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Homestead or Hobby Farm?
My good wife and I were at the farm store picking up supplies and saw a magazine on the rack called ”Hobby Farm”. I admit my hackles went up right away. There are two terms that get me on the defensive when describing certain property and they are “Hobby Farm” and “Farmette”. It might seem we may be just a bit touchy or preoccupied with semantics but we (and thousands like us) work too hard on our homesteads to be as self sufficient as we can to be demeaned with these labels.

In the interest of fairness, we bought the magazine and read it through. In fact, we bought the next 3 issues to be sure we weren’t misjudging the publication. We found that this magazine is for true ‘hobby farmers’ and not folks like us. Hobby farmers play at rural living, raise livestock that are pets and don’t live off what they raise but want to say they live in the country.

Don’t get me wrong, there is room in this country for everyone and I won’t tell anyone how they should live. What I am saying is there are differences. If you know 4 chords on a guitar, you’re not a musician. If you can make only green bean casserole and ice cubes, you are not a chef. If you have 3 acres, 4 horses, 3 pot belly pigs and a few frizzle chickens for pets, you are not a homesteader, you are a hobby farmer.

The articles in this magazine are so trite in content as to be genuinely insulting. They must think their readers are real boobs. They could rename this magazine, “Rural Living for Dummies”.

Now that I have written this down and vented my opinion, I wonder if it matters enough to send it out for publication. My wife got on homesteading forum where this was being discussed. I was very surprised to see a lot of folks share our views. Some get really riled about being called ‘Hobby Farmer’, I think we’re in good company.

Paul L Muller
January 2004

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Muller's Lane Farm on PBS America's Heartland

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to contact us via email, please use our email address:
mullerslanefarm@gmail.com

to contact Paul via email, please use:
cav.paul.muller@gmail.com

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