Hilde the hobbyfarmer

Farming for hobby and still arranging to make it work very efficiently and effective, is a challenge. My friend Hilde, together with her husband Michel, managed to create a group of animals you will not see combined in one herd anywhere else: 3 sheep, 1 goat, 2 cows, 1 horse, 2 donkeys and a camel. Some given by friends, some picked up from the streets, some bought in horrible condition from the market and all very happy with the good care Michel and Hilde are providing them. Two local old men are herding this group of animals. They regularly tell Hilde how thankful they are, as this job is what they really like to do and they put their own three cows in the herd as well. The animals eat the weeds and prune the trees and plants of the compound of the Red Fox Farm. That saves the gardeners some work. They don’t need any extra feed, as there is enough to graze from. However, Hilde likes to spoil them a little with carrots from the market or leftovers from the vegetable garden. The offspring of the herd will be sold on the local market or used for a compound barbecue. Giving animals a second chance for a good life is working here very well.

Yes; there is really a camel in this herd!

Besides this mixed herd, Hilde has made a chicken stable of an old shed and locally available materials. In this stable she houses 70 hybrid laying hens. They are producing almost one egg per chicken a day. This chicken farm can be an example for local people to start up small business, as the investment is quite low and there is a high demand for eggs. These eggs are sold to the compound’s kitchen and to the employees of the Red Fox Farm who can provide extra proteins for their families at low costs. The revenues of the sales go to a orphanage in the village nearby the farm. One other person is employed to take care of the chickens and the vegetable garden. He enjoys his work very much as well.

In this way a hobby can have effect on many other persons in a positive way. Three persons are employed and enjoy their work (while learning more about the ‘Western’ way of dealing with animals), people working at the Red Fox Farm have a cheap source of proteins and an orphanage gets money regularly. And, of course, Hilde and Michel enjoy their animals after work. I hope it is an inspiration to local people to see what possibilities they have to start their own small business.


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