Super-Small-Scale Farming

Super-Small-Scale Farming

Super-Small-Scale FarmingHow many acres do you own?  Ten?  Five?  Two?  None?

Good news—you can still farm!

Yes, it’s true!  Limited acreage cannot prevent you from pursuing a country lifestyle or from raising food either for your own use or to sell to others.  With wise stewardship of the land, a couple of acres can yield an amazing abundance.

Let’s do a little brainstorming and come up with some options.

 

Plants

The most obvious thing that you can do with a small acreage is plant a garden.  Even if you have only a tiny backyard in town somewhere, you can almost always have a garden—maybe not the sprawling garden you always dreamed of, but certainly a small, efficient garden.

You should also consider raising an orchard.  Dwarf and semi-dwarf trees don’t take up that much room, and they still yield generously with proper care.

And you may even be able to grow grains.  Seriously!  If your grain crops are raised primarily for your own home consumption, you don’t need that much space to plant a food plot.  Some super-small-scale farmers grow grains right in the garden.

 

Animals

Assuming zoning restrictions are not an issue, you can even raise livestock on your small acreage.  Poultry and rabbits are two obvious choices.  A few laying hens should have a place on almost every super-small-scale farm.  But there are more options than this!

Pastured pigs really don’t require that much room.  Estimates vary from five to ten pigs per acre, sows needing more space than growing hogs.  Of course, you’ll want to start small and figure out what you and your pastures can handle.

But you may be able to keep grazing animals, as well.  In many parts of Kansas, you can raise three stocker calves or five sheep or goats on five acres.  If you have access to ten acres, you could even consider keeping a couple of cows.  (Theoretically you could keep one cow on five acres, but one cow is a lonely creature.)  And don’t forget that many farm animals come in miniature versions that need less space to graze.

 

Ideas For Apartment Dwellers

Even if you have no land at all, there are still some things you can do.  You could grow lettuce in a window box, tomatoes on the balcony, or lime trees in five-gallon buckets.  You could head over to Grandpa’s farm on the weekend and help him with the chores.  You could lease some land nearby.  You could join forces with a few dedicated friends, buy a couple of acres outside of town, and go shares on the chores and the harvest.

No matter where you live, there are ways to pursue the country lifestyle.  If it is part of your life purpose, the door will be opened.  Your farm will just have to be a little bit unique.  And that’s not such a bad thing, now is it?

 

Helpful Resources

Small-Scale Farming
More ideas, plus principles to help you make it all work.

You Can FarmYou Can Farm
You really can, no matter how small your acreage is!  Need a few ideas?  This inspiring book by Joel Salatin should spark your creativity.  Read our full review.

All New Square Foot Gardening
Even if your backyard is about the size of a postage stamp, you can still grow plenty of fresh vegetables.  Square Foot Gardening makes it easy and attractive.  Read our full review.