Small-Scale Farming: Is it for You?
With the introduction of Coronavirus (Covid-19) worldwide during Spring 2020, and the ever-looming threat of lockdown, many businesses and individuals have been experiencing decreased produce supply. With the rising cost of living and the growing urge to be less dependent on “the other guy”, people suddenly had the opportunity to tackle those small renovations, and considered getting the backyard chickens they have always wanted. Covid enabled many people to have the time to realize the dream of a home garden for a source of locally grown, fresh produce.
Small-scale farming can bring many pros to family life, but there are cons as well. Is it really worth starting something in hopes of providing yourself and your local community with fresh produce and locally sourced beef? I hope so.
Small-scale farming has the advantages of farming at a reduced cost with no need for extravagant equipment too large for their little farm. Small-scale farming cuts out the middleman with sales, from the farm, leading directly to the consumer and supporting other small farms in their area with the purchase of seeds, chicks, eggs, and livestock from one another. Not to mention the advantage of fresh, locally grown produce and meat right at your fingertips and the sense of pride when you harvest your goods from year to year.
However, small-scale farms have many disadvantages such as not qualifying for various agriculture programs as they are not full-time farms and/or do not meet the threshold for farm income. As such, small farms are usually left to fend for themselves. While there often is no need for large-scale equipment, there is a need for small farmers to access equipment to till their gardens, mow their fields or even truck in necessities for their livestock. This equipment requirement is often cost prohibitive to the little guy starting out.
Farming of any size brings advantages and disadvantages with the scales often moving back and forth. But one thing is for sure, small-scale farming is on the rise and many families are making the move to be more self-sufficient in this time of uncertainty around the world.
By: Ashley Zwicker
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