By Jane Marsh
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
While many people might not think of farming as a hobby, it can be one. In addition to being an enjoyable pastime for nature lovers, hobby farming has profound and positive impacts. Once you’ve learned more about the advantages, it’s clear how hobby farming helps you connect to yourself and nature.
What Is Hobby Farming?
Hobby farming is a scaled-down version of traditional farming. It alters standard practices to work with tighter schedules and smaller spaces. For example, a commercial farm takes up acres and produces massive amounts of vegetables, while the hobby version fits in a living room or a rooftop. It’s not about making money — even though that’s possible — it focuses on personal gain instead.
In addition to growing crops, there are plenty of types of hobby farming that fit all interests:
- Beekeeping: Many people raise bees because they’re incredibly friendly and produce delicious honey.
- Hydroponics: Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants directly with water instead of putting them in soil. It saves space and makes them easy to care for, so it works great in apartments.
- Raising small livestock: You can raise animals just like you would on a large farm if they’re small enough. Chickens, ducks, rabbits and geese are a few examples. Some even have extra benefits. For example, chickens regularly lay eggs for three years, giving you free breakfast for a while!
- Permaculture: Permaculture revolves around gardening in a way that mimics and supports the natural ecosystem. Hobby farmers who practice this method typically plant species native to their area.
Beekeeping, hydroponics, raising livestock and permaculture are just a few of the more popular methods — there are a ton of options to choose from. It allows people to separate themselves from their regular lives and focus on nature.
Does Hobby Farming Connect You to Yourself and Nature?
You completely surround yourself with nature when your hobby is farming because it takes a lot of time and effort. You have to weed, water, feed, harvest and clean on a regular basis to keep your plants and animals healthy. It can connect you to yourself and nature because you stay involved and see the value and impact of your work.
Other hobbies — like reading, for example — check you out for a few hours. You’re supposed to kick off your shoes when you get home from work, sit on the couch and zone out for a while. Hobby farming is different because you must stay mentally and physically connected to care for your little farm. You’re caring for life, and that has an effect on how you perceive yourself and your surroundings.
There’s a direct link between the environment and your brain, so the effect is significant. You’re more likely to experience personal growth and have a more meaningful life when you regularly expose yourself to nature. Farming as a hobby is very involved, but it is worth it.
How Can Hobby Farming Keep You Connected?
You can take up any type of hobby farming if you want to connect with nature. However, remember it takes time and effort to form a bond with your animals, plants or insects. It can be enriching and help you grow as a person, but you’ll only get out of it what you put into it.
You can connect with yourself and nature when hobby farming because:
- It’s research-intensive: Some plants and animals need particular environments and care to survive or thrive. For example, there’s one chicken breed that can’t fly, so it needs special housing attachments. You’re more likely to form connections with things when you deeply understand them.
- It’s relaxing: It separates you from the hustle and grind of your daily life. You can get lost in pruning, petting or planting for hours and simply surround yourself with nature.
- It has a positive effect on the environment: You become closer to the environment because you’re actively and positively impacting it as a pastime. It’s especially true in urban areas where it can significantly reduce the temperature and carbon emissions.
- It gives urban areas access to nature: Many city people are surrounded by concrete and only experience nature in small amounts, but hobby farming allows them to create an environmental oasis in their backyard. Be mindful that some neighborhoods have certain agriculture bans.
- It provides visible results of your work: Even without eggs, honey or tomatoes, you’ll still have a tangible result of all your effort. Your animals and plants grow up because you care for them.
- It grounds you: Unlike large operations, hobby farming is personal. You directly interact with your plants and animals daily and form a connection with them and their lives.
There are many ways you can help your environment and yourself while you’re taking care of your hobby farm. It takes more effort than most other hobbies, but it can be very valuable to your mental and physical health. Just remember you must research and stay involved if you’re going to do it because you’re caring for living creatures.
Hobby Farming Helps You Connect With Yourself and Nature
You get tangible results from your work when you hobby farm. It introduces nature into your life in a unique way and has an incredible effect on you over time. You see the value of plants and animals and how you can have a significant impact as an individual.
While hobby farming may be more challenging and time-consuming than other hobbies, it’s worth it because you can see yourself grow as your farm does.
About the author:
Jane is the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she shares practical tips on how to live a greener life.