Farming can be exhilarating. Farmers aren’t just growing food for themselves but for an entire community, and that feeling of giving back can be appealing for a lot of office workers looking for a drastic change in their lifestyle. But one of the key aspects to being happy as a farmer is being able to be a sustainable farmer.
It’s not just enough to feel drawn to working with soil, newcomers have to also think their whole operations through to make sure they can continue to farm for a long time. While not every experience will be the same, and anyone interested in farming should carve their own unique path, there are certain basic rules that any beginner farmer should take into account in their first few years.
Don’t Worry About Failures
First of all, new farmers need to accept that there’s always going to be something they fail at. Second of all, they need to understand it won’t be the worst thing to happen. Though as a society we’re used to thinking of failures as fatal mistakes that should fill us with shame forever and ever, in reality, a mistake is just an opportunity to learn and change the course.
In daily life, things fail, and in farming life, that’s especially true. A good farm depends on too many unpredictable elements, so even if you prepare yourself with the help of the best farmer out there and read every farming book that was ever written, at one point or another you will fail. When that happens, don’t let it bring you down – learn, adapt, and move on.
Research Before Committing
Before becoming a farmer, you’ll have to become a bit of a marketer. New farmers need to take some time studying the market. It’s important to know what exactly other, well established, farmers are offering, what the public is asking, and which segments of the market seem to be stagnant or saturated. The whole operation should be more or less clear from the get-go. You should know what you’d like to produce in the farms, the resources needed, any distributions lines to get the product in markets or stores. This is before you even begin to prepare the soil or buy your first animal. Come up with a plan, then a plan b, and then a backup plan for your backup plan. You can’t be too careful when trying to be sustainable.
Another aspect of production farmers not think of before committing to anything is the type of land they have. Crops depend on specific climates, humidity and access to sunlight. Likewise, animals will not be happy in just any kind of weather. So, you should be using the land to grow something that is actually suited to grow there, rather than trying to force it and ending up with a needlessly hard to cultivate crop.
Those who want to be sustainable can’t be acquiring crippling debt. Even if it seems like a shortcut, in the long run, it will only serve as an added pressure to an already difficult venture. In the beginning, it will wise to stay away from loans or debt, at the very least, until you’re able to bring in a profit.