When we talk about farming, we often think about it as an occupation or as a means to feed a family or community. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a wide patch of land big enough for a smallholding (or small farm), and wish to practice farming more as a recreational activity than a primary source of income or food source, then a hobby farm might be for you. As such, we’ll be taking a look at tips for you to keep in mind when starting your hobby farm:
Start Small and Expand
If you have a huge plot of land available for your hobby farm, it’s important that you don’t go all-in and cultivate the entire area. It’s best to start small for these following reasons: (1) to see if you really are into farming, and if you have the time and funds to sustain a hobby farm, (2) to determine your soil and irrigation quality and needs, (3) to avoid getting burned out by managing a huge hobby farm right from the start, and (4) lowering the chances of failure. Starting small allows you to learn along the way, and then you can slowly expand, lot by lot until you’ve gotten the hang of it. Before you know it, you might even end up covering your entire vacant lot in farmland, and may even turn your small farm into something more lucrative.
Take Note of Profit and Debt
It’s always important to note that a hobby farm isn’t supposed to be profitable, and keep in mind that hobby farm is simply that, a hobby. As with most hobby, such as wood carving, painting, and other crafts, it is possible to earn by selling your output, but that should never be your main mindset. If you’re investing a lot of money into your farm thinking that it’s both a hobby and something you can live of from, then it’s no longer a hobby farm. And, similar with any hobby, it’s integral that you don’t end up incurring debt just to start or maintain your farm. Use extra or “burnable” funds in financing your hobby farm, don’t dig into your life’s savings or take a loan just to fund your farm.
Do Your Homework
If you’re not experienced in farming, it’s best to do your research and learn from the pros. Read books on agriculture and hobby farming. And talk to farmers or fellow hobby farmers to learn the tools and secrets of the trade. Hobby farming can be a learning experience, as well as a way to socialise with those sharing the same hobby.
ATVs and UTVs are Your Hobby Farm’s Best Friend
You have to remember that your operations aren’t the same as normal farms and that you don’t have the same size or strict yield targets. You have to consider your scale when buying your farm vehicles; as such, you don’t need to invest in huge farming vehicles such as tractors, farm trucks, cultivators, and all those other large-scale (and very expensive) agricultural equipment. Instead, you can invest in All-terrain vehicles (ATV) or Utility Task Vehicles (UTV) as your primary mode of transportation around the farm, as well as your main farming equipment. UTVs and ATVs have low ground pressure and are powerful enough to handle heavy weights, so they’re able to transport crops and push/pull heavy attachments such as UTV or ATV spray unit, plough attachment, and seed spreader attachments.
Hobby farming can be quite an enjoyable and productive recreational activity. Although income and food source isn’t the priority, it’s still possible for you to reap the benefits of your hobby farm by selling, gifting, or consuming the crops you’re able to harvest. Just make sure to follow these tips for you to be properly guided when starting your hobby farm.