One of the aspiring hobby farmer’s greatest challenges is accessing land at an affordable price. To minimize financial risk and to get the farm established quickly, many new and young farmers are scooping up land by renting it. Second only to borrowing land, renting land is the most affordable way to participate in growing local food movements and sustainability and to engage with community through farming. Here are some pointers you need to know before farming on rented land
1. Discover Your Market
Before sourcing land, it’s necessary to identify your market—that is, your first potential customers. First locate the markets where you’ll sell your products. These could be farmers markets, direct customer targets such as farm-to-table restaurants and independent groceries, or people traveling through the area where you hope to farm. Then search an ever-widening radius around that central market location until you find suitable land at the price you can afford. Before you start to farm, figure out where to rent
2. Urban areas lands
In cities and towns where land might seem scarce for farming.However,land may be readily available. The average home in most town and cities has an average of 0.2 acres of land. That’s around 8,000 square feet. With intensive farming techniques, this can be enough land to turn a modest profit with small crops that make the most efficient use of small spaces.
3. Semi-Urban areas lands
On the outskirts of suburbs before reaching cities and towns, semi-urban spaces are big enough with small acreage to hold an entire hobby farm. For beginners, less land can be more manageable than a rural farm. A semi-urban area might boast some city-like development, but land is available in larger tracts. Semi-urban sites can give your farm a rural feel, while retaining proximity to customers.
4. Rural farm land facts
Many current landowners and farmers are at retirement age and many find their children living in cities without the desire to return to farming. It’s in your best interest as a farmer to have your land used and to not see it fall into disrepair.
A deceased farmer’s land might be held by a trust and left vacant by family members who have no interest in ever farming it. This kind of farms that’s potentially available for long-term rent is often not advertised. The best tool for finding it is networking.
Ask all of your friends and family for some land you can start with. The key is to get something started as soon as you can. Getting started on your own lawn or on borrowed land makes your business visible; creating opportunity to make your land needs known.
7. Market Your Farm
This is no time to be bashful. Tell everyone you meet about your new farm and your ongoing land needs, and hand out two business cards. This is the easiest way to introduce yourself to people who might lead you to land.
8. Spread The Message
These days, your hobby farm basically doesn’t exist if it doesn’t have an online presence, especially if you’re planning to farm in the country. Tell your story and share your food philosophy with a simple website, and use social media to share the birth and evolution of your farm to gain support and excitement for your business. Use the results to gather market data and apply it to growing your business.
9. Negotiate Rental Terms
Short-term leases or rentals are certainly an option, if it’s your only option. Short-term leases and rentals are least desirable for both the lessor and the lessee. Both offer flexibility but neither offers stability. Decades-long leases are common in rural areas, and they usually include scheduled intervals for revisiting the contract. A lease should be agreeable and beneficial to both farmer and landowner. Maintaining a respectful relationship should lend itself to revisiting the contract as issues arise.
Since many farmers or soon-to-be farmers depend on leased land as part or all of their business, it is in their best interest and success to maintain long-term, positive relationships with landowners. landowners may be dependent on the rental for income, be keeping their land in farm deferral for tax purposes or simply want their land to remain in agriculture production. Landowners are seeking stable, hassle-free relations with their tenants and often want them to be respectful of the land and its history.
Starting with a small collection of livestock, and renting the farm at the right opportunity. might be ideal.As a nation, we are experiencing a generational shift in farming. Land and resources are available to make nearly any hobby farm dream come true.