We happen to be lucky enough to live in an area that is both a small city, and a rural location. Outside of town are the remnants of many farms, as well as a few “still working” farms, but the majority of farms in this area now are classified as “hobby farms”. The number of farms that earn their full-time living producing fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats and other agricultural products decreases from year to year. What once was a thriving agricultural area is now an area whose farms grow food for their own needs, with a little left to sell to local produce shops, or at the farmer’s market. Many of the fields have been put to use producing hay for horse ranches (we have some local ones too), or sadly, as fields housing as many solar panels as they can fit on it.
It’s a shame, because without these farmers, we’d all be expected to produce food for our own needs, which is I suppose the way it was in the days of the pioneers. The cost of running and upkeep for a farm outweighs the income they get from the foods they produce, making it close to impossible for most farmers to live off their land alone, with many having to opt for “paying day jobs”, while running their farms on the side.