Book Review: The Joy of Hobby Farming

The Joy of Hobby Farming:

Grow Food, Raise Animals, and Enjoy a Sustainable Life

I’ve been sitting on this book (two books, actually) for a couple of months now, trying to sneak in as much reading time as possible in-between everything else that I do around here. It has taken a while, but I’m finally ready to share my thoughts with you. A big thanks to the generous people at Skyhorse Publishing for sending me a copy of The Joy of Hobby Farming to review!

First off, I can’t dive in without mentioning the beautiful full color photos throughout the book; what wonderful eye candy! I always enjoy not only hearing about how other homesteaders do things, but seeing pictures of their setup in living color. Often I can pick up a trick or two just by looking at a picture, something that nobody would think of mentioning otherwise. The gorgeous photos featured on every page of this book really bring it to life.

The Joy of Hobby Farming is a well written how-to guide, flavored with personal stories and sprinkled with practical advice. It’s geared toward those who have an interest in small scale farming, but aren’t ready to jump in with both feet. Hobby Farming is more “for the fun of it” than homesteading (which is all about trying to be as self sufficient as possible wherever you are; definitely not just for fun!)

Much of the information given is very detailed and basic, good for somebody with absolutely zero experience in farming, who may be interested in doing so on a small scale. It’s not the kind of book that you would sit down and read front to back, but more of a reference book, best for skipping to the chapter of your interest (or maybe that was just my inclination).

Contents include:

  • Place– How to go about finding a farm for sale, what type of stuff you’ll need on your homestead, and other relevant information.
  • Growing Things– Ideas on where and how to start a garden, tips for growing your own food, advice on growing flowers for profit, and extending your growing season.
  • The Care of Living Creatures– Animal care basics, and little insights about owning farm animals from small to large, including bees. (Although, they had nothing about goats, which was disappointing to me as goats are a huge asset to small homesteads which do not have room for cows.)
  • Running Your Farm as a Business– Basic ideas on how to get started profiting from your farm.

For those who are already homesteading or farming, you may find a little tidbit of useful advice in this book here and there, but most likely the majority of its contents are old hat for you.

If you are one who is dreaming of owning a little piece of land on the edge of the city, with a garden and a few animals, and would like a general idea of what you could expect, then The Joy of Hobby Farming can give you a very good idea of what this life is like, and will definitely help get you started off on the right foot!

Thanks again to Skyhorse Publishing, for allowing me the opportunity to review this beautiful book!

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