A smallholding is a farm of small size. Often too small to be efficient, the utility of smallholdings varies from place to place.

In third world countries, smallholdings are usually commercial farms supporting a single family. As a country becomes more affluent and farming practices become more efficient, smallholdings may persist as a legacy of historical land ownership practices. In more affluent societies smallholdings may be valued primarily for the rural lifestyle that they provide. Often, the owners do not earn their livelihood from the farm.

CROP ROTATION prevents the soil losing all the same nutrients again and again so you rotate the crops you grow each year so all the nutrients are not removed.

mallholdings in Britain

In British English usage, a smallholding is a piece of land and its adjacent living quarters for the smallholder and stabling for farm animals, on a smaller scale than that of a farm but larger than an allotment, usually under 50 acres (0.2 km²). It is often established for the breeding of farm animals on an organic basis on free-range pastures. Alternatively, the smallholder may concentrate on the growing of vegetables by various traditional methods or in a more modern way using plastic covers, Polytunneling or cloches for quick growth.

Generally, a smallholding offers its owner a means of achieving self-sufficiency as to his and his family's own needs which he may be able to supplement by selling surplus produce, and to that end, temporary booths or more permanent shop facilities are often part of a smallholding.

In a separate development, so-called "pick-your-own-fruit soft fruit (or vegetable) farms" (farm being a convenient term rather than a reflection on its size) have appeared over the years in the vicinity of towns, which in type of management do belong to the category of smallholdings rather than farms.

They usually consist of a large field which has been subdivided into strips of areas for fruit trees, shrubs or various types of vegetables, all the kinds of produce which come to ripen in their different seasons.In this type of establishment, once the initial layout and investment (in plants, trees, shrubs, etc.) has been completed, only the replanting of annual vegetables, the maintenance of perennials, the minimum weeding of the area needs to be undertaken, while the consumers themselves do their own harvesting.Additionally, of course, facilities have to be set up so that the customer may pay for the amount of produce they have been able to 'pick'.

There is a little-known piece of legislation in the UK which mandates that a council must provide a smallholding to any group of eligible residents who express an interest. [ Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908]

Hobby farms in Australia

A Hobby farm in Australian usage is a variety of smallholding that may be as small as 2 hectares up to a self-sustaining farm size, that allows the "city farmer" to have a house and a small number of animals or small crop fields or grape vines.

Lifestyle blocks in New Zealand

In New Zealand a lifestyle block is a smallholding valued primarily for its rural lifestyle. Also, Planning restrictions on subdivision of farming land often lead to the phenomenon of lifestyle blocks of minimal permissible size springing up near urban areas.

Third World usage

In many Third World countries, a smallholding is a small plot of land with low rental value, used to grow crops. [Bunnett, R.B. (2002). "Interactive Geography 4", pp. 125, 315. SNP Pan Pacific Publishing. ISBN 981-208-657-9.]

Notes and references

External links

* [ The Accidental Smallholder]
* [ Country Smallholding Magazine]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • smallholding — small‧hold‧ing [ˈsmɔːlˌhəʊldɪŋ ǁ ˈsmɒːlˌhoʊld ] noun [countable] FARMING a piece of land used for farming that is smaller than an ordinary farm: • Some of the larger farms have been split up into smallholdings. smallholder noun [countable] : •… …   Financial and business terms

  • smallholding — [smôl′hōl΄diŋ] n. Brit. a relatively small tract of land that is bought or rented for cultivation, sometimes as a source of extra income * * * …   Universalium

  • smallholding — ► NOUN Brit. ▪ an agricultural holding that is smaller than a farm. DERIVATIVES smallholder noun …   English terms dictionary

  • smallholding — [smôl′hōl΄diŋ] n. Brit. a relatively small tract of land that is bought or rented for cultivation, sometimes as a source of extra income …   English World dictionary

  • smallholding — [[t]smɔ͟ːlhoʊldɪŋ[/t]] smallholdings N COUNT A smallholding is a piece of land that is used for farming and is smaller than a normal farm. [BRIT] A smallholding in the hills could not support a large family …   English dictionary

  • smallholding — UK [ˈsmɔːlˌhəʊldɪŋ] / US [ˈsmɔlˌhoʊldɪŋ] noun [countable] Word forms smallholding : singular smallholding plural smallholdings a very small farm …   English dictionary

  • smallholding — noun Date: 1892 chiefly British a small farm • smallholder noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • smallholding — noun A piece of land, smaller than a farm, used for the cultivation of vegetables or the breeding of animals See Also: smallholder …   Wiktionary

  • smallholding — small|hold|ing [ˈsmo:lˌhəuldıŋ US ˈsmo:lˌhould ] n BrE a piece of land used for farming, that is smaller than an ordinary farm …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • smallholding — small|hold|ing [ smɔl,houldıŋ ] noun count MAINLY BRITISH a very small farm ╾ small|hold|er noun count …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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