Are you ready to start your farm?
Where do you start?
1. Is Farming Right for Me?
The first question you need to ask yourself before moving an inch.
What are your reasons behind wanting to farm?
What knowledge do you have of farming * The labor,
* The techniques,
* How to farm?
* Are you ready to get your hands dirty?
* Will you be able to slaughter an animal?
* or part with one you’ve become attached to?
2. Set Goals
* What are your goals for your farm?
* What kind of farm are you planning?
* A hobby farm, where your farm is a supplement to a full-time job, something relaxing you can do for fun in the evenings and on the weekends.
* It could be that you want your farm to actually make money, eventually replacing your current job. Or,
* Your goal might be to produce all the food (and possibly power) that you and your family need – self-sufficiency.
3. Consider Animals and Crops
* A farm can range from a half-acre with a few hens and veggie garden, to 40 acres with cattle, dairy cows, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, and acres of field crops and veggies.
* What animals appeal to you?
* What vegetables, fruits, and grains do you want to grow?
* Make a list of everything you envision on your farm – even if it’s years from now.
This is your dream, your ideal farm
4. Assess Your Land and Resources
* This is a great exercise for learning about your land and what’s on it. It will give you the information you need to take your vision past Step Two and plan your first year of farming.
5. Plan The First Year
* Look at your list of things you want to grow and animals you want to raise.
* Read a bit about each animal to get a sense of how much space and care they require.
* Check your farm resources.
* Do you have enough pasture land for those five cows, or will you need to build that over time?
* Do you have the financial resources to buy fencing for goats
6. Monitor and Reassess
* Farm planning is an ongoing process, a work in progress.
* As you implement your plan, you may find it needs adjusting.
* Every season, take out your list of dreams from Step Two and the pencil-and-paper sketch of your land from Step Three.
* Has your dreams changed?
* Is there more to add, or things you now know you don’t want to do?
* Each year, sit down with your farm plan and decide what you want to tackle during the coming farm season
* Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to making your small farm dream a reality.
From the farmers blog