Backyard gardening is one thing, and starting your own backyard farm is another. Nonetheless, they have a similar goal and that's to make you self-sufficient. Let’s explore some of the best reasons that you should get started on one below!
How a Backyard Farm Can Benefit You
A backyard farm is not as far out of reach than you might think. In most cases, you are probably lacking a plan and understanding of what it takes to grow vegetables and fruits, raise chickens, and build up some perennials that come back each year to provide for.
Despite the current cataclysm we are facing, you should have a backyard farm for many reasons. We have become a very dependent society and it puts us in a bad spot when things like this happen.
1. Have Backyard Hens and Own Supply of Eggs
Nothing really changes the feel of your garden or makes you feel like you are operating a backyard farm like having some chickens that produce eggs. In most places, you are not going to be able to slaughter chickens for meat so focusing on hens and hen eggs makes the most sense.
Chickens are easy and kids love them! You will have to get used to their hierarchy and understand that they can be pretty mean to each other over dominance. It also helps to be able to treat minor injuries.
2. Grow Interesting Fruits
If your backyard is on less than an acre, then you will likely not have the space for a serious fruit orchard. Instead, you can investigate some of the more interesting fruit-producing plants that might even be native to your yard.
The Paw Paw tree is a wonderful and exotic tree that produces a large fruit that tastes like a banana mixed with mango. If you are in a wetland environment these might be growing in your backyard already!
Goji berry, raspberry, blackberry, and mulberry are all great options for growing bushes that produce fruit. Mulberry is actually a tree, but the fruits are delicious.
Vining fruits like hardy kiwi and passionfruit are also great options when it comes to exploring some new and different fruit producers. These are also all perennials that will return the following year.
3. Save Money
Once your backyard farm is established, you will save money and time by picking your produce, gathering your eggs and pulling fruits from the backyard. It's arguable that a robust herb garden is one of the best ways to save money.
Supermarket herbs are so overpriced – it's outrageous!
4. Incredible Satisfaction
In a profit-driven, digital world, there is a lot of value in personal satisfaction. Many people blindly strive for their whole lives in search of some kind of personal satisfaction only to find it has eluded them.
Standing in the center of your raised beds with chickens clucking and children tearing off leaves of kale is such massive jolt to the system. The backyard farm could be just the kind of personal satisfaction you are looking for.
5. Introducing Children to the Circle of Life
While you might be reading this article and wondering about all the benefits you could accrue from a backyard farm, I think modern children stand to benefit the most!
In a backyard farm, you are going to have compost piles, food growing plots, hens, maybe rabbits, native plants, and all of this will require upkeep. Kids love to water gardens and plants, they like weeding sometimes and they certainly like picking fresh food and eating it.
My 4-year-old son will run to the coop and find eggs and when we bring the eggs inside, he almost always wants to crack one and fry it up.
The most devious trick of all is to introduce them to your backyard farm so young that they just think this is how life should be lived. These are lessons that last a lifetime.
6. Prepared for Uncertain Times
Of course, one of the biggest reasons why you should have a backyard farm is because you then have some insurance against the unknown. All the sudden you have a fail-safe if the food system collapses. You have food if the economy collapses. You can help feed others who might be in need.
This is all so important and is just part of having a backyard farm.
Start small. You might not be able to feed everyone in your first year but as time goes on you are going to be able to add plants, trees, more hens, perennials. Maybe you even decide to add a goat!
If you start small, you will be able to save yourself a lot of time, money and effort if things fail. That is an important consideration.
The backyard farm is not just a fad. As our society changes due to the pandemic, we are going to see more people making this more of the norm and less of an exception. Be the catalyst for that change in your area.
Are you considering starting your own backyard farm? Why or why not? We'd love to know your thoughts in the comments section!
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