Are you an experienced gardener looking to take the next step? Perhaps you have an understanding of animals or a desire to raise your own food? In either case, a hobby farm can not only be a practical choice, but a rewarding one as well. We’ll review how to start a hobby farm from planning to purchasing so that your farm is both successful and gratifying.
Wondering How to Start a Hobby Farm? Here’s Where to Begin
A hobby farm requires daily, year-round commitment and hard work. Our guide provides the planning and forethought that can pave the way to success. But first, what is the difference between a farm and a hobby farm?
What is a Hobby Farm?
Unlike a farm, a hobby farm is small and not intended for profit. Rather, the goal of hobby farming is to raise produce or animals for your own pleasure or consumption. While it can also be used as a small, side income, a hobby farm won’t provide the full-time income of a larger farm.
Create a Plan
The first step in how to start a hobby farm is creating a sustainable plan. For your first year, we suggest starting small, with just a few crops or one species of livestock. How many acres do you need for a hobby farm? It largely depends on what you plan to raise so think about the space you have and research what it can support.
Here are some other considerations to keep in mind:
- Check with your local government to determine if there are any restrictions or required permits
- Choose an area of your property that will best support your intended crops or livestock
- Research the crops that grow best in your geographical area as well as the best animals for hobby farm success
- Talk to other local farmers to gain inside knowledge
Purchase Materials and Tools
The next step in how to start a small farm is to purchase the materials and tools you’ll need to care for your crops or livestock. If you’re starting your crops from seed, you’ll need to purchase the seeds in the winter. Depending on the size of your farm you’ll also need a tractor to break ground as well as fencing to keep out pests and protect your animals.
Raising livestock requires additional preparation and supplies such as securing proper shelter and food and water sources. We also recommend connecting with a local vet to help maintain your animals’ health.
Be Patient and Allow for Trial and Error
The first year of farming can be the hardest with unforeseen struggles and setbacks. One of the most important aspects of how to start a hobby farm is realizing that it takes time to succeed. It often requires a great deal of trial and error to grow enough crops to sustain your family. Raising an animal from infancy to productive adulthood also has its own unique challenges that take time to understand.