This small farm is on less than 1/2 acre. There are currently 15 egg-laying chickens, 2 hogs, and multiple types of produce grown. It is a small family operation.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average age of a farmer in the United States is 58.3 and the number of beginning farmers is declining. We need to get more young people excited about farming! I am 13 years old and love growing crops, raising animals, and learning about farming!I do all of it on less than an acre of land!
This project will show young people that to create a sustainable farm you don’t need a huge budget or multiple acres of land. By growing your own crops, raising livestock, composting manure and scraps, you can have a sustainable farm that will provide food for your family, be profitable, and can help your community with fresh vegetables and meat.
I will create a YouTube channel that appeals to young people and document and share the whole process to inspire others to use the resources we have and waste nothing.
- Build and develop a micro farm that is sustainable and wastes nothing.
- Document and measure the inputs and processes involved in creating and sustaining a micro farm and share with the community through field days and social media.
- Produce food for my family, sell for profit, and gift to food pantries in my community and measure and share the results.
The thing that I did the most research on was the shelter for the hogs. I originally was going to build a three sided structure for the hog shelter. After speaking with multiple hog farmers and conducting research online, I decided to purchase a pre-made Quonset Hut which is a steel dome structure with a door. The farmers in the surrounding area encouraged me to get something with a closeable door because of the number of coyotes that are often in the area. This structure would provide the best shelter and keep the pigs safe from predators when they were small. I am happy with the structure I chose because it has held up good to the harsh winds and provided ample amount of protection for the hogs on my farm.
The amount of vegetables that were grown on my small farm was ample supply to feed my family as well as sell to local community members and use the profits to help sustain the farm. By weighing and measuring the produce, I was able to keep records of how much my small farm produced and the amount that was able to be sold and donated.
Educational & Outreach Activities
We conducted a field day on the farm in the summer. We invited local farmers and community members from the area to visit the farm. We especially focused on youth in the area. We advertised the field day mainly using social media, but also hung signs in the local businesses within our small town. We used a lot of word-of-mouth invitations and advertising as well. Being in a small town area, people are easy to reach and word travels quickly through the community.
We created posters and informational media especially designed for youth. Community members were able to tour the farm and children and teens planted seeds while learning about the various components of the farms such as the rain barrels and compost barrels. During this time, results from the project were shared with community members.
For those who couldn’t attend the public field day, we scheduled private tours at various times and consulted with many youth members who wanted to start their own gardens or were interested in raising livestock or poultry.