Hello, we are newlyweds. We have 8 kids between us and want to start a farm so we can eat healthy and work hard for ourselves. We are in the process of finding a piece of land we like. I want 10+ acres, we would like chickens, a couple pigs, some sheep, a milking cow, some goats, and a beef cow and some type of animal for protecting the sheep and goats. I am very handy with tools, my wife is very crafty. I joined this forum so I can learn a lot before I start making too many mistakes.
For starters we live in "Southern Ontario" and are looking for land in "central Ontario". I want to build a straw house. I plan on making a rocket stove mass heater. Collecting rain water and having all of my animals "free range".
Where do any of you suppose I should start?
Read one circle, its a book about feeding a vegan adult for a full year on just 5,000 sqft.
Lets make that 30,000 due to climate and being unskill.
So thats 6 acres to feed 8 vegan adult.
How much acres of land do you need to feed each cow, you need 1/6 of that for each goat or sheep.
Lets assume you need 4 acres per cow. Thats 8 acres for 2 cows plus 8 acres for 6 meat/hair sheep plus 6 milk/meat goats.
Maybe another 1 acrepond for fish.
quality over quantity. water is definitely number one, nothing grows without it.
good site is number two, cant change your climate/microclimate easily so make sure you have good sunlight, no frosty pockets, not windy.
fertile soils are so underrated! you dont want to waste time building up soil nutrient levels when you could purchase a farm that is already good to grow.
having a fundamentally good farm spot to begin with will allow you to produce more food on less area, which means a huge boost in terms of labor efficiency. as an example, dairy cows need excellent pasture to healthily produce. so 4 acres of okay pasture is worth a lot less than one acre of good clover pasture. quality over quantity. sure you can improve your soils, etc. but if you are new to the game, you will likely burnout and quit before that happens. fertile farms are much easier to be successful with, and you need every bit of help you can find as a new farmer. it aint easy, but it is sure worth it.
fwiw, I farm 12 acres. raise dairy cows, beef, poultry, garden, orchard, fish pond. more land would be a burden not an asset for me. quality over quantity.
read a lot of books- here's some good ones-
Ten Acres Enough by Edmund Morris
Quality Pasture by Alan Nation
New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman
Soil Fertility by E. Pfeifer
everything written by Joel Salatin