Finding a suitable outlet for your inquisitive nature or creative streak can take some trial and error. From painting by numbers to carpentry and everything in between, you have likely tried at least one way to fill the free hours in your day. While a needle and thread may be fine for passing quiet evenings by the fire, some hobby enthusiasts prefer to get their hands dirty. If you fall into this latter category, consider starting a hobby farm. Here are some basics to keep in mind as you plan your venture.
Choose a Foundation
There are many different types of livestock that you can keep on your farm, but most of them have very different requirements. Consider the amount of space you have before committing to larger varieties such as cattle, as well as ensuring that you will have the financial resources to provide the proper care.
Many novices start small with a small flock of chickens and a goat or two. Once you have established yourself and found your footing, you can assess your situation and decide if expansion is in the cards. Generally, the first year or so should be focused on a small inventory of the less-complicated livestock available.
Look for Backup
Many hobby farmers will tell you that some of the appeal to this undertaking is that it allows them to gain independence. However, while you may not need to go to the grocery store for eggs anymore, you will need to have a few people who can help you out in a pinch.
It will be to your advantage to form a network of experienced people when your goat suddenly stops producing milk or you need to get a recommendation for where to find the most reasonably priced health insurance for horses. You may even gain a few “farmsitters” to call on when you decide that you need to take a vacation!
Reap the Rewards
A lot of people find that once they get started farming, they don’t want to stop. The hobby farm turns into a menagerie of beloved animals who become family members, and often businesses blossom from the humble farmstead. You can craft your own soap from goat’s milk, build luxury chicken coops, or even harvest alpaca fiber for clothing. Many successful hobby farmers have gone on to operate thriving establishments.
No matter the reason for your interest in hobby farming, chances are that you will truly come to appreciate agriculture and all its glory. This reason alone can be worth the hard work and dedication. Getting some dirt under your fingernails is good for the soul!