Can you make money microfarming? Well, decades ago, the only way to make money from agricultural pursuits was to invest the time and money necessary to build up a major farm operation.
But these traditional, sprawling farms are beginning to become less and less common. In their place is rising a new trend, and it’s providing average hobbyists with opportunities to pursue their passion while potentially making some money along the way.
Known as microfarms, these new farms are dramatically smaller than their traditional counterparts. They range from as small as a fraction of one acre to a few acres in size, but never any larger than that. They often appear along major cities and suburbs where a market for the crops being produced can be easily accessed and sold to. But who are the farmers tending to these microfarms, and what motivates them to pursue this unique opportunity?
Many microfarmers pursue their passion part-time, working full-time jobs and tending to their farms in any spare hours they have. Some are retired, others are young and active and see microfarming as a real and effective way to earn money. Many of these microfarmers started out as gardeners looking to produce some fresh produce for their own use, then found that they enjoyed both the act of farming and the potential for earnings that came along with it. But how are these farmers turning a profit?
For one, they do their research. When dealing with small plots of land and limited resources, being efficient and careful about which crops to pursue and how much to invest in individual crops is critical. There are several factors that these farmers take into consideration, and you can use their experience and approaches to determine which crops will serve you best.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself about potential crop choices and overall approaches.
Which crops are the easiest to grow and require the least intensive attention? These will make the best choices, particularly for beginners and part-timers, and can be depended on to survive any initial mistakes or missteps you might make.
Which crops show a trend of increasing in popularity? You don’t want to select crops that seem popular now but which are on their way down the ladder in terms of appeal. Look out for up-and-comers, crops whose health benefits or uses have just begun to rise in appeal. These can be reasonably expected to become staples for the immediate future.
Are your crops high-yield and high value? This becomes particular important for micro farms, because farmers can’t afford to have any waste or low-value crops. Do your research to ensure that your investment results in a significant enough income to be worth your time and energy. This is the key to effective micro-farming.
If you’re considering stepping into the world of microfarming, it’s worth taking a look at whether this part-time business is right for you. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons involved, starting with the potential turn-offs.
It will take some time to become profitable. It should come as no surprise that starting a microfarm will require a significant amount of time and work before they become profitable. Your crops have to grow, and you’ll need to perfect your techniques before you have market-ready products.
You’ll have to be diligent. A microfarm isn’t something that you can tend to once every several days and then ignore. You won’t need much time every day, but you will need at least an hour or two on a daily basis to maintain your microfarm and ensure that your crops are healthy.
Now let’s take a look at some of the pros of microfarming.
Set your own hours. You can tend to your farm whenever you have time—whether that’s in the morning before work, after you get home, or on your lunch break.
You can spend time outside. We all love being outside, but we sometimes find it hard to find the motivation to get up and get out. Your microfarm will be the little voice in your head encouraging you to get out into the sunlight and get your hands dirty.
You can make microfarming a full-time pursuit. You should start small, but there are plenty of success stories about microfarmers who have transformed a part-time hobby into a full-time successful business. There are no guarantees, but with the right amount of work and diligence, this could be you.