Farming may seem like a daunting prospect, but it doesn't have to be an overwhelming one. It's entirely possible to manage a thriving business even with a small plot and basic equipment. If you're dedicated to the idea of feeding your community, here are a few guidelines to get you on the right track.

Have a Plan

Growing food for others requires everything a new business entails, and that means developing a plan before you even choose a site. While there are plenty of aspects to take into account, there are also plenty of resources to help you get started. Get clear on what you have to work with, what you're prepared to offer and who your customers will be. Whether you're aiming to set up a stall at the farmer's market or provide locally-grown produce to your grocery store, it's a good idea to start small, invest wisely, and grow with experience.

Get Growing

Once you have your goals outlined, you will be able to decide what methods will suit you and your crops. The availability of sunlight and water and the fertility of the soil will impact how you use your space. This in turn will impact how you deal with weeds and pests, how you organize your rotations, and what kind of equipment you invest in. While the knowledge and advice of others will help you go in forewarned, there's no substitute for the experience that comes from trial and error. Eventually, you will be the only expert on your own land; the only one who can know which crops you start in the greenhouse from the ones you plant directly with seeding machines, and what it takes to harvest and store and distribute them.

Making it Count

While the seeds are still sprouting, you'll have to remember to grow the other side of the business by cultivating relationships with your prospective customers. Knowing what your community needs and showing that you can provide it will sustain your business as it sustains others. As people become more interested in locally-grown food, there are plenty of options for distributing your crops, such as subscription marketing, pick-your-own produce, and farm-to-table restaurants.

Like any business, farming comes with hard work and its own set of risks, but if you're prepared and able to adapt to new challenges, it will ultimately come with the unique reward of nourishing the people around you.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.