Running a smallholding is a lot of hard work, and making it pay can be even more of a challenge. Dedication and persistence are essential, as financial income from your smallholding will be irregular and often sporadic. However, if you can pull it off, you might just have found yourself your dream job. This article will show you what to consider when endeavoring to earn an income through your smallholding.
A good piece of land is essential in starting your smallholding. Often, plots can be found through word of mouth within gardening and conservation communities. A small amount of estate agents will specialize in land, while others may also include land amongst their usual properties. Buying land “in bulk” can often be a more economical choice, so it is sometimes worth buying land with friends or family members and then splitting it up into separate smallholdings. This can bring a number of benefits, including being able to share vehicles, equipment, marketing and labour. Having your smallholding situated near to others also brings a sense of community to your endeavour, as well as making it easier to spread word about your smallholding around the community.
Choose a product to specialize in
A smallholding can produce a variety of different fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products and more. This is ideal when using it for your own self sufficiency but if you plan to sell your produce to the public you may wish to focus on a particular product. Suitable ideas for products, particularly when just starting out are:
Vegetable box schemes
Free range eggs
Jams and preservatives
Choose a product that you have some knowledge of and experience in producing. You may also want to do some research into the demand of each product in your local area.
Depending on the product you are selling, harvest time can be a critical time of year. How you harvest and store the food you grow once it is harvested will effect how easy it is to sell your produce commercially. For example, by drying, pickling or preserving what you grow, you can extend the lifespan of your product and increase the window in which you can sell your produce. This is worth considering when deciding on a product to specialize in.
Very few individuals are able to live an entirely self sufficient lifestyle with their smallholding acting as their main source of income. When starting out in your endeavor, remember you will have to work unconventional hours while seeing little outcome for months on end. Often, you will need to keep your main job while you are starting out on your smallholding, meaning long working hours. However, with dedication and commitment, your smallholding can become more consistent in its production, and, with good promotion of your products, you will slowly start to see results. If you are willing to put in the hard work, you may never find yourself working an office job again!tagsgardeningorganicself sufficiencysmallholdingsustainable