Most of us don’t think that much about where our food comes from. We just pick it up from our local store and take it home to eat. But concerns about the environment have led to a trend in self-sufficiency. More people are starting to produce their own food. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great place to start, but if you’re serious about reducing your impact on the environment and improving your relationship with food, consider raising your own animals for things like milk, cheese, and eggs. You don’t need a huge amount of space to raise chickens or goats. However, a larger farm could accommodate cows. Here are a few tips to get you started on your journey to self-sufficiency.
Consider the Cost
Failing to consider the cost of gardening/farming or raising animals is one of the biggest mistakes newcomers make. Even though you will save some money on your food, that doesn’t mean that raising animals or caring for a crop is cheap.
Farming or even a small vegetable garden can be quite expensive in terms of supplies, equipment, and labor. I recommend that you count all costs before starting and weigh that number with the benefits. Keep in mind, this endeavor will likely be close to a full-time job for someone.
First, you need to consider the cost of the animals themselves, and the cost of their food. But that’s just the start. You also need to think about building a shelter for them and putting up fences to make sure they don’t escape. You may also need things like heat lamps for certain animals, such as chicks and baby goats.
The time investment needs to be considered, as well. If you work full-time, you may not be able to manage some of the more labor-intensive animals. Make sure that you take all of this into account before deciding which animals to raise.
Choosing Your Garden
Deciding to grow your own food is a life-changing choice. It’s a noble effort that not only affects you and your family but the environment itself. Choosing what to grow and how are important decisions. Take into account where you live, your space, and the amount of time you’ll have. If you are new to vegetable gardening, you may want to read some books and watch some tutorials. It’s important to have things right from the beginning, so you don’t lose money, time, and the precious food you’re growing.
When you are choosing your animals, it’s important to consider space and accommodations. If you already have a barn, make sure it’s safe, warm, and easily accessible. As well as space, think about what you are looking to accomplish with the animals. Will they be supplying food for your family only or are you planning to sell some? Whichever you choose, make sure you learn all that you can about the animals you want to raise.
Getting The Right Feed
It’s important that you give your animals the best, healthiest feed to can afford. It’s best to use natural products like plant origin feed additives to boost the nutrient content of the food rather than using chemical products. Remember, you’re going to be eating whatever you feed the animals, so steer clear of unnatural products.