Farming vs Gardening: Is there really a difference?


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I do understand that farming and gardening are two different words, but it seems to me that both pertain to taking care of plants and the environment they live in for human benefit. Human benefit may be general, ranging from economic gain to aesthetic pleasure.

So, to what extent does farming (agriculture) and gardening overlap? And to what extent are they different? This is sort of a compare-and-contrast thread so please feel free to voice out your opinions. =)
 
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Farming takes big equipment, more land, and a working knowledge of weather, agricultural dept. rules and regulations, and a faith that Mother Nature won't destroy your crops.
Gardening requires fewer pieces of equipment, less land, and a working knowledge of the weather, along with a faith that Mother Nature won't destroy your garden.
Both are very satisfying and if you aren't bound by "it's always been done this way" either can be an adventure and learning experience.
I've gardened most of my life, and now am on a farm with gardens. The latter is much more fun!
 
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I agree with the things that @marlingardener has said about the "scope" of things - farming is big and requires tractors and such, while gardening is done on a much smaller size. I would also say that gardening is more "hands-on". A farmer plants and harvests without really caring about each individual plant - as long as he gets the yield he's looking for. A gardener places value on each plant - and does whatever he can to make sure that each plant thrives.

A farm is something that you do for profit, while a garden is something you do for love.

Also, as gardeners we care about the ascetics - we want to create beauty. A farmer cares about function - he wants to create food and make a living.
 
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Farming implies that you're doing it for a living and profit which requires larger scope of everything from tools to land to even the kinds of crops and livestock you keep. Gardening is more of a personal thing and much smaller scale. You're doing it for self sustainability or enjoyment, not so much as to produce to the point where you sell it on the market.
 
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Farming takes big equipment, more land, and a working knowledge of weather, agricultural dept. rules and regulations, and a faith that Mother Nature won't destroy your crops.
Gardening requires fewer pieces of equipment, less land, and a working knowledge of the weather, along with a faith that Mother Nature won't destroy your garden.
Both are very satisfying and if you aren't bound by "it's always been done this way" either can be an adventure and learning experience.
I've gardened most of my life, and now am on a farm with gardens. The latter is much more fun!

I love your view :) I definitely would like to be working in a farm full of gardens! My uncles were farmers, and yeah, it was no fun to farm at all! it requires a lot hard work! But gardening can be a real pleasure :love:
 
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A garden is a hobby, a pastime, even a passion. A farm is a lifestyle, a livelihood. If a garden fails, you take out the dead plants and replace them with new ones, and life goes on. If a farm fails, it can mean hard times, or worse, for an entire family.
 
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Well, I've got to disagree with some of the definitions.

I consider myself a hobby gardener and a small farmer.

What brussel sprouts I did grow seemed to have been eaten by something a little more clever than me as it got there first.

My carrots were petite.

But my peppers, they are my passion.

I don't depend on my hot pepper crop to sustain me however I do depend on it to provide me with enough peppers to last from fall to fall. These are not available at our local market and if they were, I probably would not want to pay the price to get them. They are an integral part of my "signature" dishes.

I may market some of my products come spring- whenever that is...
 
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My husband grew up on a farm in Michigan (4th generation) where his father and all his grandfathers were farmers for a living. Farming today has gone through quite a few changes since the days of the settlers, and I think most "professional" farmers would tell you it is absolutely NOTHING like gardening.

First of all, most farmers who actually make a living farming aren't growing anything that humans eat. There's a lot of corn, which gets made into corn oil, or is feed corn. Same thing with soy - which is currently the majority of what my husband's family grows.

I always tease him about how he now hates having a garden after growing up on a farm, and he acts like the two are mutually exclusive.

His mother always had a huge garden, but it was completely separate (and apparently different) from "farming."

And now, they rent out all the land and live off the rent... they still garden but they don't do any actual farming anymore.
 
