The idea of farming is a charming one; living off the earth, caring for your crops, and going back to basics. It’s not always that romantic, though, and when you’ve decided to start a small from scratch, it’s important to prepare yourself. Being a hobby farmer is one thing, but when you’d like to take it to the next level and make a decent living as a farmer, there may be certain obstacles in your way which you can only combat with knowledge.
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Here is a short and sweet list of what you need to know before you embark on your new adventure – and how you can increase your chances for success with agriculture.
What kind of farm do you want?
No matter if you’re in the middle of the city or far off into the countryside, you’re going to have to figure out what you’d like to farm with, first of all. Farming with animals is, of course, a whole other thing than growing plants and you would need to read up on how to raise animals as well as the various costs around it.
When you’ve figured out what you would like to do with your land, it’s a good idea to start by visiting other farms to build a solid foundation for your business. That way, you’ll get an inside guide to the farmer jargon, as well as valuable opportunities for seeing their practices and learning as much as you can before establishing your own.
Specialised or Diverse?
Some farms seem to have it all; goats, chickens, corn, apples, sheep – you name it, they got it. You can pull the same thing off if you’d like, or find something that your community might need and specialize in it.
Before you make any decisions, start by planning out your farm on a notebook or a computer – if you’re modern like that, and write down the ideas and tips you get from other farmers.
If you’ve been dreaming about raising sheep for awhile, it will be helpful to know the costs and amount of land you need. Likewise, if you only want to farm with crops, you’re going to need to understand what kind of equipment you need, such as for earthmoving, and take everything into consideration. Your notebook or computer sheet is the perfect place to gather all of this new information.
Find your customers
The whole point of running an actual farm rather than a hobby farm is that you need to have someone to sell your products to. Take it easy, to begin with, as there are a lot of aspects you need to take into considerations. Your chats with others farmers might come in handy here – as well as visits to farmer’s markets, restaurants, and local stores in your area.
If you want to focus on speciality food, it might be a good idea to find shops that sell these kinds of products – and you need to look at different areas if you’d like to sell wool rather than eggs, to put it like that.
When everything is in order and you have planned out in detail, it’s time to make the dream a reality. You’re never done with learning, though, and the better your understanding is of what it takes to make money from your farm, the more likely it is that you’ll be growing and selling for a long time to come.