Hobby Farming Is Increasingly Popular – Here’s Why

There is a certain public perception that tends to believe hobby farmers aren’t real farmers, but the reality is hobby farming has been in existence since time immemorial. The only difference is that it wasn’t really considered as cool back then, at least when compared to today.

The term “hobby farm” can have a different meaning or context depending on the location. The definition might differ but essentially, hobby farming is farming for recreation rather than depending on it for income. Owners of hobby farms usually have another primary source of income and only farm for basic subsistence with no major expectations of it being massively profitable.

Horse Farm

Homesteading vs. Hobby Farming

A hobby farmer could have a lot or only a little bit of money to invest in their farm.

As opposed to homesteaders, hobby farmers are not primarily driven by the desire to make an income from their farming endeavors. They only farm when they have the spare time. Sometimes their farming operation might be neglected for a while, depending on their schedules.

Can You Start a Hobby Farm?

There is little barrier to entry provided you have the land to do the farming. You also need to consider how much time you can set aside to pursue the hobby. It should also be noted that hobby farmers don’t get to enjoy the tax breaks on equipment expenses typically earmarked for larger scale farmers.

Here are some of the main reasons why people are starting hobby farms

1. Healthy Produce

With hobby farming, you’re in control of what you produce. You know what has been used and how long it’s taken to harvest. Eating fresh produce promotes healthy living – it can actually make you happier, according to recent studies. Everything is sourced from the farm and with a few solid measures in place you can choose to be self-reliant. You will never have to rely on frozen foods again.

2. Environmental Preservation

The food we buy at the supermarket is typically the result of large-scale farming operations which put a lot of pressure on the land. The global population is constantly expanding, which means there will always be a demand for food. You can ease the burden on the land by deciding to grow your own food. Hobby farmers help address food shortages, which is a growing concern today. You can always sell if you have excess produce from your agricultural activities.

3. Self-Sustainability

There’s no better legacy you can leave behind than knowing your family is sorted when it comes to food. You can start an impactful business off your hobby farming. If you’re successful, you can train other people who are interested in self-sustenance by starting a workshop on hobby farming. A hobby farm is a great thing to pass on to your kids, especially if it’s generating income and providing food for the family all year long.

4. Socio-Economic Benefits

A hobby farm is not only beneficial to you and your family but also to the local community, affording people more choices when it comes to food variety. Plus they get to enjoy fresh produce that is free from pesticides. There is also the satisfaction that comes with being able to provide and sell your produce to others. Depending on the size of the farm, you can provide new employment opportunities, something that could potentially go a long way towards uplifting the socio-economic status of the area. Most hobby farms begin as modest projects, but will sometimes evolve into full-fledged businesses.

Starting a Hobby Farm

Starting a hobby farm isn’t as easy as it may seem. You should be prepared for the challenges that come with it. Firstly, you need to do research before you begin any kind of venture and hobby farming is no exception. You need to identify the kind of crops to grow and the animals to keep. This will be influenced by your location and its climate.

An upfront investment will likely be required before you can begin to realize the fruits of your labor.

When you’re first starting out, you should therefore look for ways that help to save money. For example, you can put a rain catchment system in place to help offset your water bills. The first cycle is always going to be the hardest, but you’ll learn from your mistakes and get better the more you do it.