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  #21  
Old 05.08.2019, 18:10
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Re: "Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

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We have a few friends with chickens but that doesn’t really help us get an idea of goats/horses.
All are great on the grill!

Tom
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  #22  
Old 05.08.2019, 19:52
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Re: "Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

Thank you for the links!

Perhaps I didn't word things appropriately. He's very interested in chickens and very supportive of my horse interest, but prefers two wheels to four legs Chickens have been a long time interest of his, but that's doable in a village home, and if we're not in a good position to go all-in, perhaps a veg garden for me and a few chickens in the backyard is a much better choice.

To be seen—while we're visiting family in the US I'm going to try to get us out and visiting my American friends with animals. If we were in the US this would all be so much more affordable and also easier to try and fail at, if that's how it goes down, whereas here everything is so much more of a commitment with permits and land prices. We'll see which continent we end up on and what lifestyle we decide is best for us!

You've all been very helpful in bringing to light questions I hadn't considered as well as links that are very useful.
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  #23  
Old 05.08.2019, 19:53
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Re: "Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

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All are great on the grill!

Tom
Somehow I knew you'd show up with that
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  #24  
Old 06.08.2019, 08:28
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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.

---

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

---

Again, all the best. I hope you find a way to make the dream come true.
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Old 27.08.2019, 00:18
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Re: "Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

AnnaSophiaA,
in case you and your husband are any further along your journey of deciding for or against... did you see this ad?
https://www.englishforum.ch/property...ufficient.html
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  #26  
Old 04.09.2019, 09:01
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Re: "Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

Thank you all for the kind words and the helpful resources.

More and more it’s looking like we’re staying here for various reasons; for a moment we were thinking a move back to my family’s town in the US (and thus a 20+ acre property) was in our future but some circumstances are seeming to point us more to staying here.

I’m sure I’ll have more questions as we begin property searching in earnest now; even if we only have at first a place with enough room for a veggie patch and some chickens, we’re looking forward to the great adventure of property ownership.
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  #27  
Old 10.09.2019, 11:56
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Re: "Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

I would not mind a partner. I am farming small time in Wallis. A few sheep, a few fields. I began this year, so it is a journey. I am doing various 1-3 day courses: parasites next week. I already have bees, having started last year with those after a 2 year course. There have certainly been bumps in the road - sheep out of their field etc..- in itself not an uncommon site - I passed 6 standing in the road last week that were not mine. It's a steep learning curve. So far I have had help from www.wwoof.ch with volunteers who come and help and exchange ideas. That has been a huge boost. Next we have a girl coming for a month from Asia. And we have a Swiss lady farmer in the village who is patient with my questions. I am happy to discuss with anyone and also welcome ideas. I don't have a master plan beyond covering costs, and that if I don't try, I won't know if it was possible.
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