Hobby farms, also known as family farms or sustainable farms, are a great way to explore your interest in growing vegetables, hydroponic gardening, or raising animals while spending quality time with your family and at the same time develop a fun and lucrative home-based business.
Starting your own hobby farm can begin with something as simple as referencing your personal experiences. Traveling, family history, and even exploring seemingly unrelated hobby interests like cooking or soap making can yield the inspiration to start and run your own hobby farm.
Knowing about cultures and history can also help in guiding your vision. Tracy and David Toth are one couple whose Pennsylvania hobby farm experience was profoundly influenced by a trip out West to the Navajo Nation, where they learned first hand about Navajo-Churro sheep and how and how the Navajo people formed a cultural relationship to the farming of these hearty animals, using the strong and beautiful wool to weave the blankets and rugs the tribe is famous for.
But a successful hobby farm didn’t happen over night for the Toths. Only years later, when Tracy picked up a magazine featuring the Navajo-Churro sheep at a local tractor store in Pennsylvania, did all the inspiring images come flooding back. Between this personal experience, and her husband David’s practical ROI approach, the Toths chose to specialize in raising Navajo-Churros, forging what they feel is a personal connection to the centuries old Navajo tradition and sheep-raising culture.
Even the breeders who sold the Toths their first sheep could tell that they were on a mission motivated by thier travels in the rugged Arizona environment and their experiences on the reservation.
Some people have farming in their family heritage and can look back over the generations to see what worked, what was part of their own cultural background. But new farmers and people without personal farming traditions should never be afraid to look to the success of other cultures for inspiration for starting their own small-scale farms.
Hobby farms come in many shapes and sizes, and each hobby farmer has his or her own unique perspective and experiences that led them to start-up.
Small-scale farming can be a great way to spend quality time with your family, too. In the olden days, when small-scale farming and agriculture was one of the main ways of making a living, all family members were required to do their part to make the family farm a success.
In today’s modern world, many have become estranged from working the land or raising animals, disconnected from the environment and other living creatures from which we gain important staples for living: milk, meat, wool, and other foods.
Starting a family-owned specialty farm, like the Toths did, can be a great way to re-connect with both loved-ones and the world around you.