Updated: Nov 11
Starting a farm takes a lot of hard work, research, and planning. Today I want to highlight what I consider the top 5 things you need to know before starting a farm. Let's dig in.
Farming can be beautiful and rewarding but it doesn't come without its messes. Poop, blood, sweat, and any other bodily fluid you can think of. It will be there. There is a never ending cleaning of coops, stalls, and pens. The mess doesn't stop there. It can be messy emotionally too. You will see the beauty of life and the pain of loss. No farm is immune to that. You will also have hard days, feel alone, overwhelmed, and may even consider quitting. But can I encourage you, that through all of it, you will find so much beauty. In the hard days you will find strength. In the moments of loneliness you will find your community. In the beautiful mess of farming you will learn some of the most valuable lessons life has to offer.
It's Never Ending
This is hands down the most common thing that people miscalculate when starting a farm. I think this is especially true for folks like us, who didn't grow up on a farm. We lived a certain way, had certain freedoms and flexibility. Now everything is scheduled around feeding times, cleaning days, breeding seasons, and much more. Vacation... yeah, not likely. It is hard to leave your farm. Not impossible, but hard. Especially if you have multiple animals. So instead of focusing on not being able to leave, we make the most of our free time by building relationships with our local businesses and farmers. It makes the short trips downtown more about growing our community and less about consumerism.
Have A Plan But Know It Will Change
Plan, Plan, Plan. Oh and plan again. It is crucial to have a plan for anything you are doing on or for your farm. Have a budget. Have clear goals. Be prepared. But be willing to change plans. Because inevitably something will ruin those plans. Literally anything can throw a wrench in them. Weather, animal behavior, equipment, and even people. The key here is to be flexible and not let emotions run the show. It is really easy to get angry when things don't go as planned, and many people do. Keep a level head, be flexible, and most importantly be patient.
Patience Is Key
It might sound odd to say the patience is key to farming, but its true. Farms aren't built in a day. Farms aren't successful in a day. You can't expect your farm to be like the 100 year old farm down the road. It literally takes years to get there. Progress may be slow, but it is still progress. Grow at a pace that is right for your. Don't overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations. It would be sort of like expecting a one year old to run a marathon. We all know that they have to learn to walk first and then it takes many years of training before they are able to tackle that feat. In the same way our farms take time to grow. It is ok to be patient with yourself. You are learning to walk. Be patient as you learn new skills, new routines, and a new lifestyle.
It Will Change You
Starting our farm has changed us in so many ways y'all. Changed the way we view the world, changed the way we eat, and changed the way we support businesses. We desire to understand where our food comes from. We see the intense amount of labor just one animal takes. We have always respected farmers but joining this community has grown that respect tremendously. This is honestly my favorite part of farming. The growth we have seen in our lives is a beautiful gift. God uses our farm in ways that are unexplainable. I will forever be thankful for the change our farm has brought into our lives.
Happy Farming Y'all
Some of my favorite farm resources: here
How can I pray for you this week?
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