Airbus. It is quite a long list. I cannot see things changing quickly. There is also the serious threat of EU subsidies coming off or reducing. You need to be a registered farmer , in a co op and have a minimum holding (owned or rented) to qualify and the rules keep changing. If you are in a co op there are very strict rules to follow. For example to spray your trees or weeds or prune them you need to have been on a course for each and gained accreditation. The Co op runs the courses and they are free at ours. The pruning one is 8 days , four hours morning and four hours afternoon. You have follow up courses to keep you up to date. On the plus side it is a great way of integrating and learning. Oh forgot to mention the latest problem. Olives are susceptible to the olive fly. A Couple of years ago we noticed a new variety in our village dubbed the African olive fly. (who knows?) but it is resistant to the current spraying regime.

A big plus is you could get into the health system. There is a reduced rate for farmers but there are hoops to jump through. they are easier if you are in a co op. You also get a slightly better price for your olives by being in a co op.

My view on xyella is it is inevitable in its arrival in Mainland Spain. The UK DEFRA has already banned the import of olive trees , oleanders and Rosemary to try and prevent it hitting native trees and shrubs. there isn't a cure, it has been around in the far East for some years. If your trees are affected then they are ordered to be cut down and burnt along with any other healthy trees within say 200 metres. A financial and personal disaster for people affected. The groves might have been in the family for years.
Another plus is you might be able to pick up a grove for a good price. Folk selling because they have seen the writing on the wall, selling because of the Covid19 created recession which I believe will take Spain maybe ten years to recover from.

The bottom line is if you have energy it can be done. You won't make a lot of money, you will encounter a lot of bureaucracy on the way which can be soul destroying. We had a well drilled and unlike most locals even now, wanted it to be legal. Lots of paperwork. The authority came all the way from Seville (150 mins each way). Filled in paperwork, then a different person came back because they had done it wrong the first time. In the first years it delivered 70 cu metres a day, now due to everyone having illegal wells running on solar panels the aquifer is compromised and delivers maybe 2 a day. If you are buying a property with well/borehole water make sure it is as it says it is. My advice would be to think of a unique way to add value to a humdrum product. Like holidaying on a farm (but see warnings about holiday lets), guided tours. Eagle watching in Soria , lavender for oil and home produced products etc. Preferably choosing somewhere well off the beaten track.

The key thing mentioned earlier is do you qualify to become a resident post Brexit?
Cheers for this; there are some great ideas and different options for us to look at.
We definitely love being on the go, and relish a good challenge but it’s refreshing for all of the posts to be so honest.
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Old Jun 2nd 2020, 6:57 am
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Thumbs up Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by Joppa View Post
What passport do you hold? If you are from UK, implementation period finishes at the year end and from next year you become third country national. To live in Spain, you will need a visa and income requirement is going to be about 4 times the current level for EU citizens, around 32,000 euro a year.
Ooo, that's good to know. We are going to talk to an immigration specialist to find out more about what we may need next year.
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Old Jun 2nd 2020, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Barriej and others have given good advice. Even Spanish who grow up running Olive farms would probably tell you it's not profitable, unless it's really at a huge scale. And if you don't know the land and climate like locals do, it brings even more challenges. We grow fruit at home and have a large greenhouse but decided to only have something small in Spain, so we can actually enjoy time off when we are there. I don't know where you are looking in Spain but there is a lot to consider. The Girona province is well known when it comes to food and wine, as it has the right climate. Yes there is a huge market but one really has to have the knowledge. https://en.costabrava.org/what-to-do...and-gastronomy
Thanks. We are looking at doing many exploration trips, when travel opens up again, as, like many Brits, we have only been to a select few places on holiday. We also have the option of dipping in to our private pensions to subsidise our lifestyle but ideally would want to just live off what we can produce ourselves.
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Old Jun 2nd 2020, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Spainish Newbies

Originally Posted by Free4ever View Post
….. ideally would want to just live off what we can produce ourselves.
Do you have any experience of producing your own? It is not as easy or profitable as you might think.

Last edited by missile; Jun 2nd 2020 at 9:44 am.
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