Micro Farm Equipment: What Do You Really Need?

To some extent, the best equipment for your micro farm is going to be personal. However, there are a few things I’ve found are very useful on my micro farm. I’ll share about those below. Regardless of what your micro farm looks like my answer to the question “What equipment does your micro farm really need?” still remains the same: As little as possible.

The only equipment you really need to start a micro farm are your hands. Most, if not all work can be done with your bare hands. You don’t need to invest hundreds of dollars in equipment before you start. You can also maintain a micro farm without much equipment. Micro farms are small enough that you are capable of maintaining it all on your own!

Equipment is not necessary. However it can be helpful in some situations. I will talk about the equipment I use on my micro farm, but first lets look at the definition of a micro farm.

What Is A Micro Farm?

A micro farm is bigger than a garden but smaller than a farm. Micro farms are a fantastic way for people who don’t have a significant amount of land to grow their own food. They do require some land, so an apartment with a balcony is really too small.

Micro farms are sometimes referred to as “farming your backyard.” This is because most people who have micro farms convert all or most of their backyard into farm space. This space can be garden space, animal space, or space used to make compost and other inputs. Some people will expand their micro farm into their front yard and even into their basements.

Why Less Equipment Is Better

Equipment exists to make jobs easier. It can be a great investment! However, when you have a micro farm you should be able to do all the farm chores with minimal equipment.

The more equipment you have, the more money you’re going to spend. You will have more upkeep and it may end up being a bigger pain than doing the chores yourself. This is especially true if you have big equipment.

Large machinery is rarely necessary for a micro farm. It may not help as much as you think it’s going to. Certain equipment can be rented if it’s truly needed. Several pieces of equipment can be rented and it’s often a much better option for those of us who have micro farms. There are many things that are one and done jobs on micro farms. The upkeep on a micro farm is so much easier than regular sized farms because you have less space to look after. You can catch things before they require heavy machinery.

For example, my land needed some dead trees and some branches cut down before my family and I could build what we really wanted to build. I did this with only an axe. This was definitely not ideal. This is an example of a time when I should have rented a larger piece of machinery. It would have made that process go so much smoother and less painful for me. Since that initial time, I have been able to keep branches at bay and prevent little trees from getting too big with no issue.

Equipment I Use On My Micro Farm

The main equipment I invest in is used to automate the chores. Even here, if I can make something rather than buying equipment I will usually opt to build my own solution. I used barrels and plastic cups to create an automated watering and feeding system for my chickens. I only have to fill up the waterer every few days. The feeder even less (I substitute some of their food with food scrap and allowing them to forage). I also bought an automated watering system for some of my plants. This cut down my watering time by an hour and a half (I was hand watering before)!

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Powered saws and drills have greatly aided me in building chicken coops and any other infrastructure. Good, reliable tools are some of the best equipment you can invest in. They cut down the amount of time that projects take. As you all know, I am big on saving time!

I also purchased chicken processing equipment. This is one of my favorite purchases I’ve made. I got this equipment because during the beginning of the pandemic, it was incredibly hard to get processing plants to process such a small batch of chickens (we had three rounds of about 50 cornish cross). They were really backed up. At the same time, 50 birds was a lot for my family and I especially because we had no prior experience. We ended up buying the Featherman chicken processing equipment as recommended by Joel Salatin. It was definitely expensive, but it was well worth it in my opinion. It’s also been really cool to be able to help out some of our friends who also harvest chickens!

I also invested in greenhouses. This has greatly extended our growing season. Last year, I was still harvesting bumper crops of tomatoes in December. We had fresh home grown tomatoes for Christmas! Not every one has room for greenhouses and the cost of upkeep absolutely applies here. I have had to patch up the plastic multiple times and I’ve only had them for 2 years. Despite the upkeep, I really love my greenhouses and I’m happy to have bought them.

That’s what it comes down to. If you are happy with you equipment despite the upkeep and you use it regularly then it’s a good investment for you. You don’t need any equipment. But if you find it helpful, go for it!

The last thing I would add is people! I have a large family. All of my family members have been open to helping and I greatly appreciate them. Having multiple people to help on the micro farm can make farming so much easier. People have been just as helpful (if not more helpful) as any equipment I have.

The Bigger You Get, The More Equipment You Need

If you choose to make your micro farm bigger or you add different animals (especially larger animals that require more hands on attention), you may find that equipment is no longer a want but a need. You don’t want your farm to take up most of your day on an ongoing basis.

My micro farm contains only plants and birds right now. My chickens are pretty good at being self reliant. I have to do minimal chicken chores. My plants are also pretty self reliant. If you grow much bigger, you will end up spending more time on your farm (which is not necessarily a bad thing). This is where equipment can really come in handy. Equipment is meant to save you time.


You don’t need equipment to start a micro farm. You also don’t really need equipment to maintain a micro farm…but it can help. My advice would be to go ahead and start a micro farm and then see what issues arise. You can rent larger equipment if you need it, but micro farms rarely warrant purchasing large equipment. After identifying certain chores on your farm that you can automate or if you would like to extend your growing season, go ahead and either build or purchase equipment that will help!

This way of thinking will help you avoid unnecessary (possibly expensive) purchases.

I wish you all joyful farming!

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