The world needs nutritious food, and that requires intelligent and resourceful people to grow it. Running an organic farm has several benefits. Apart from providing your loved ones with a constant supply of healthy food, you will be growing for your entire community. The popularity of organic groceries, meat shops, as well as restaurants has put organic-grown food in high demand, while the organic farming industry is characterized by exceptionally strong export market possibilities. If you are ready to trade your suit for a pair of overalls, heavy boots and a trucker’s hat and build your career as a farmer, here’s what you should know.
Know your land
You can either force your dreams on the land at all costs, or simply work with what nature gives you. If there is small game abundant on your farm, the land is also perfect for raising free-range chicken, sheep, cattle and pigs. On the other hand, keep in mind that if you try raising free-ranging ducks on a beautiful pasture, rest assured they will follow their waterfowl instinct and turn the valuable grazeland into a network of muddy ponds. In their own way, they are saying that they belong near water.
Avoid borrowing money
In the past fifty years, debt has devastated more farms than the Seven Plagues of Egypt combined. The all-around housing crisis has reinforced the severity of debt for the average person, and unfortunately farmers aren’t immune to these challenges. The challenge is even greater for organic startup farms, as their investments and initial costs are much bigger than with non-organic farms. While borrowed money can speed up your goals, buy you a new tractor or even more land, it cannot buy experience, which is the most valuable farming asset.
Identify your market
It doesn’t matter what your farming goals are – you can raise pigs, grow tomatoes or start a sauerkraut business, like the old Heinz back in the day, or perhaps sell all your baa-baa wool to local knitting businesses. There are people who love pork chops and sauerkraut, Italian restaurants that cook more tomatoes than you can grow in a year and legions of people who adore organic wool fashion. But how do you find them? How do you reach them? Do they live in your neighborhood or hundreds of miles away? Before you wean your first litter, before you harvest your first tomatoes and definitely before you shear your first ewe, figure out where and how you are going to sell them.
Grow what you like
Let’s call out the elephant in the room – farming is hard work, physically demanding, with unique emotional challenges. Make your life easier by growing something you love. If you love Burgundy apples, grow Burgundy apples. By working with passion, you’ll manage to get through those day when things don’t go your way. While it can seem like common sense, our decisions are often driven by finances, tradition, and inertia more than we would like. Step out on the line and reap your tasty reward.
Plenty of good storage space is important for preserving your produce from the time they are harvested until they are sold. Storage in a way ensures a continuous flow of goods in the market, while protecting the quality of perishable and semi-perishable products. On the other hand, some goods like wool have seasonal demand, so you need to produce it continually and store as you do. Produce in ground surface structures can be stored in two ways – bag storage or bulk storage. Bags or crates are easier to load, unload and dispatch as a definite quantity. The exposed peripheral structure area per unit weight is less in bulk storage, so damage from external sources is reduced. Agricultural sheds by Wallandra are a fine example of storage structures that have the ability to be modified for future requirements, while their flexibility allows for multi-purpose use.
A famed 18th century German poet and avid botanist said ‘A reasonable agriculture would do its best to emulate nature. Rather than change the earth to suit a crop it would diversify its crops to suit the earth.’ High-yield, high concentration farming runs on quantity. Organic farming runs on nature.