6 Steps to Start a Hobby Farm – (Complete Guide to Success) This Year
Do you know what most soothing feeling in the world is? Probably most of your answer will be, "Seeing my money grows." But you know it is not the money. It is to see something is growing. Yeah, seeing anything growing is the best feelings in the world. If you want to get that feeling with the organic way you can start your hobby farm.
But if you are going to start a hobby farm, you may have lots of confusion. Like, how to start, where to start. What tools I need, what animals or crops should I grow, and many more. But don't worry, in this article, I am going to give you a guide on starting your hobby farm.
What is Hobby Farm?
Put simply; hobby farming means a person who started farming as a hobby not to earn money. Though the hobby farmer can make money from the farming, it is not their full-time income. They do it for fun or to fulfill their own needs. So if you are raising some chickens, cows, goats or some fresh vegetables in your backyard, then you are hobby farmer.
The fundamental difference between the hobby farmers and the homesteads are that hobby farmers only doing farming for fun or spending time. But the homestead has full-time income from the farm.
You must take into account that there is no relation to the amount of investment with hobby farming. That is you may need to invest as much as the homesteads. It depends on how you are planning your farm. If you want to start with a big plan, then you may need to invest a lot. But it is always a good idea to start your hobby farm with a little investment. The reason is you are not going to take it up to the industrial level. You may need to learn a lot about the farming for the first few years.
Who Is this for?
As I already said that hobby farmers are individuals with a passion for farming. Most of the hobby farmers are retired person and want to fulfill their long-awaited dream. Also, some of the young people start hobby farming following their passion.
So if you have enough time and not want to depend on the farm's earning then hobby farming is for you.
Six Steps to Start your Hobby Farm
Here are six steps you should follow to your hobby farm:
1. Set Goals for Your Farm:
The wise person always has a goal before starting a project. So if you are thinking to start a hobby farm, first you need to set goals for your farm. Ask yourself whether you are doing it for money or pleasure. It will set your farm's strategy to conduct it. You have to understand one thing that a hobby farm is a different kind of activity. Hobby farmers don't do farming for money. Their target is only to produce some crops and consume that for their purpose and sell the remaining in the market. That's it.
As like the goal, before you start anything, you need to research. You should decide what type of farm you are willing to start. There are many types of farming. Most are animal farms. But many love to begin bee farm. The choice is yours. If you do proper research before starting the farm, you will know what you need to start.
3. Research your Land:
Researching land before starting the farm is very important. The reason is the soil of the land is not always capable of sustaining all type of animal. For example, if you live in the mountain, you can't get cattle there. For this land, you can start a garden.
On the contrary, if you live in the northern state, you should avoid the coffee or sugar cane. If you are not sure, you can ask your neighbors about their farming experience. You probably get an idea what you can start.
4. Inquiry about the Zoning Laws:
It is important. You need to know about the zoning laws before you start a farm. The reason is there is some limitation from your zoning as well as homeowner's contracts that what kind of animals you can farm and what kinds of plant you can grow. You should contact the county zoning department and the homeowner's association to know about the rules of hobby farms.
5. Choose Animals and Crops:
Now it is the time to get the real taste of your dream hobby farm. Choosing animals and crops are a little bit tricky. But don't worry. I am going to give you a short guide.
First, think about what type of animals and crops appeal you very much. If you are planning to start bee farm but can't handle the bees, you might look for other farming. Think about which animal make you fall in love and inspire you to devote your time. Start with that animal. The same thing goes for the crops as well.
If you have multiple options for deciding the animals and crops, then you should make a list of your choices. Now, do the research for each of the animals and plants that which one will be profitable. I know you are not starting a farm for money, but still, you should consider because you are investing your time and money. You can go to the library to know more about the animals and crops. Also, talk to other farmers. You will educate a lot yourself by having a light conversation with them.
6. Plan your Farm:
A well-planned farm can help you to become a successful farmer. You should have a proper plan for your hobby farm. I mean where your animal will go for graze and where they will go for their shelter. Where you will grow the crop to feed them and where the garden will be. Also, plan how you will provide water to the farm and what tools you will use.
Moreover, you should also plan for the crops. You have to plan for watering the plant. You need to have a stock of water if you don't have the permanent water source.
You need to plan the fencing of the farm. Make a plan you will utilize the tools. Make a list how much cost you will have in total. Besides, you will also need to calculate the budget for repairing of the farm or tools. Make a budget for at least one year. It will help you to estimate how much you grew and how much you made the profit.
Invest in Livestock:
I hope you have followed the previous steps and finalized your animals and crops. That't great. Now finally it is time to invest in the livestock. Consider starting the farm with a little investment. It is the most viable idea for the hobby farm.
Moreover, seeing your farm growing is peace of mind. If you are starting with chicken, then buy 5-10 hens for the first time. If you are starting with cattle, then buy 1-2 for the first time.
Finally, you have to think about how you can save money. Saving money means not only buying the animal, crops, and equipment with the best deal but having a simple trick to optimize your farm. For example, you can grow fodder to save the feed cost of the livestock.