THIS (HOBBY FARMING?) Can I Do It Where I Am ??

backyard garden

My quick answer is yes!  But as with anything there are always qualifiers.

Another question most of us have to answer for ourselves, many times,.  Do we really want to completely change our lifestyle or just enjoy some of what we enjoy doing from where we are now?  And if that is the case how much of it can I do on let’s say a quarter to half acre lot?  This is the amount of land a lot of us have to work with.  What can I do here?  Animals? and if so what kind?  Vegetable garden? Well where and how much.  What do I grow?  Will the zoning laws allow it?  How about the neighbors?  Will they complain or where will they draw the line and do I care?  These are all parts of the original question and all will have to answered.  Maybe not all at once and they will all change as we learn.  Well all except two will change.

How about the neighbors and do I care?  I am going to give you what is  rare for me, an absolute answer!  YES!!  You have to care.  Whether you like them or not or want good relations with them or not.  Especially if like myself you tend to push the zoning laws occasionally.  See; before we moved here we lived in the outskirts.  Believe me when I say we did not have suburbs.  You were either in town or not.  The only difference may be only an imaginary line on the map and the restrictions of the zoning laws but the difference was there.  If you don’t already know find out what is allowed and what is not.  Once that is clear if you stay considerate of your neighbors you too may be able to push the limits without real problems.  Push your neighbor and they will push back making it less enjoyable for both of you.

Ok, on to the good stuff.  I am going to assume you live in an area that has at least some zoning restrictions.  No or very limited farm animals is usually first on the list of no’s.  You can bet pigs will be the first on that list.  Don’t tell anyone but I did manage to get by with that on a couple of occasions.  I am talking the farm variety not the pet variety.  Of course for me the only difference is about 350 degrees.  Beef cattle are usually a little large and noticeable and occasionally to noisy to sneak by on the neighbor.  Well how bout that rooster?  He is the first thing we hear about the morning after we have overnight guests.  “What was making that awful noise before daylight this morning.” That is an easy one.  Don’t have one.  I mean rooster not guest.  He serves no purpose except procreating and you may not want evidence of that in your eggs anyway.  A few hens, kept confined, and you may get by with it.  Keep them clean.  Someone may be able to smell what they cannot see.   Check this out  it offers many of the options of free ranging without most of the problems.  http://hobbyfarmlife.com/the-pride-of-hobby-farming/ ChickenAmerican-Chinchilla-Rabbit-Breed

I did not have chickens where we last lived but I did raise rabbits for several years.  After the original murmurs from the neighbors there were no problems.  Well Pauline thought I might be a little screwy until we started enjoying the rewards.  The rabbits were in their own area, thankfully the problem neighbors stayed in theirs too, out of sight out of mind.  With the chickens if you have, oh say a chain link fence, and the time to keep an eye on them you could let them out for a couple of hours at the time.  You know while you are out mowing, weed eating or just weeding.   Keep in mind they can fly a little so you don’t want to give them too much time to think about what is on the other side of that fence.  In case you are not aware, you can clip the long wing feathers.  I said the feathers not the  wings.  It causes no pain does not effect their appearance and keeps them from leaving the ground.  The benefits are several, from the chickens I mean,.  Fresh eggs, there is no comparison in taste.  They will eat most if not all the kitchen scraps.  Table scraps as well.  The bones they will clean but you will have to pick them up along with any unconsumed veggie scraps.  REMEMBER THE ODOR, and flies.  And don’t forget possibly the most important benefit.  Just watching them.  (See Chickens are a lot like people)http://hobbyfarmlife.com/chickens-are-a-lot-like-people/.  Other small farm animals, goats, sheep, pot bellied pigs. It’s your space your neighbors.

Vegetables should not be a problem for anyone.  Grow what you like and will use.  With care and planning you will reap what you sow, (literally).  Where?  I do most of mine in the flower beds at the back of the house.  Right around the house.  Less mowing I have to do.  Can’t eat that grass anyway.  Seriously, in the flower beds.  Vegatables can be just as attractive as flowers and more beneficial at least physically.

This of course will depend on sun and shade conditions as well as others.  I have been known to slip a couple of say cabbage and maybe peppers in the front beds as well. Imagine that, unused space.  Wonder how that happened?  Vegetable plants can be just as decorative as flowers.  They are green and they bloom the same as flowers in  some cases.  Besides flowers and vegetables can be beneficial to each other.  A little more info that idea  at this site http://hobbyfarmlife.com/intensive-gardening-spring-is-coming/ .

If the flower beds are not viable for whatever reason. pick a sunny place in the back yard.  When you remove the sod put it in the compost heap.  This is assuming you do not need it somewhere else.  Keep it small, remember if it gets too large you have another job and you already have one of those you may not want.  Another time and effort  as well as space saving idea? Practice some intensive gardening.  Another future post not yet completed.  As I said keep it something you can manage.  This is to be something we enjoy not HAVE to do.  Speaking of which: Stop in again.  We enjoy your visit and hope you do to.

Bob

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