Thursday, 12 July 2018

Innovative ways to improve your farm’s income


Being a farmer comes with its own set of perks, such as having access to fresh fruit and vegetables from your crops or organic meat from your livestock. However, it can be tricky to maintain your income during hard times. Applying for plant and machinery finance when you have a tight budget is difficult and stressful, so if you are looking for innovative ways to improve your farm’s income here are some top tips.



Transform some land into the perfect wedding venue
Weddings are big business, as any wedding planner will tell you, and one of the most important aspects of any wedding is the venue. In today’s fast-paced modern world, more and more brides are choosing to have weddings at peaceful, tranquil venues. What could be better than a rustic, elegant farm for the perfect wedding venue?

It might seem like a lot of work, but if you have help and a little guidance from a wedding planner on what brides look for in a wedding venue, you can create a spectacular space for weddings to be held. You can create packages for brides on a budget, or even host conferences and team-building events during times when there are no bookings for venues.


Go glamorous with glamping sites
If you have large enough land, you can set up ‘glamping’ sites for people to enjoy on weekends or during holidays. ‘Glamping’, put simply, is glamorous camping, and involves setting up ‘tents’ with flooring, electricity points or wood burning stoves and comfortable beds.

Glamping is camping for people who do not enjoy roughing it outdoors but still want to experience nature. This makes it the perfect venture for a farm that has stunning surrounds or a lot of land available for guests to explore and glamp in. You will need to get planning consent from your municipality, and you will need to set up the glamping site in an area that is relatively flat and far from your crops and livestock.


Supply food artisans
If you farm vegetables, crops or farm livestock then a lucrative way to make money is to supply artisanal kitchens with your produce. Unlike bigger kitchens which will simply create commercial dishes, a food artisan will use your food to create unique taste experiences for select diners, showcasing the true taste of your produce.

Food artisans who create jams, chutneys and sauces might also be happy with slightly damaged or less-than-perfect options, which can save you from having to get rid of fruits and vegetables that do not meet your standards. If you have certain items in abundance, the chances are that you will find an artisanal chef who is interested in using this product as part of their new menu, and it could mean that you have a return customer during this product’s peak season.

Sell farm by-products
All farmers will, at some point, need equipment finance for their farm, and one easy way to raise the funds for this is to sell the farm by-products that you have on your land. This could be anything from manure from cows and horses to feathers collected from ducks and chickens.

Manure is the perfect product to market to nurseries and garden stores, and feathers can be used in bedding and clothing. You could also sell excess compost that is unused or even sell worm castings or ‘worm wee’, if you have an active worm farm. ‘Worm wee’ is one of the most valuable liquids used in organic gardening today and can provide a steady income when you are not harvesting and selling crops to markets or stores.


Swap knowledge for money
Farm income does not always have to come from selling products, you can use your knowledge as a farmer to make money too. You can host workshops for people who are studying towards an agricultural degree or give talks to schools on the processes that happen on your farm during everyday life.

You do not have to be an expert in the field, but you do have to be entertaining, informed and passionate about your topic. Hosting the event on your farm will further increase your income, as you can set up a conference area and provide food made from the produce of your farm. You could offer schools and universities the option to have regular talks on your farm for students who are interested in agricultural topics.


Be creative
Creativity is one of the most important things to have when thinking of ways to boost your farm’s income. You could provide a stunning wedding, conference or event venue to bring in more customers or offer ‘glamping’ sites to those who enjoy the outdoors without wanting to rough it. If you have by-products you may not be using, you can offer these to nurseries or other industries who use them. The possibilities are endless if you have a little creative spark and the ability to persevere.

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