Do you want to farm?

For many of us, the daily pressures can get a little exhausting. Work, traffic and city living can all become far too much for us to bear. In those moments, we begin to dream about a quiet life in the country, buying a smallholding and living more simply.

Says Modern Farmer: “Farming dreams are a modern seduction. For city dwellers, the vision of making a living from the earth salves the psychic wounds of a day job, and acts as an antidote to urban malaise.

“If you could just get out there on the land, far from spreadsheets and stress, cubicles and car alarms, things would surely be different. Eating overripe tomatoes, fresh from the vine and bursting with juice. Cavorting with goats. This is the life you were meant to live. In your heart and soul, you’re a farmer.”

It all seems like it would be so easy. A life filled with growing your own food, raising animals and working with your hands. And while many of us dream about living that life, few of us will ever make the decision to change our lives. It’s a massive commitment to buy, manage and live on a smallholding. There’s so much research to be done to make sure you’re aware of every eventuality.

Modern Farmer continues: “Is it for everyone? Certainly not. Farming is arduous and monumentally stressful, with a payoff that can be thin at best.”

According to The Art Of Manliness the world desperately needs more farmers. It’s just waiting for you to get started: “You’ve dreamed of becoming a farmer, growing food not just for yourself but for your greater community. You yearn to work with the soil, and are prepared for a life of physical toil, intellectual challenges, and uncertain finances.

“All that’s left is to trade in your suit and tie for sturdy boots and a dilapidated hat. Congratulations. The world needs you.”

These are just some of the issues you’ll need to know about.

Understand why you’re drawn to do this

You’re going to need to be sure of why you’re making this decision. Are you running away from a negative work space? Are you wanting to spend more time in nature? Are you planning on becoming self-sufficient and living off the grid? Or is your plan to make money from agriculture? Smallholdings come in every imaginable shape and size. So, it’s important that you know what you’ll be using it for before you start looking at buying a piece of land. Some smallholdings are mini-farms. Others are just large plots of land for you to live on and perhaps grow some veggies and keep some chickens. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to be prepared for all the expenses that’ll inevitably come along. It’s likely that you’ll eventually need to apply for agricultural finance to afford the specialised equipment which you’ll need.

Understand what you’re capable of doing

If you’ve never lived anywhere but a flat in the middle of the city centre, you’ll need to think carefully about what you’re bringing to the farm in terms of skills and resources. If you haven’t spent too much time on a farm before, you may not realise the extent of work involved. Even if you plan on hiring a farm manager to do the majority of the work, you’ll still need to know the basics. You’ll need to be sure you’ll enjoy getting your hands dirty daily, spending all of your free time outside and spending time away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Understand what you’ll be expected to spend

No matter the type of property you’re buying, you can expect that it’ll be expensive. One of the best parts about buying a smallholding is that eventually it can be used to generate income. Whether you’re hoping to completely replace your salary or are looking for some additional income, it’s possible with a smallholding. Once you’ve done the maths and calculated what you can afford to spend, you’ll be able to start finding the right piece of land for your farming dreams.

According to a guide on Entrepreneur Magazine, there are nine steps to starting a farming business:

  • Business Planning
  • Location
  • Equipment and livestock
  • Training
  • Market Positioning
  • Funding
  • Types of Farming
  • Planning Stages
  • Organisations

If you’ve considered all these factors, you have some exciting and challenging times ahead of you. You’re making a massive change to your life and you’re closer to living your dream. That’s exciting.