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I don't see the difference either. Farming is just on a larger scale and with bigger equipment. I plan on making a garden farm on my land (one acre garden). I am doing it by hand, but it is still considered a farm rather then a garden because of its size I think.... it is rather strange to think on though. Maybe it has to do with wither or not it is for personal or commercial use more so then size, I don't know. LOL I still say they are the same either way you look at it.
 
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Well there's small personal farms for personal sustainability and then there's farms that have to make x amount of money to survive. It all depends on the area, clientele, and what you're growing. U pick farms are generally much smaller and are family orientated, use less land and generally can get by with less equipment. Either way they still make money.

I've grown up in a small pseudo farm community on an island. Most of the owners were on 1-5 acres of land but they all had different things. One had a free range chicken 'farm' with a veggie garden who sold fresh eggs to a local farmer's market and traded extra eggs to neighbors for other things. Another raised ostriches for their eggs used by artists in the area, ect. Most of these owners didn't need much money, so it was a more of a hobby they happened to make supplemental income from and their own needs were met from their own veggie gardens. If you want to make a living of growing something or raising something you need more than 1-5 acres to be commercially viable for income. U Pick farms for berries were still at the least 10 acres of land to be income viable, so yes size of land does matter if you want to make a living from it. To grow crops like commercial corn/soy to make ends meet you need at least 100 acres to do it. Sweet corn is a different animal altogether.

I dated a guy whose family were into commercial grain farming for several generations as well.
 
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There is a middle ground (pun intended) in farming vs. gardening, and that is "truck farming". Many of the farmers you see at farmers' markets are truck farmers. They have smaller acreage, specialize in one or two crops that are in demand (like CanadianLori's peppers), and don't raise much that they can't sell.
There are variations like grass fed beef, free range chickens, organic eggs, and ducks. But this is more livestock raising and less gardening.
 

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Farming is what you do to make money and feed your family. Gardening is what you do because you like to play in the dirt with plants and get dirty:rolleyes:
 
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I agree with many people here that farming is a bigger job than gardening. Also when someone says that are going to a farm, there usually involves livestock. I can't say that I am a farmer since what I grow in my garden is mostly for personal pleasure and barely enough to feed a family of two.
 
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I figure farming is a lifestyle and gardening is a small time job. It seems that it takes more to effectively run a farm. It would include more than just growing crops. It would also include raising livestock and making a living through these means.
 
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I enjoyed this thread immensely! As the daughter of flower farmer's, I think I have the best of both world's. It is a combination or economic gain and aesthetic pleasure. When I am out in the field, I think of it as one big garden. Of course, it is not really like the gardens we have around the house. Nor, is it like the surrounding farmers corn and soy fields.
 
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even within farming, there is a difference....we raised thousands of acres of Potatoes, when Aroostook County Maine was the potato capital of the nation and we were small compared to what Bird's Eye and Vahlsing used to farm. They had dozens, likely hundreds of tractors and trucks to make the harvest and when we switched to peas or sugar beets to be competitive, they were right there with us. We "felt" like the little guys, for sure.

I still remember picking rocks from the potato fields, and the stench of the pea viners before that was hauled off for feed.

Both Gardening and Farming have changed dramatically in my 50 years loving both, as I do.
 
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I grew up in NJ on what was called mini farm .No real animals except for chickens on 5 acres and all organic when organic was not a key word and my family started that back in the 60's .To me a farm is larger with lots of animals
 
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@pandora, do you know if there is a market for sage brush, since your parents are flower farmers. LOL I am trying to get rid of mine. I have so many as it is.

@dave david I live right next to a farm that grows potatoes and alfafa. It is amazing how huge their crop area is. I know you mean about the feeling of being small.
 
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@pandora, do you know if there is a market for sage brush, since your parents are flower farmers. LOL I am trying to get rid of mine. I have so many as it is.

Oh, there is always a market for any plant, I believe. It is just how you want to market your product. lol In the case of sage brush, you could sell it at the farmers market, you could put a sign in front of your house, you could even go online and advertise. A nice attribute about the sage brush are its various uses. It could go in a bouquet, you could dry it out, oh the possibilities.

What variety of sage brush do you have? Maybe you could post a picture?
 

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