With people recognizing the significance of having a healthy lifestyle, having a purposeful life and the need for a fulfilling career or an additional source of income, more and more people are turning to farming.
With the rising prices on food items and various medical outbreaks related to food, growing your own crops, fruits, livestock, poultry, dairy, fish, beekeeping etc. or a mixture of these can bring huge pride and contentment as it assures food security, enhances nutrition and self-sustenance and a sense of joy for giving back to the community.
The food you produce will be cost effective, intense in nutrition and flavor, you would be in charge of what goes into your food, you have an income source beneficial to the environment and your family, the benefits are many. However, farming is a difficult task and requires intense passion, a diverse skillset, hard work, persistence, and determination, and with a little luck, you can be a thriving farmer.
Good Living Trust encourages aspiring farmers, and we would like to offer a few tips or ideas for beginners in farming.
Where or how to start farming would be the first question for a beginner. Have a clear understanding of your objective and vision to start farming. Questioning yourself on why you want to start a farm and what you want to farm can set the path clear. Starting farming as a hobby and business are two entirely different approaches.
Create a business plan and assess your financial situation before your starting farming. Financing your farm startup with savings/ earning rather than debt can minimize your risk. Reaping profits from farming can take a while, hence it’s imperative to brace yourself mentally and financially to sustain this period, having enough funds to get through this phase and to invest in getting the farm business to full swing is the pragmatic approach.
Start on your own small portion of the property instead of buying or making a huge investment. Renting a land would be the next best option if you do not possess land of your own. Understand your land, check the quality of your soil, and choose what best fits for your land. Simultaneously, having a clear understanding of what your market needs and complementing it with your land resources would be a fruitful business strategy.
Integrate diversity on your farm. Having different products in your farm ensures stability, sustainability, richer soil, enhance profits, and reduce economic risk. Depending on your land and market requirements, having crops or livestock for food, cotton for clothing, roots for medicines,etc. would promote diversity.
Knowledge and training are vital. Check if your place provides any beginner farmer training program or volunteer to assist a farmer. Visit other farms and establish relationships with them for support. Start the learning process way before you invest in your farm.
Identify the right marketing strategy. If your farm is well located, selling direct to customers can increase word of mouth advertising and your profits. Moreover, with direct selling, you can establish a good relationship with customers and enhance their satisfaction. Distribute samples to nearby restaurants and groceries to test your product. If your area members are present on social media, leverage the medium to promote your business. If you have set aside a budget for marketing, use strategies like distribution of flyers, advertisement in a local newspaper, radio, etc.
Last but not the least, be prepared for failures and unexpected changes. Farming is a continuous learning process and new thoughts; learnings would spring up from experiences and you might have to change your intended plans. These experiences would serve as crucial learning steps for the future.
To get few creative ideas on how to start the farming, you must know the different types of farming beside the obvious farming of fruits and vegetables. Learn more by reading the article here: Small-scale Farming Ideas.
While farming may appear as an intensely laborious and stressful job, it is an immensely rewarding job and various pros outweigh the cons. The ability to produce something on your own by connecting with nature and having a career that gives back to society is an accomplishment unlike any other. Knowing the origins of your food and having access to fresh nutritious food always for yourself and your family is a sheer blessing. Including your family members in your farm activity can be a great way to nurture your relationship.
Having a steady business plan, setting realistic goals, and continuously learning methods to improve your business will make you a successful and content farmer.