Many people, especially those raised in the city, dream of owning a farm at some point in their lives. Often, they hope to move to a rural place with acreage for crops and livestock by their retirement years if not sooner. However, although farm life sounds idyllic in stories and songs, a number of challenges come with an agricultural lifestyle that you should be aware of before buying the farm.
Unless you plan to let your fields lay fallow indefinitely, you may want to clear the land to keep it free of brush and saplings that will be harder to remove later. Keeping the fields mowed and open will help to keep wildlife away. Cleared spaces may also discourage kids from camping or playing in the trees or grass where they can get hurt if left unsupervised. Maintaining cleared-off land means it is ready for planting when you are. However, it can be time-consuming to mow a large tract of land or pay to have it done, so include that in your budget.
Although growing vegetables sounds easy, healthy, and fun, the truth is usually more complex. The land must be tilled, planted, weeded, and watered to promote healthy crops. You will need to keep predator birds and animals away that will devour your food crops before you can harvest them. Bad weather can destroy your growing plants, costing you the crop’s outlay for the season. Be prepared to protect your fields of growth from risks like these.
Caring for Livestock
If you plan to keep animals on your farm, get ready for early mornings. Milking the cows, letting the horses and goats into the pastures, and cleaning the barn are just a few common chores required for keeping livestock. Feeding the animals and protecting them during harsh weather are additional tasks. Animals require daily care, sometimes very early, so plan your schedule accordingly.
You may need to fence off part of your farm to keep your livestock in and the wildlife out. A new fence should be stable and convenient to maintain. There are professional fencing companies that can provide options based on the amount of land that needs fencing, the livestock that will occupy the space, and more.
Life on a farm can be isolating if you don’t have close neighbors. Some people find it comforting to be able to wave at their next door neighbors or chat with them about a common outdoor problem like the weather or other topics. Of course, social media and the Internet make it easy to stay in touch, but having no one close by in case of an emergency or as a social contact can be disappointing for some.
Since most farmlands are located outside the city limits in a rural area, you may have to drive further for groceries, medicine, or school events. Add prospective fuel costs for increased mileage if you plan to move out of town away from the community amenities. Many farm owners don’t mind the tradeoff of a peaceful location for a little more driving. Just be sure to add the extra mileage to your monthly budget.
Farm living can be very satisfying to many people looking to get away from the bright lights and loud noises of city life. Compare the advantages to possible disadvantages to ensure that moving to a farm will be right for you.