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I've got a unique opportunity (well, unique for me!) to work a farm that has nothing - no animals, a small garden and not much more. I realize that the economic realm of the small-time farmer isn't booming right now, but I'm wondering if it's possible to earn a reasonable income (i.e. enough to pay a mortgage and bills) from farming on a small scale. I'd like to participate in a farmers' market this coming year, and plan to raise chickens (for meat and eggs) - we have a coop all ready to go. I'm curious what any of you have found works as far as things you can do on a farm to earn money. We've talked about chopping firewood, growing unique, heirloom and standard vegetables for selling at market, selling milk and milk products to local consumers (i.e. by word of mouth since I'm thinking there'd be some regulations for selling to a business), and perhaps raising livestock for meat and/or fiber. I'm not thinking I can get this all done in a year, nor am I thinking it's not going to be hard work. Hard work I'm good for! I plan to start small and increase over time. Eventually though, I'd like my husband to be able to work with me, rather than working outside the home. I guess what I'm hoping for is some direction about whether this is a pie in the sky dream, or if others have had success doing this. If you've been successful, can you share some pointers? Thanks everyone!
Eileen (who probably sounds naive as heck to all of you veteran farmers out there!)