Small Farms

A small farm is classed here as anything with more than a few acres of land, up to about 50-60 acres. Enough to do some standard farming, or even engage in commercial operations, but not enough for commercial ranching or more than a family business. This category takes in supplementary farming, subsistence farming, and small commercial farming, so it covers a broad range.

This is the dream of most people who farm in small spaces - a bit of land somewhere, which offers choices for a variety of uses.

The cool thing is that you can really choose what level you want to achieve. You have choices for raising just about anything, space to put gardens and greenhouses if you need them, room for fields that can remove much of the burden of purchasing feed if they are managed well, and you can sell farm produce or animals either through roadside stands or farmer's markets, or you can go fully commercial and meet regular production demands with requirements involving licensing and regulatory oversight.

If you decide to go commercial, make sure you check your state regulations, and federal regulations regarding the sale and production of the items you wish to sell.

We have a lot of difference between the small end of this category and the large end as well. Land use may be regulated more for smaller parcels than larger ones, and smaller ones may be in covenant communities, or zoned residential, so that commercial operations are forbidden. Some types of livestock may be prohibited as well.

Assuming you CAN have all types of livestock, your options are unlimited as far as choice of animals. Numbers of those animals will be limited by available space, and management of the property.

You'll need to learn to manage both fields, and animals if you raise livestock. You will also have space for a variety of types gardens or orchards that you may wish to develop. Development and use is a matter of investing, one thing at a time, to add production piece by piece.

As you add production, pay attention to the cyclical nature of things. Poultry can benefit a garden, by eating bugs and keeping weeds down. The poultry manure provides fertilizer. The garden in turn benefits the poultry, by providing scrap produce for feed supplementation. Fields also provide valuable forage, and animals foraging in fields provide fertilizer.

If you can keep a balance between feed and fertilizer needs, your farm will run much efficiently, and it will be less costly and more profitable.

We don't provide a best choices list here, because you can choose anything you like. Guinea Fowl are an option on a larger farm, where they are not when you have close neighbors, due to the amount of noise they make.

Your options are limited only by local individual limitations. Enjoy it. You are living the dream.

 

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