4 steps to starting a hobby farm

by | May 7, 2023 | Uncategorized

Whether from a desire for community connection, building sustainable agriculture or just plain curiosity, hobby farming is growing in popularity. A hobby farm is small enough to be run solo or by just a few people, and it’s usually not set up to make a profit.

Are you curious about starting one yourself? Here are four things to consider as you get going:

  1. Get the finances straight. It’s not an exciting step, but it’s very important. Farms take more startup and upkeep than many new hobbyists expect. The biggest expense is the land itself – even just a few acres can cost thousands of dollars. Then there’s seed costs, pest control, shelters for animals, feed and storage. It’s absolutely doable, but make sure you’re in a position to make a major investment.
  2. Find the right land. Just because a plot has a good price doesn’t make it a good fit. One major consideration is drainage. If your land sits at the bottom of waterflow, your fields are going to turn to mud when it rains and take ages to dry out in the spring. Set up somewhere with too little rainfall, and you’ll need to factor expensive irrigation or watering equipment into your budget.
  3. Think of what you want to produce. This is often better done after finding a good plot of land. That way, you can build your plans around your situation instead of the other way around. Are you going to focus on crops? Raising animals? A combination of the two can take some of the expense out of animal feed, and manure from animals will really help your crop yields.
  4. Practice good biosecurity. Preventing disease outbreaks is essential, especially African swine fever (ASF), which is contagious and fatal to pigs. Always wear clean boots and clothing and disinfect equipment when you enter the farm. Set up proper fencing to keep pigs away from wild boar, and avoid feeding your pigs any food scraps, since even a small amount of ASF could infect them.

Learn more at inspection.canada.ca/protect-pigs

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