What is a Small Farm?
It could be hard to define what small scale farming really is. Some people feel a farm that is lower than the industry average should be called a small farm. Others think that the definition of a small farm should be based on the size of acres or hectares. Personally, I define a small farm as any farm that requires an off-farm income to provide the farm owner with a better way of life.
How Technological and Scientific Advancement Has Helped Farmers
Farming business has changed greatly if compared to how it was done many years ago. Now, the business of farming has become a big enterprise. There are now tractors and several other machines to perform several farm operations with ease. Researchers have also come up with awesome drugs and chemicals to help farmers to raise animals and grow crops efficiently. With these advancements, farmers can now increase their production level as well as production efficiency. In short, these changes have helped modern agricultural farming tremendously.
Advantages of Small Scale Farming over Large Scale Farming
Establishing and running a modern large scale farm is an expensive enterprise. You will spend a lot of money on acquiring land, buildings, equipment, machines, labour, etc. and this could be so frustrating. Also, this particular investment is beyond the means of a lot of people. Hence, small scale farming is the way to go if you are not ready or willing to spend a huge sum of money. It is the low or moderate starting cost or capital that makes small scale farming to continue to survive and getting more popular. Without spending a huge outlay of money, one could develop a small farm slowly to become big. Another advantage of small scale farming is that it allows the farmer to diversify and experiment to know what really works best. Even diversification will help a small scale farmer to withstand fluctuations of the market.
A large piece of land is not necessary to start or run a small scale farm. It is the suitability and fertility of the land that matter most. You can read this article to know what to look for before purchasing land for farming. Getting a huge land within the city or urban area might not be easy for farming purposes, but you could still get a small piece of land to begin farming on a small scale. You can as well use the backyard of your home, and you will still generate a reasonable profits if the small farm is well managed.
Importance of Involving Family in Farming
Many farmers make the mistake of not involving members of their nuclear family in their agricultural farming endeavors. For your information, a family is an important part of any farm. In the book titled “Small Farms are Real Farms”, John Ikerd wrote that “A true family farm is one where the family and the farm are inseparable. For these families, farming may be considered as a way of life, a critical part of life, or life itself.” You can reshape your child or children into a resourceful, productive and self-reliant individual(s) through the lesson they learned on the family farm. They will even have the edge over other children or people who have no opportunity to farm.
Small scale farming can be a rewarding experience for those who try it. With a little knowledge and a lot of hard work, it can also become a very profitable business. Farming is not for everyone but some people live to regret their refusal to go into farming.