So You Want to Be a Farmer? How to Start a Hobby Farm

A couple holding hands on their hobby farm. Oh, the farm life! It allows you to spend time outdoors and work with your hands. Have you been thinking about how to start a hobby farm in a sustainable manner? A hobby farm is a great way to start down the path of a more simplistic and sustainable existence. Whether you are thinking about raising chickens or growing crops, a well-thought-out plan is the first step. You will need land, farm equipment, seed, animals, and of course, good quality animal food. Find naturally sourced and essential oil-powered animal food at New Heritage Feed Co. Now, let’s learn more about how to start a hobby farm.

What Is a Hobby Farm?

A mom and daughter holding chickens on their small hobby farm. A hobby farm is just that - a hobby. Animals and plants you may be raising are generally for your personal use. You may sell in excess of what you personally need, but it won’t replace a full-time source of income. If you are hoping to leave the rat race behind and eventually make a living by farming, a hobby farm may be a great place to start. You may even be able to make a little extra money along the way.

How To Start a Hobby Farm

First, ask yourself why

What is your personal motivation for starting a hobby farm? Let’s face it, they are a lot of work, but they come with so many great benefits too. Some of the benefits pertain to your health. You have access to organic fresh fruits and vegetables. There is also the daily exercise you will get just maintaining your hobby farm and homestead. The smaller footprint of a hobby farm is also better for the environment. You can skip the use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides and opt for organic and environmentally friendly alternatives. So, are you looking to improve your health, benefit the environment, or leave the rat race behind? Set some goals for your farm based on these considerations. That will help you determine the size and focus of this next step.

Set a budget

A woman using a calculator to set a budget. A budget is important thing to consider when figuring out how to start a hobby farm. So you have decided to start a small farm with some chickens and a few vegetables. You’ll need some property in an area that will allow chickens. You will also need to select the size of that vegetable garden. Many suburban neighborhoods are beginning to allow chickens. Starting a hobby farm might not be too far a reach from a simple buying-a-house type budget. Maybe you’re thinking of adding a few large animals and selling some of those vegetables at a local grocery store. Now we are talking about some facilities and a larger plot of land. That will take a bigger budget. Examine your goals and what type of property investment you will need. Add in livestock and animal food investments. Also, take into consideration what sort of equipment you may need to lease or purchase.

Create a plan

Now that you have defined what type and size of hobby farm you want, plan to make it a reality. You can lay out a simple calendar that includes time for the following:
  • Learning about farming - if you are not already an expert, this should be your first item
  • Researching and determining what crops you want to grow and setting a planting/harvesting schedule
  • Researching and determining what livestock you are bringing on, when to bring them in, and identifying sources
  • Researching and selecting what facilities you will need to house/store the above items
  • Based on your goals and budget
    • determine where you want this farm to be
    • start researching properties
    • determine if soil characteristics, land topography, and climate will support your crop and livestock goals
  • Investigating zoning, permits, and licensing requirements
  • Researching and determining what equipment will be needed and finding economical sources
  • Finding and purchasing property
  • Moving and setting up facilities
  • Bringing in equipment and livestock
  • Starting into your first hobby farm season

What Do You Need For a Successful Hobby Farm?

Knowledge

As mentioned previously, learning about farming should be your first step if you are not a farming expert already. There are plenty of online resources available. You can also speak with other farm owners about how to start a hobby farm. Your plan should include recommended scheduling times for all aspects of hobby farming. Those topics included everything from crop selection to topography and livestock facilities to animal food. Learn as much as you can about the property needs, crop and animal selection, and hobby farming lifestyle.

The right property

You’ve set your goals and your budget; now it’s time to find the right property. Make sure your property climate zone and crop selection align. Make sure the zoning laws, permits, and licensing allow for the type of hobby farm you would like to establish. Check into the home size and out-building requirements. Verify that soil conditions and topography suit your crop and livestock selections as well. Confirm that existing facilities meet the housing and storage needs for your crops and animals. Lastly, make sure that the property fits into the budget.

Healthy resources

Healthy resources may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a successful hobby farm. Having healthy resources will prove out in the long run, though. Healthy plant resources include high-quality seed, rich soil, organic fertilizers, and natural pest deterrents. Healthy livestock resources include starting with healthy animals. Maintaining livestock is contingent upon the space and shelter provided to them. Animal health is also highly dependent upon providing a healthy diet consisting of high-quality animal food. That animal food is made from natural ingredients and not fillers. There are also different varieties of animal food within animal types. For example, you will need a different food for young chickens. You will also need to refine food selections for chickens, whether you are raising them for meat, eggs, or show. Check out New Heritage Feed Co. for all your animal nutrition needs. They are committed to providing high-quality, locally sourced livestock food crafted with earth-given premium ingredients. The best animal food results in the best nutrition and animal health.