Hobby Farming has become a growing trend across the nation in the last few years. The idea is to know what is going into the products you eat and to save money. Of course, here in Stillwater and the surrounding areas there are many who have raised beef cattle and other livestock for years to sell at auction. You may have noticed that some of your friends and family have begun to also raise small flocks of chickens for eggs or to raise a pig or steer for meat rather than buy form the store. Raising your own livestock gives you the chance to go organic or grass-based rather than using hormones and grains. You could also try raising heritage breeds and rare breeds that are at risk of going extinct.
If you are interested in raising your own livestock for economical and health reasons, there are a few books here at the library that I recommend:
· “Hobby Farm: Living Your Rural Dream for Pleasure and Profit” by Carol Ekarius—Ekarius writes from personal experience about deciding to make the switch from living in the city to managing a small farm. She explains small scale gardening, raising livestock, and dealing with problems like pests and changing seasons.
· “Living on an Acre: A Practical Guide to the Self-Reliant Life”—This is the classic small farm primer from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which covers topics like building a barn, beekeeping, raising livestock, and land conservation.
Most importantly do not forget to enjoy yourself. I have much enjoyed going to a family member’s house to help collect eggs and feed the hens; watching the hens as they run around the yard, getting all excited after you mow to scratch through the freshly cut grass for seeds and bugs. May you have as much joy out of it as I do!
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