More and more people are becoming interested in backyard farming.  Some, like  Joshua Manocherian, are using backyard gardens to grow healthy ingredients for their restaurants.  Others are looking for ways to supplement their income.  Either way here are some great ideas for your backyard farm – but be warned, some of these are not for the squeamish!


If you have every wondered just where those buckets of worms at the bait shop come from, chances are that many of them came from nearby backyard farmers.  This is a great crop to consider if you live near fishing centers or garden stores where worms will be in demand for bait or fertilizer – the soil, not the worms! You may be surprised to know how easy it is to “grow” worms – it is not expensive to get started and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  They can be raised in any size of a container, and are fed easily available things like grass clippings and wet leaves. You can easily get yourself started with a bucket of worms from the local bait shop.


Maybe the thought of snails in butter and garlic makes you feel a bit ill, but the fact is that many people can’t get enough – they are a great source of protein and other nutrients.  Consider this crop if you live near restaurants that might be interested in finding a local provider.  Snails, like worms, are easy to raise and don’t require a lot of space or attention.


Like worms and snails, mushroom farming can be done without a great deal of investment of money, space or skill.  True, some exotic mushrooms are harder to grow than others, but there are several types that are perfect for beginners – oyster mushrooms are especially user-friendly.  Depending on the kind of mushroom you grow, you may be able to market them to local restaurants or gourmet shops, and don’t forget the local farmers market!


Compared to worms, snails, and mushrooms, bees require a fair bit of investment of time, space, and skill.  However, there are potentially significant earnings that come with keeping a few healthy hives – one of the ways that farmers are compensating for the decline of bees in nature is by “renting” healthy hives for a period of time to support the pollination of their crops.  And honey!  Honey will take on a particular flavor depending on the nectar the bees used to make it, and if you can grow particular flowers as well, you might find it possible to carve out a reputation for “specialty honey” in your local farmer’s market or gourmet shop. tended, but it can be very lucrative – in addition to renting out your healthy hives, you can also get into the organic honey business.

These are just some of the ways that you can use the space in your own backyard to create your own mini-farm!