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Old 02.08.2019, 12:08
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"Hobby farming" or "smallholding" - anyone have experience?

Husband and I are starting the process of looking for a home, which entails also the larger process of deciding whether to settle here or go "back home" (for me) to small-town USA to be near my family.

Because of the (probably obvious) emotional complications on our families' sides, it's hard for us to talk much about this with our respective families. Not a whole lot of neutrality going on there, ha! We're mainly looking at what in the US would be called an acreage; that is, a modest home with some outbuildings and land and the potential to have a large vegetable garden, several dogs and chickens as a bare minimum, with the dream including some goats and a couple of horses (though how attainable that is remains to be seen, via research etc).

As part of the research process I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has experience with this sort of thing—in Switzerland or elsewhere even. We've actually found a property within a good commuting range for my husband that is still in a reasonably good spot for me should my teaching career actually get off the ground here (looking to work part time while starting our family). The property as-is includes an area that is up to current Swiss standards for goats/sheep and enough land to theoretically make having a little hobby farm a reality. My goal would be to ultimately make a small amount of money off whatever "farming" we did, ideally enough so that it paid for itself but having owned horses and worked in several stables, I know just how quickly expenses pile up without income coming in, hence keeping the "hobby" in "hobby farm" Before pursuing looking at buying such a property, we'd really like to have more of an idea of what is possible for us, ie. do we need permits to keep goats/sheep/chickens/etc (my understanding is no, is that right?), where to go to get more information about Swiss standards for farm animal care, etc.

I guess at the moment I don't even have specific questions, would just love to hear from anyone who keeps animals or who manages to sell a little (produce, products, whatever) at local markets etc.
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