By Caroline Kirby
In the last decade, more and more people who may not have any connection to farming have become interested in what farm life could be like. Whether you call it gentleman farming, a hobby farm, or you just want to grow your own food, this is a growing trend across the nation.
Farming for fun doesn’t mean a full-fledged operation. In fact, it can be your own backyard! Running your own “gentleman’s farm” or hobby farm just means you don’t need the farm to make a living.
What do landowners typically use their gentleman’s farm for?
Generally, owners have a job elsewhere, or in today’s world may be working remotely and have other sources of income. You can use your farm property for various things, like:
• Renting out your fields to working farmers
• Practicing your own agricultural activities
• Establishing sustainable farming methods
• Leaving the land in a natural state
• Practicing conservation methods to restore and preserve the landscape
Things to know about running your own hobby farm
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need a huge piece of property — which is great! Because this farm isn’t your main source of income, you can really make it whatever you want it to be.
However flexible and exciting it may seem, you still need to put in a lot of planning and hard work so that you don’t find yourself in a bad position. Here are the top tips for newcomers to hobby farming:
1. Do your research: Make sure this is what you’re really looking for. Hobby farming is a much bigger operation than just having a garden. Read, take classes, connect with other farmers, and maybe even do an apprenticeship. You should also look to network with the farming community in your area.
2. Take your time: Start small and don’t put pressure on yourself. The point of a hobby farm is not to make a profit—it’s to be pleasurable! So be patient and tack on new projects after you’ve had time to get comfortable with your current ones.
3. DIY is the way to go: Hobby farming is so appealing for many because it’s a chance to learn and develop new skills. So take this opportunity to upgrade and make fixes by yourself. However, it’s also essential to know when to call in the experts. Don’t get yourself in over your head!
4. Take chances: Once you have a few successful growing seasons under your belt, don’t be afraid to take it to the next level, whether that’s expanding the property or an existing operation or adding in a new species.
5. Consult a tax specialist: As with every dream, there is a bit of reality that will need to be considered. Every state has its own classifications and exemptions, so speak with a tax specialist from the area where you’re looking to make a hobby farm. Property taxes for agricultural land are typically different from regular property taxes.
Take things step by step, and your hobby farm can run smoothly! If you’re looking for the perfect piece of land to get started, check out LandHub’s current property listings.
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