The modern world is full of so much stuff. We can go to the grocery store and find foods that are from all over the world. We can go to department stores and find clothes, toys, and gadgets, many of which are meant to make life easier and some that are just there to be novelties and make the inventor some money. We can have people make our food, make our clothes, and we can find items that are there to help you out with anything and everything in life.
While this can seem like a nice thing to enjoy in life, it is actually going to cause a lot of problems. The fewer things we do on our own, the more we become dependent on others around us. When the store is out of a certain food, we have to live without it or make adjustments to our plans. So what would happen if your store all of a sudden ended up empty and doesn’t have any products available? Would you be able to provide for your family or would you be scrambling around looking for ways to eat?
Many Americans are starting to see the unhealthy this relationship can be. While it is nice to be able to go to the store and just pick out the items that you need, many families would be in some trouble if they had to start fending for themselves on a moment’s notice. There are many that feel it is time to take a step back and start taking care of ourselves rather than relying on the big grocery stores or other people to provide us with the basic necessities.
And from this idea came mini farming. Mini farming is the idea that you can be self-sufficient, at least a little bit, from the mainstream world, and take care of some of our own things. Whether you just decide to take on a little bit of gardening and make some of your own food or you go all out and learn how to be self-sufficient completely from the modern world, mini farming can be the right solution for you.
Mini farming is the best choice for anyone no matter how much room you have available. There are many individuals who feel they are not able to join farming or homesteading or any of these other ideas because they don’t have an acre or more of farmland to use. While having all this space may seem like it makes things easier, and it can allow for a little more food production or larger livestock, you don’t have to miss out on all the great stuff that self-sufficiency offers just because you are a bit more limited on space.
Mini farming can be done in your own backyard. As long as you have some space for a nice garden, or even doing gardening in your own home, and some livestock like chickens or pigs, you can join this movement. An area as small as ¼ of an acre can be enough to help you to get started. You may be amazed at how easy this whole process can be as well as how much fun! Starting out small can make it so much easier, gives you a taste of why these movements are so amazing, and can help you to reach that self-sufficiency goal you are looking for.
The Basics of Mini Farming
Mini farming can appeal to almost everyone. Some people get into mini farming because they have always dreamed of having an acreage and doing things on their own, but perhaps they aren’t able to follow that dream right now and are making use of the space around them. Others may choose to start the self-sufficiency lifestyle and they like the idea of growing their own produce and even keeping a few animals in the backyard. Some may want to go completely self-sufficient with the backyard farming and others just like having fresh from the garden foods and will get started with the mini farming.
No matter the reason you get started with mini farming, there are so many ways that you can go about the process. Let’s take a look at the different things you should consider before getting started with mini farming.
The first thing that you will need to do to start with your mini farm is to plan it all out. Draw up a plan of your backyard or the area that you would like to use for your farm. You can take some time to watch the backyard, noticing which places get full sun, the parts that are in the shade part of the day, and then those that are going to be mostly shaded. These are going to make a big difference in where you place all of your plants.
Once you know where the sun is located in relations to your backyard, it is easier to plan out where you will put everything. You will be able to put the plants in an area that will get sun most of the day and move a shed over to someplace that is shaded most of the day and wouldn’t be good for a garden. You may need to mess around with the plan a bit, but it’s much easier to do this on paper than out in real life.
With the right kind of planning, you are going to be able to fit so much in a small area. Many people who are considering going with mini farming worry that they just won’t have space to do more than just a small garden. But when you draw out the plans, you could have room for a small orchard, some chickens, a shed, and even a garden. Get some spray paint and outline the areas you will use for each part of the farm to see the visualization and to ensure everything goes where you would like.
Also, while you are doing your planning, make sure to check out some of the city ordinances. One difficult part about planning a mini farm in your backyard is that some city ordinances are not going to look fondly on some things like goats, chickens, and beehives in your backyard like they would if you were on an actual farm. Check into these things when making plans to make the best mini farm possible.
