Since we are now impatiently awaiting our home (closing date estimated Nov. 28th... still waiting for an assessor to accept the job SIGH), I have been digging deep into research. Somehow this is the only way I can occupy my mind and time. Though, I can't do too much in preparation for our home, physically, at least I can research the crap out of anything I am interested in.
I have been listening to John Suscovich's podcast: Growing Farms Podcast for a couple weeks now. I finally went on over to his website Farm Marketing Solutions to take a peep. I came across his How to Start a Farm series and I thought I might share the process here with you.
Full Disclosure: I have no idea what I want to "farm" on my farm. I am hoping to go through some of these processes and figure it out. I do know that I want Chickens for sure and quail. Other than that, I am not sure but I am open to anything, I think, for now. I would also like to food garden to help provide food for ourselves. I do know that I would like to get some sort of financial benefit from these ventures. Even if it's just a few bucks selling some chicken eggs. I do not at all know if I will be able to do any sort of large agriculture business (probably not) but a small business would be cool, I think - maybe. If I could pull it off...
Firstly, he gives three suggestions on how to start farming NOW. These are skills to build or things to do before even really having a true farm-farm. Check out the video here and get a good grasp on the ins and outs of what he is talking about. I will list them and share with you what I have done thus far that relates to these three suggestions.
1. Try before you buy.
Well... as far as "trying" things out I have done a work share at a farm, pulling weeds and harvesting vegetables, mostly. That was last summer and a lot of work. I learned a lot from these people but I didn't really enjoy what I was doing. I feel that it was because I wasn't doing it for MYSELF. I was doing it for them, for what I felt like was a poor return. Also at the time I got a plot at the community garden, last year, and this last summer. This last summer was pretty disheartening because it was a POOR year for Central Oregon.
I will tell you the truth, it got me down and I gave up early. I know of whole farms that lost their entire crops because of the early freezes. We had a late freeze and an early freeze. Yay for us.
Also, I have this green house that made things doubly disheartening... I melted ALL of my starts this spring once it hit 60 degrees F around these parts... it got hot in that greenhouse. Thus all the melting. I had to try again and some of the stuff didn't even get a chance to grow because it was ultimately too late in the season AND AND AND we got another freeze.
Oh, and farm animals, well, I will tell you that I have very minimal experience with any sort of farm animal. If I were to place an expert at 10, of 1-10, I would probably actually be maybe a 0.75... I have had a tiny bit of horse and cow experience as a very young kid, younger than 7. That was a pretty long time ago. HOWEVER. I have a dog and I love all animals. I find myself feeling pretty intuitive towards animals and I don't have fear that I won't do a fine job. I of course will prepare myself as much as I can by asking others, and doing a ton of research.
2. Balance your finances.
Well... about that... husband and I already knew that we wanted house with acreage. We also knew that we wanted to try to be a bit more self sustaining for sure. So, we got this house. It's expensive, but we also will have 20 acres. Bam, that's where a BIG portion of our monthly finances will go. I know we will have to go at this incredibly slow which is against every fiber of my being. I know I will be learning the hard way on this venture as I tend to do. I will be doing my very best to research the cost of everything and figure out what on earth, and how on earth we will be able to afford everything that I want to do. It's going to be difficult, that's for sure.
3. Tell your story.
He says, start a blog, tell all the things, the good and the bad. Check. John says 80% good and 20% bad, but, hopefully I will have the balls share all the bad. I don't feel that it's necessarily beneficial not to share all of the bad. If I don't share it, no one else can learn from it. Warning: my blog won't be rated "E" for everyone. By the way. Turn away now if you can't handle some foul language. :D
I see now that this post is getting pretty long, so I will leave this here for you to mull over and make a new post for the next parts of John's suggestions on How to Start a Farm.
Do you want to start a farm? Do you have a farm? What do you grow or raise? Do you have a hobby farm? Small business? Tell me all the things!
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I'm Adrienne! Stay tuned for my adventures in beginning homesteading.
Adrienne is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.