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Old 06.08.2019, 08:28
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: "Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

An interesting 2018 article from the 20 Min on average Swiss farmers' income:

https://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/st...auern-28704229

Key point is that half the income comes from subsidies.

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I would advise that you keep thinking of it as a hobby farm, and make sure that you have sufficient income to live on and fund the farm from your, or your husband's, day job. Self sufficiency via farming in Switzerland is a pretty lofty goal.

That said, small scale hobby vegetable/ fruit growing can reap plenty of personal rewards. Even on my tiny postage stamp of garden I can grow enough for our summer needs, plus put up jams and can and dry tomatoes sufficient for the winter. If I were a better gardener or canner I could probably do more. For instance, my neighbour back on the other side of the lake produced, by terracing her steep hill, by growing up rather than out, an awesome yield.

But the fruits of our labor are not exactly economically profitable. I grow/preserve for family and friends only - as do most people I know. It's a hobby, production probably costs more than the yield, I do it for fun. Breaking beyond hobby into self-sufficiency let alone commercial profitability is a whole different matter.

And once you add in animals... again, think hobby. Keeping animals correctly is indeed expensive.

Were it me, I'd keep thinking of the farm as a pure hobby for at least some years, keeping at least one day job, enjoying the Landleben. Later, having been through several seasons of profitable farming, then think of a greater change of lifestyle.

Have you been in contact with any of the local farming organisations? Every canton has a Bauernverband and most also have a Landfrauen/Bauerinnen group as well. For instance, in Fribourg:
https://landfrauen-fr.ch

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Again, all the best. I hope you find a way to make the dream come true.
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