Diversification

Last week we saw how flatter land and a drier climate make the east more suitable for arable farming.  But what happens if the weather in a certain year is exceptionally wet.  The crops won’t ripen so well.  They might start to grow mould.  The amount harvested will be smaller and the farmer have less money to buy the inputs he needs for the next year and to buy food and other essentials for himself and his family.

Farmers know that some years will be better than others.  If the crops are good most of the time, then the farm should be able to keep going.

But to improve the chances of the making enough money each year many farmers do some diversification.  This means that they use their land and buildings to make money in other ways – anything that is not the traditional use.

This could be a different type of farming, such as keeping rare breeds or growing an unusual crop.

A field could be turned into a campsite.

Buildings can be adapted for holiday accommodation or a tea shop or a craft barn.

A spare room in the farmhouse could be offered for bed and breakfast accommodation.

I found this example on the internet, while researching next week’s post, but you should easily be able to find your own example in your nearest rural area.