Six containers of heirloom tomatoes, miniature squashes, and herbs on your back patio or six acres of beets, cabbages, and strawberries? Five chickens and a honey bee hive or a small farm with three dozen sheep and a couple of quarter horses?
Regardless of the size of your ?field of dreams," Essential Guide to Hobby Farming is your best first step to making that hobby-farm aspiration a pleasurable and profitable reality. A hobby farmer for the past thirty years, Carol Ekarius shares the joys, challenges, and rewards of living the rural life. Hobby farming is as much a state of mind as it is an address in the country, and this instructive, beautifully photographed manual addresses every topic beginning hobby farmers need to know, from purchasing the right land and equipment to choosing and maintaining crops and livestock to marketing and selling your hobby farm's yield.
TOPICS DISCUSSED INSIDE:
-Assessing finances and resources?land, water, tools of the trade (trucks, tractors, various implements)
-Choosing the best crops for your land, climate, hardiness, and profitability
-Selecting and caring for the livestock?chickens, goats, cows, sheep, etc.?that best fits your hobby farm
-Protecting crops and livestock against predators, pests, and disease
-Business and marketing options for selling your ?local food" directly to restaurants and farmers' markets and through CSA programs
-Preserving the harvest, through canning, drying, and freezing, plus over two dozen original recipes for your homegrown produce
NEW FOR THE SECOND EDITION:
Expanded section on chickens, including urban and suburban accommodations; honey bee keeping; adding a barn or annex building to the farm; trends in planting, including miniature vegetables, heirloom varieties, and ?hot" new vegetables and hybrids; adding flower beds to the property; getting involved with a CSA