It can be hard to find time to enjoy the simpler pleasures of life, especially for those who live or work in a city. With all of the hustle and bustle, some people may never set foot on grass during their day. A growing movement is fighting back against this trend. Hobby farms are springing up all over the world in backyards, spare lots, and unused acres of land.
What Is Hobby Farming?
A hobby farm is a farm run purely for the enjoyment and benefit of the owner, rather than as a business. Instead of producing and selling crops, a hobby farm is meant only to supply the farmer and their family with consumables. Hobby farms can be small or large, taking up as little space as a backyard or as much as several acres. New hobby farmers typically start small with only a few crops and low-maintenance animals like chickens.
What Does it Involve?
The most basic necessity for a hobby farm is space. A backyard will suffice for a few chickens and a modest garden patch, but new farmers will need to check city regulations in their area to make sure that a backyard farm is allowed. Hobby farms typically include crops and some form of livestock, so one of the main chores is looking after the animals on the farm. Animals will need food, water, housing, and medical care, usually on a daily basis, so if you’re not prepared to look after them, stick to vegetables. Similarly, plants will need to be tended and weeded. Many who start a hobby farm embrace the new routine, since the end payoff takes time and effort to reap.
Why Should I Start One?
Many people look for ways to become more self-sufficient and responsible. A hobby farm answers this challenge with home-grown, organic vegetables and a steady supply of eggs or milk, all of which help to reduce food costs and packaging waste for a family. Hobby farms can also be extremely therapeutic. Tending one guarantees a portion of time spent outside every day, and caring for animals helps alleviate stress.
Does it Have to Stay a Hobby?
One of the coolest things about hobby farms is that they have the potential to blossom into a genuine market farm. Extra produce from a hobby farm can be sold at markets, traded with neighbors, or sold to larger suppliers. Those who discover a passion for farming may choose to expand the space their hobby farm occupies to become a small or commercial farm. Full-time farming isn’t for everyone, but a hobby farm is a perfect way to get a taste of healthy, sustainable farm life right in the comfort of your own backyard.