What is a Hobby Farm?
A hobby is usually defined as a recreational activity done for pleasure rather than for-profit and hobby farms live true to this definition. Although there are a few different definitions and variations on a hobby farm, generally, a farm which isn’t relied on as a steady source of income is considered to be a hobby farm.
People who own and run hobby farms often have an off-farm job or are living off of their pension.
✓ A hobby farm must be 50 acres or less in order to be considered a hobby farm officially; anything between 50 and 100 acres is considered a small farm.
✓ There are 60,000 hobby farms in Australia.
✓ Hobby farms take up around 20% of the agricultural land in Australia.
✓ Chickens, Sheep and Goats are the best animals for hobby farming. Keep an eye on your goats though since they’re known for hatching escape plans.
Who Generally Owns Hobby Farms?
In Australia, the people who own hobby farms can generally be divided into two categories. The first category is professionals who want to enjoy a mixture of both the urban and rural lifestyles. These people generally live far enough out of the city that they can own a bit of land but also close enough that they can maintain an inner-city career. The second category is retirees who have decided to commit to more of a rural lifestyle but don’t want or need a full-sized farm.
What’s the Difference Between a Hobby Farm and a Homestead?
When it comes to homesteading and hobby farming, there is definitely potential for a bit of overlap. However, homesteading generally refers to becoming mostly self-sufficient or the goal of self-sufficiency. So while a homestead may feature a hobby farm from which you harvest food, those who are just hobby farmers generally don’t aim for self-sufficiency.
Thinking of Becoming a Hobby Farmer? Here’s how to get Started
✓ If you’re looking for a spot for your hobby farm, wait until you find the right place for you. Be clear about what exactly you want from your hobby farm and make sure the land suits your needs and plan.
✓ Set a budget. How much are you prepared to invest in your hobby farm?
✓ Chances are, there will be fellow hobby farmers in the area, or you may already know a hobby farmer. Talk to people who have experience and insights to share with you.
✓ Like any grand plan, set clear goals for yourself. Start with a one year plan which includes the kind of animals and crops which you plan to farm.
✓ Create a step by step plan for achieving the goals which you have set and begin the first steps. For example, if you’ve decided to keep chickens on your hobby farm, then you might want to start with building a chicken coop.
✓ Continually assess and reassess. Make sure you consult your plan and goals on a regular basis to track your progress. While you must keep your ‘big picture’ in mind and not lose track of the reasons that you started hobby farming in the first place, you must also be flexible and be prepared to adjust your plan of action.
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