If you own a big plot of land or you’re a lover of both nature and animals, you’ve likely always dreamed of starting your own farm. It’s a very ideal, picturesque dream to build a life around something you own. When it comes to having the entrepreneurial mindset to start a business, the best place into which you could pour those talents is something as rewarding and enriching as a farm, rather than a drab and dreary office place.
Of course, knowing that you want to start a farm is only one half of the equation. The practical element involved with tackling such an operation is demanding, even if you’re only planning to run your farm on a small scale with ambitions of perhaps selling your spoils to locals rather than taking on corporate agricultural giants. There are many variables to consider, and baby steps are in order to ensure you don’t fall flat in the mud (literally). Here are some pieces of advice to ensure that you that you master your new farm without losing any of its charm.
Learning to grow your own produce.
This is step one, obviously. Anybody can grow their own produce, and you don’t need a vast swath of land or an old-fashioned ranch in order to achieve this. You could begin by simply growing a vegetable patch. You need to begin by planning out which patches of your land will be dedicated to growing produce and which you’ll leave open for future ‘projects’. Dig out some soil, turn it over and ensure plants have access to the moist, soft earth beneath for their roots so that they grow effectively. Don’t worry about getting things wrong. You’ll learn from your produce because you’ll “grow” along with it.
Animals can help your farm grow in a multitude of ways, regardless of whether you’re dealing with acres of land or a relatively small ‘backyard’ area. Even the smallest plot of land can host chickens, at the very least. Of course, you need to be thinking about the help animals can provide in the upkeep of this farm; it’s boring to talk business, but everybody has to pull their weight. You could look into field shelters for horses, as these beloved creatures can actually provide a lot of help to a farm in terms of their manure giving nutrients to the soil and also flattening some of your pasture so that other animals don’t overeat. That’s right; many of the cute and lovable animals you might want to introduce to your farm aren’t just aesthetically pleasing. Many of them can help in additional ways.
Marketing your goods.
Much like any business, you need to market your produce to the target audience. It feels weird to talk in such terms about a passion project such as farming, but effective marketing is one of the oldest elements of good business. You need to think about how much produce you can create in the average week or month and ensure you target enough, but not too much of your consumer market. Working on a local basis is always smarter, as you can “advertise” your farming business in a friendly way whilst you get to know your potential customers on a personal level.
Watch your finances.
You need to grow your farm gradually, but that involves costs as well as the plants themselves. Don’t exceed your cash flow, and don’t expand faster than your business can handle. You need to be constantly looking at the potential consumer market and ensure that, if you have the funds to expand your farm, you do so in the knowledge that there’s a market of consumers out there who will be ready to buy your additional product. Debt is what cripples so many farms in the modern age, but smart financing will ensure you don’t head down that route.