Starting a micro farm is one of the most effective ways to become self-sustaining and to maximize your chances of surviving a major disaster. It is also remarkably easy and does not require too many resources. However, you need to know where and how to start otherwise you could easily end up drowning in the work. On the other hand, if you’re too easy on yourself, you’ll hardly have anything to show for your effort.
If you are a total beginner and have few gardening skills, be realistic. You might have a large plot of land, but if you don’t have anyone to help you, you could be better off starting with only a small portion of it. If you start with an entire acre, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed. Your crops will fail and you’ll have to start from scratch. The worst part is, you’ll have learned little and gained hardly any experience. Instead, use only a fraction of your resources, and start with the basics: herbs, vegetables, berries, and small livestock like chickens.
…but challenge yourself
Be careful not to start too small. Your farm has to be large enough to test your ability to manage a fair volume of what you intend on farming. If you start with a tiny herb garden, you might have small success, but you’re not going to get the experience you need. Micro farming is all about hands-on experience, so you are going to go through a learning curve, figuring out which crops grow best and what you like to work with most. Start with a plot that does not require hired help. Only once you’ve had success for a year or two, start thinking about expanding.
Learn from others
It’s important to remember that you’re not the first person to start a micro farm. Talk to people who have micro farms and gardens in the area and ask those with experience to show you the ropes. Reading and watching videos can help, but the best way to learn is through practice.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice—most people will be glad to help first-time farmers, especially in small communities. You can also join micro farm communities and forums online, where people assist each other by asking and answering questions, as well as sharing tips and personal experiences. Our ebook provides a handy guide to the steps every first time farmer needs to take. Even if your ultimate goal is to be self-sufficient, farming is never a solo enterprise.
Apprenticing is a stepping stone
Apprenticing with an experienced farmer is a great way to learn, especially if you are starting from scratch. Alternatively, there are many cooperatives and grower organizations that provide workshops, conferences, trade shows, and field days, giving you the chance to see firsthand how experienced farmers run their farms.
Make sure you’re always learning
There’s no hard and fast rule as to how big or small you should start. No one can tell you what your exact goals should be. But you should always ask yourself whether you’re learning as much as possible. While you don’t want to rush the process, keep in mind that you’re not just doing this for fun. You want to be prepared for all possibilities. Therefore, it’s crucial that you learn as quickly as possible without jumping the gun.
Reading up on micro farming is the perfect way to start. Our ebook has all the information you need to kick start the process.