Have you been wondering how to start a small farm? Or how to make your small farm grow?
You are not alone. Many are struggling with the same question right now.
What does it take to start a small farm? What do you need to know? Where do you get information about “How To Start A Small Farm”?
This article provides some useful steps and information on how to start a small farm.
How To Start A Small Farm for Profit
First of all, you need an idea or general plan on what type of farming to do and where your location would be before you can start a farm. Then carefully research the kind of animal you want to raise, such as fattened cattle, milk cows, hogs, or poultry. Other factors that you need to consider are investment capital, difficulty, and profit potential.
How much does it cost to start a small farm?
To start a small farm, the cost ranges from $600 to $10,000. If you have a larger budget, then potentially a farm can be started within a few days.
If not, it could take weeks or even months to start. This figure represents the average cost of starting a small farm (assuming you already have some tools).
If you don’t, then it would be more expensive to establish your own tools.
Your budget will depend on what type of farming you want to do.
Also, your location will influence how much it costs because the land is different in different places.
How do you start a farm for beginners?
To start a small farm, you need to have an idea of what type of farming you want to do.
If your money is limited, I recommend starting with a simple idea.
Start a small backyard chicken farm if you have at least 10 square feet of roofed space and 4 square feet of run.
You will need to purchase around $400 worth of supplies, which include 50-60 day-old chicks, the cost for fencing, feeders, waterers, heat lamps, and a few tools.
How profitable is a small farm?
Rural and urban business opportunities are becoming more attractive for small farms (earning less than $50,000 per year or having fewer than 180 acres).
When it comes to profitable enterprises, entrepreneurs should look into things like beehives, rooftop gardens, and microgreens.
In terms of livestock farming, you should consider selling dairy products. You can sell up to 24 quarts of milk daily from a small farm that has 7 or fewer cows.
The dairy product business is not only profitable but also secure if your herd lives through the winters.
Farms with less than 200 cows have profits of about $160 per cow.
Herds with 200 to 500 cows are seeing profits of just $84 per cow.
How do I start a farm with no money?
It’s possible to start a small farm with no to limited capital, depending on what you want to do.
Farming is a bit expensive, so it’s difficult to start from scratch with no money.
The best option might be to look for cheap or free plots of land and use tools that other people own rather than buying your own set just yet.
If you have a small amount of money saved up and are in a rural area, then you could potentially buy some land and have the equipment you need to start farming.
Keep in mind, though, that it can be difficult to find small plots of land for sale, especially if they are affordable.
If you want to start a farm but don’t have any money saved up and don’t know where to look for cheap or free land, I recommend taking on temporary employment so that you will have enough money saved up within one year.
And remember: there is no such thing as overnight success; it might take years before your business takes off and starts making money!
Here are some tips for starting a farm with no money:
Search for cheap or free land. If you are looking to set up a small garden, make sure your plot gets at least 4 hours of sun each day.
You could also look into renting an acre of land (a quarter-acre plot) in exchange for some work you might do on the owner’s property; this is what most farmers do before they save enough money to buy their own land.
Another way to cut costs would be using used equipment instead of buying brand new equipment.
Find a good mentor to help you get started so that you don’t have to go it alone! This could be someone who has been farming for years or someone who is experienced in growing produce or raising livestock.
To find a good mentor, try joining community groups and organizations in your areas, such as chambers of commerce and agricultural extension agent departments.
You might also consider going into farming with a partner who has the money to invest. If you know anyone willing to invest in your small farm business, then split the profits with them equally when the business starts making money.
My personal journey in starting a small farm
Now let me tell you a little bit about how I started my small farm.
Starting a small farm is not easy, and it took me years to get where I am today.
The First Step
Your first step should be to start a diary or daily journal that includes all your thoughts and discoveries.
It’s very important for you to always keep this notebook with you and use it every day while you try new things and research.
Note how you feel, the things that interest you and upset you. Also, note if any of your discoveries helped or did not help with what you’re trying to accomplish.
From The First Step To Where You Are Today
Wherever you are today, I’m sure it’s taken a lot of time, effort, and money for this project to get where it is right now.
Sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back before we get something done.
That seems to be how farming works sometimes too! But remember… every day is a new beginning and each day brings us closer to our goals, no matter how small those daily accomplishments may seem.
Be Prepared For Surprises!
When I started my farm, I was not prepared for the many surprises that were coming my way.
Often I would buy something expecting it to help with a problem and it didn’t work. Then sometimes things that seemed useless took off and surprised me in how well they did!
Pick Your Crop and livestock Carefully!
One thing I wish I would have considered when picking some of my crops was which ones were better suited to my soil type.
For some reason I thought all plants worked the same in any kind of soil… boy was I wrong!
Now I think it’s best to spend some time researching what grows best where you are before you start your project… this will save you a lot of time, money, and heartache down the line.
In terms of livestock, I wish I could have considered the amount of time I actually had to spend with each animal.
For instance, some farm animals need a lot more attention than others and the cattle were no exception!
But… having them around has also taught me a lot about farming and what it takes to succeed in this type of business.
How To Start A Small Farm – More Trials & Tribulations
I continued learning little by little about how to start a small farm with each new flower plant that did well or each animal’s offspring that I sold.
Every little bit helped until my farm started to really take off, which happened when a local wholesale buyer came around asking how he could get my pea plants.
I had no clue what he was talking about but I soon found out that someone came around wanting to buy my plants!
It didn’t take me long to realize that there was money to be made if I knew what I was doing.
The Benefits of starting a small farm
There are several benefits to starting a small farm: spending time outdoors; gaining self-reliance; learning new skills; making good use out of old equipment you have lying around the homestead… just to name a few!
Oh… one last benefit is being able to offer your family healthy food from home without having to rely on someone else for that!!
Does this all sound very simple? It can be if you start small and take your time.
There is a lot of research out there for those who want to study up how to make their farms profitable too…
Happy Small Farm Farming!
In my opinion, the best way to approach starting a small farm or homestead is to do a little bit each day.
Before you know it, you’ll have something that works well and gives your family good nutritious food with just a few hours of work each week.
Farming is not an easy job by any means, but it can be rewarding if done right.
I hope this article was interesting and helpful for those who are thinking about starting a small farm or even someone looking for more information on farming.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for other articles please leave a comment below.
If this article helped you in some way please share it with your friends.
Until next time… happy farming!
Sarah Lane has been a farm wife since 2010 and mother of two children for nearly as long. She and her husband, Jonathan, live on a small farm in Texas where they raise dairy goats and beef cattle as well as chickens for eggs and meat. In addition to growing their own hay, straw and garden produce, the Lane family works with other nearby farms to source organic grain from which they make artisan bread sold at local farmer’s market.