The location of your plants and other items in the mini farm can really make a difference in the results that you see. You will want to make sure that you are placing your garden, orchards, and other plants in areas that are going to get quite a bit of sunlight. There is usually going to be someplace in the yard that gets the most sun, even if most of the yard is pretty shady, and this is where you should put the garden. On the other hand, you may want to leave your livestock inside areas that have more shade so they don’t get overheated.
Another idea is to consider using supports that are found naturally in your yard. You can use trellises, fences, and other supports to help with plants with lots of vines. For example, tomatoes, peas, and runner beans will often be left in the garden to grow along the ground, but you can help them to grow up with the trellis to save space and use up more of the resources that you already have available.
When working on your mini farm, don’t forget to use some herbs. Herbs can be helpful in so many different ways. You can use them in your cooking to spice up the dishes that you like to eat, use them in your common household items, such as soaps, lotions, and more, and so much more. The best part is most of these are going to fit well right in between your other plants. In areas that are too small to add in more fruits or vegetables in the garden, herbs are going to fit in really well. They don’t need a lot of sun so they can go under big and bushy plants and can grow in very small areas.
If your garden is already too full of items and you are worried about fitting in herbs, there are a lot of other places that you are able to grow the herbs that you would like. You can use an old wagon wheel and fill it with dirt and grow the herbs in there. Get some small containers and grow the herbs on a shelf inside your home. Hang them up in the air to keep them out of the way. There are so many different places where you can grow herbs to make life easier and to become even more self-sufficient.
If you live in an area that allows it or you are out in the country, a beehive can be a great addition to your garden. You will get several benefits of using the beehives. First, the bees are going to be able to help with pollinating your flowers and plants so you will get a better yield than on your own. In addition, bees can be a great way to get some more food, including the honey that can taste so good in your kitchen. Choose to keep the honey or consider selling some to make a bit of extra money.
When raising bees in your backyard, you will need to take some special precautions to ensure that they are not feeling stressed out so they can do their jobs. This can be hard because you also need to keep them in the one area so you don’t have to worry about the bees bothering your neighbors. While having bees can be a great addition to your farm, you do have to be careful before starting.
One of the best things that you can do when starting your mini farm is bring in some chickens. Chickens are a lot of fun to raise, don’t take a lot of work, can fit in a small backyard or on an acreage, and provide some healthy and fresh eggs and great meat. Raising chickens may seem a little bit hard at first, but you are going to love how easy the chickens can be.
To raise the chickens, you just need to make sure that you are getting things started right. Get some food that has many fantastic nutrients inside to help the chickens grow and find a coop that is big enough for them to grow and do well. Many families choose to allow the chickens to be free range and walk around the yard to destress the chickens and ensure that they aren’t going to feel any unneeded stress.
You will need to take the time to check for eggs every day, watch for any diseases and illness that can sneak up on the chickens, and be sure that there isn’t going to be issues with fighting between the chickens. You will have to be careful about cleaning out the chicken coops as well because the mess can cause issues if not properly taken care of. Consider selling some of the eggs, eating them, or allowing some to become fertilized so you won’t have to worry about needing to purchase more eggs in the future.
Raising chickens is a great way to make sure that your family has plenty of fresh meat and eggs to stay healthy. The chickens don’t take a lot of work as long as you let them take dirt baths and feed them each day and it can be a great way for your whole family to bond and enjoy time together. It doesn’t matter if you have a big yard or a smaller one, chickens can be a great way to get started with mini farming.
And finally, you are able to produce dairy products in your mini farm. While you are not going to be able to fit a whole cow or two in your backyard, but there are still others ways to include some more dairy in the mini farm. Small goats, such as the Australian Miniature Goat, will not take up that much room inside of your backyard and while they do not produce the same amount of milk that the larger goat varieties do, they are better for your backyard space.
Goats are usually pretty easy to take care of. They have a laid back personality and won’t take too much work to keep them happy. You will need to learn how to take care of the unique personality of your goat, but for the most part, if you feed them the right food and allow them a bit of room to roam around, they are going to produce the milk and dairy products that you are looking for.
Mini farming can be a great experience for the whole family to enjoy. It is a way to gain some of your own self-sufficiency from the modern world, get your hands nice and dirty, and to just enjoy some fresh produce and livestock even in your own backyard!