A hobby farm can be defined as an agricultural endeavor that are not traditionally run as an agribusiness. These farms are self-sustaining and usually not profit generating. They are not the large commercial farms we see covering thousands of acres. Instead, these farms are usually small sized covering just a few acres. Many in fact do not cover even an acre. Those of us with an interest in growing some of our own foods whether it is meat or vegetable or a combination of both are the ones often referred to as Hobby Farmers.
Hobby farms generally are committed to sustainable agriculture. Humane and friendly treatment of the livestock we raise and eco-friendly farming practices. We are usually concerned about the pesticides and hormones or antibiotics used to stimulate grow in both plants and animal we are looking for a better more healthy food supply. At least as much of it as we can.
So where do you start? I think any of us that have this desire have asked ourselves this question many time. And for many of us the answer is right where you are. Unless you live in a highly restrictive community or a condo or apartment building with no space for or access to a porch, patio or even a balcony for potted plants you at least grow some vegetables where you are. The livestock in one of these situations may be a little more challenging. Someone may notice that your dog is beginning to exceed the 30 lb. limit as you take that pig out for a walk. And that is the biggest Parakeet I have ever seen and why does he make that awful noise first thing in the morning.
If this is your situation and you want to change it then some decisions and planning have to be made. Where do you want to be? How much area is needed ? Jobs? Family? Climate? How much change am I really ready for?
My first tip would be; Don’t expect a pro0fit! The name itself, “Hobby Farm” implies that this may well NOT be a profit making venture right off.
Do not focus on profit
Think about what you want and what it will take to accomplish it. You may well find that it takes a lot less land and other property to obtain your goals. There are many books out there which you can read to get more in-depth knowledge on hobby farming. So many in fact that you can spend the rest of your life reading about it instead of doing it.
Avoid it as much as possible! Most of us are not able to change our lifestyle and remain debt free in the process. In fact most of us are not debt free in our current situations but it is EASY to very quickly get into a situation where the dream owns us not us owning the dream.
DO IT YOURSELF
Learning to do things yourself will help you save a lot on farming operations. The less you spend on your farm operations, the less you have to work at your day job to pay for farming.
Get the help of an expert when necessary
Of course DIY options are great at saving money but there are times you will be overwhelmed. Getting the help of an expert is not a sign of failure.