Why Buy a Hobby Farm
Buying a small farm is generally an emotive experience. Every purchaser has a unique set of reasons for taking such a step, however, general themes can be identified and several broad categories of hobby farmers can usually be observed in most regions.
For Investment Interest
Astute investors will often purchase a parcel of land close to the urban fringe with the expectation that the urban sprawl will inevitably produce handsome profits from subdivisions or redevelopment. Such farmers will often carry out a minimum of work and may graze some animals in order to keep the property tidy. It is unlikely that long-term activities such as re-vegetation will take place.
For Lifestyle Or Privacy
More commonly hobby farmers have a desire to live away from the prying eyes of neighbours, but be near enough to the city in order to commute to work. Some owners may have little interest in working the property as a place for agricultural production, and as a result, carry out a minimum of work maintaining the site.
A pleasant environment for the children is often cited as the reason for moving to a rural property. Others may combine the benefits of a rural lifestyle with the personal aim of land regeneration. The land may not be used for agricultural purposes, but there is a desire to see the site nurtured for the sake of fauna and flora. These are certainly noble ambitions.
For Retirement And Memories
I have met quite a few older migrants who want to relive past rural experiences, similar to their native homeland. Many such people migrated to the city, spending a lifetime working at menial tasks within a factory setting. An element of nostalgia is apparent, yet they take lavish pride in their farm and usually develop highly productive farms. Often these farmers choose to live in the city near their families and commute to the farm. Unfortunately, time is often against such people, and due to an inability to maintain the property with age, there is no choice but to sell.
For The Enterprising Spirit
There is also a brave and adventurous group of hobby farmers who want to try their hand at something new or novel. The range of enterprises is only limited by one’s imagination and in general a few years are needed before the enterprise is deemed a success or failure. In the meantime the owner may work full time, operating the enterprise on weekends. The majority of such enterprises are doomed to failure, but this is often a learning experience leading to success in the future.
A very wide range of enterprises such as emu growing, native bush foods, snail production and garlic cultivation may be attempted. From hundreds of new projects, some will be a success, but the majority will be a learning experience at best and a financial disaster at worst. In many cases insufficient planning and research is carried out, or the owner soon comes to the conclusion that far too much work is involved for the potential returns.
For Passion And Challenges
In my case I have no great illusion or grand plan, but I look forward to the physical challenges involved in maintaining 5 acres with limited capital. I hope one day to look upon my farm with pride and to grow and share some of the fruits of this labour.