By Albert Makendenge
Besides the obvious farming of fruits and vegetables, there are plenty of creative ideas that one can come up with to make use of their small scale farm or backyard and profitably so. Below is a brief description of these top small scale farming ideas including mushroom, market gardening, hydroponics, urban farming and small scale meat farming.
Although it requires more time and labor than traditional crops such as tomatoes and despite its high demand on the market, growing mushroom is one idea or activity that many people overlook in farming. Mushrooms have quick growing cycles and one can take advantage of vertical space to maximize yields in a small space.
One can also venture into small agricultural operations to do with fruits, vegetables, livestock and even flowers in what is known as market gardening. Whilst requiring low capital to start and focusing on a diverse range of different products instead of large industrial farms, market gardens allow farmers to focus on specific market gaps that commercial farms may not be able to fill.
Hydroponics is also another great idea which is simply aquaponics without the fish of other aquatic life and relies on adding nutrients to the water to help the plants grow. It is a soilless growing method in which plants’ roots only come in contact with nutrient-rich water, although other mediums such as gravel or coconut coir can be used.
Growing, processing and distributing food in cities and urban areas, termed urban farming also makes it on this list of top five gardening ideas. It can include growing fruits and vegetables, bee keeping as well as keeping animals such as chickens and goats.
Last but not least is small scale meat farming which can include broilers, layers, pigs, goats or sheep. This particular venture, however, requires a great deal of knowledge and one will need to learn everything they can about animal health and well-being, nutrition, reproduction and more.
Visit our blog on www.vaMudhumeni.org to learn more about other farming ventures and creative ideas to help you get started.