So You Want to Be a Farmer? How to Start a 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 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 whyWhat 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 budgetSo 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 planNow 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