It’s a practice that’s grown in popularity in some areas, especially as food chain disruptions have become a bigger fear among many; the small scale primarily pleasure-focused farm.
You may even know someone with a few live chickens in their backyard or you may have a decent patch of land that you’re already using for growing crops.
But when does a little amateur agriculture become a full-on official hobby farm?
WHAT IS A HOBBY FARM?
The difference between a regular farm and a hobby farm is the expectation of profit. A hobby farm exists primarily for pleasure instead of it being a business venture to provide the operator with an income.
Someone who operates a hobby farm usually has a separate primary source of income such as their regular day job or a retirement pension and is not reliant on revenue generated by their farm to sustain them financially.
HOW TO START A HOBBY FARM
Do you have a passion for growing crops or raising animals but not looking to farm as a business?
Starting a hobby farm is an ideal activity for those with enough free time, such as retirees who finally have the opportunity to take part in a lifelong interest.
Lauren from TreeHugger.com provides some excellent tips on how to start a hobby farm, but generally speaking the steps towards starting your hobby farm will be something like the following:
1. PLAN AND SET GOALS
Combine your interests and your available resources such as land size to decide what type of hobby farm is right for you. Once that’s decided, make a plan by creating to do and to buy lists.
2. TALK TO SOME NEIGHBOURS
There are likely others around you who are doing the same thing that you can share ideas with. If not, there are digital communities and groups where you can ask questions and receive advice.Once you have the general direction in mind for your hobby farm, rely on the kindness of strangers who are likely more than happy to share what they’ve learned so you can skip some of their mistakes.
3. START DIGGING (perhaps literally)
Once you have the direction and plan in mind. It’s time to get to work. Set up the chicken coops, prepare the land for seeding, purchase and install equipment. Whatever is required in this phase will depend on your particular hobby farm choice.
4. LEARN AND ADJUST
One of the great things about running a hobby farm is that you’re not relying on income from it. If you make mistakes or decide to change things up, you can do so at any time without the pressure of seeing a return on investment or reaching hard deadlines.You own the farm, you’re the boss. Try one thing out and if it doesn’t work out as you had hoped, try again with something else.
HOBBY FARM INSURANCE
While Erie Mutual is well known for offering full farm liability for traditional farming insurance policies, we also offer limited farm liability insurance that is intended for hobby farm insurance.
Here is the definition from our manual:
Limited Farm – A small tract of land, with or without a dwelling and/or outbuildings with minimal agricultural activates and limited expectation of profit. Under our reinsurance guidelines to qualify for the hobby farm rates for Liability a farm must have 2 or 3 of the following points.
- Total Insured Property of fewer than 10 Acres
- Total annual gross income(not profit) of less than $8,000
- Total number of farm animals less than 6 (other than saddle animals as these are a separate surcharge)
HOW MUCH DOES HOBBY FARM INSURANCE COST?
Similar to regular farm business insurance, the cost of hobby farm insurance depends on factors such as:
- What type of hobby farming you do
- How big your hobby farm is
- Where your hobby farm is located
- What buildings may be in use for your hobby farm
- The type of equipment you use on your hobby farm
If you currently run or are looking to start a hobby farm and are interested in a quote, please contact us anytime.
Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the business, home, farm and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.