So You Want to Start a Farm...

| 11/30/2018 11:29:00 AM

Tom Turkey

So you want to start a farm, or homestead, or hobby farm, or whichever you prefer to call it. What first? Where should you start? We are halfway through our 4th year of farming, and while we do not claim to be experts, far from it, we have learned a lot on what we would have done differently, what worked and what didn’t work.

Growing a homestead or farm takes a lot of time, effort, patience and money. Once you get going and settled into farm life you can expect rewards you can’t even imagine! How does this sound: serving a nice dinner of grilled pork chops and roasted root vegetables, or maybe a rotisserie chicken and a fresh green salad...and everything {minus the salt and pepper} came straight from your farm. Or a cold glass of fresh goat milk or maybe witnessing the first baby goats being born on your farm, or a chick hatching underneath its mama. Downright amazing, right? Depending on your goals, that could be your reality.

As romantic as this sounds, this life is not for everyone. Do not chose this life lightly- animals will depend on you, it can be overwhelming at times and it’s very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of homestead life. But if you’re not afraid to get dirty and put in the work, you wont regret it. Here’s some of what we have learned and I hope it helps you too.

This life will demand a lot of time. Are you a single person, or do you have a partner who is home most of the time? Your employment situation will dictate a lot of what you can do. If everyone works full time, do you really want to spend your evenings and weekends shoveling poop? Maybe you do, I don’t know. But that’s a good place to start asking yourself what you want. In our situation, my husband works full time {typically about a 72 hour work week as a firefighter} while I am a stay-at-home-mom. This allows me to be home the majority of the time to feed, milk and look after animals. Would this work for us if I was back at my full time corporate job? Probably not.

Falling down the rabbit hole of farming is real. In our house we put time limits on things. Such as “I’m going to work in the garden for 2 hours, then I have to move onto something else” or “I’ll do what I can in the barn until 11am, then I have to go finish the laundry.” There will always be something to do, find balance and don’t get burned out.

12/21/2019 7:30:02 AM

We had to move from our old homestead to a larger farm. and we were excited. The soil is all clay the coops run down not to mention the barn and the house and because the soil had never been farmed it was awful the crops did nothing excepts a few tomatoes not enough to can some squash. that's it. But we have tons of birds some ducks geese and chicks and four turkeys we had five but one was for thanksgiving. But she is right it takes time and money to get it going. Our birds are paying for their feed by selling their eggs. The soil will come around it may take a few years but I will get it there until then I just hope each year we can get on crop to produce really well so we can can those items. Next will be goats..... I think. I also hope my bees are well as it is winter now.

1/10/2019 9:58:00 AM

Great article and truth about the hard work and time...very rewarding when things work the way you want and very disappointing when they don't. But the fact that we can grow our own food without pesticides and chemicals and let them ripen on the vine and the taste difference in the food is worth the ups and downs. I am in my 3rd year of trying and living in the desert where we have extreme heat and cold and different zones, so there is a lot of trial and re trial. We currently have chickens and ducks for eggs, some duck for meat, a turkey that will soon be a meat and once the pens are built, goats!!! Finding someone to care for your animals if you want to go away is also very difficult....all in this life....Still working full-time for both myself and husband.... that's why we are starting small.

1/9/2019 8:24:33 AM

We are just beginning our farm life, and I'm so looking forward to adding animals (slowly) to our tree farm...even though I would love an instant-farm, I know it's not the way to go. This article was insightful, and am looking forward to connecting with you on Instagram and Facebook.

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