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The Difference Between Farming and Gardening (Explained)

The Difference Between Farming and Gardening (Explained)

Simply put, “Farming” is the activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock. “Gardening” is regarded as tending and cultivating a garden, usually as a pastime.

Although both can be hobbies, there’s a difference between the two! The major one is that farming usually becomes a business and a source of income for the farmer, while gardening is mostly leisurely.

Let’s look deeper at what farming and gardening are and their differences.

What is Farming?

Farming is the act or process of working the ground, including planting seeds and growing edible plants. Raising animals for milk and meat is also considered farming. It’s a way of describing the lifestyle and the work of people whose jobs are in the agricultural industry.

Most of the products that you consume are from farming. You may wonder and fantasize about what agriculture is. An overflowing food supply could be just one of the few things on your mind.

While some people often think about roosters crowing, farmers drive tractors and milk goats, which paints their heads whenever farming is brought up. However, farming takes a lot of hard work and depends on various external factors such as the weather and food prices.

Types of Farming

Different types of farming are practised in various regions worldwide based on several other factors. Examples of such factors that affect the kind of farming include climate change and soil fertility.

Farming entails raising livestock and growing crops for raw materials and food. This is a vital part of agriculture and began a thousand years ago. The most popular types of farming practised around the world are:

  • Arable farming – Growing crops in warm climates.
  • Pastoral farming – raising animals in cold climates only.
  • Poultry farming – for animals with meat and eggs.
  • Extensive and Intensive farming – land tillage.
  • Mixed farming – growing crops and animals on the same land.

Apart from that, there are a few more types, including Subsistence farming, Sedentary farming, Nomadic herding, Commercial plantation, and Livestock rearing. Check them out in this video.

This video explains different types of farming briefly for better understanding.

What is the Importance of Farming?

In my opinion, farming is the basis of all life. It’s a basic necessity; without it, the world would not produce its food. Farmers aim to provide enough healthy food for the world’s ever-increasing population.

Farming holds so much importance not only because it produces food for the world to eat but also in other aspects, such as creating more jobs, providing a source of trade, and leading to infrastructure and manufacturing.

Moreover, agriculture plays a crucial and pivotal role in the entire life of a given economy. It serves as the backbone of the economic system in a country. It also holds immense importance when farmers prioritize biodiversity on their land.

It’s also healthy for Mother Earth because it benefits the planet, resulting in healthier soil, less erosion, better water conservation, and healthier pollinators.

Therefore, it’s good for the environment and makes agriculture an essential part of the cycle of life.

Women harvesting crops.
Farming isn’t easy, but it’s fulfilling in the end.

What is Gardening?

Well, gardening is caring for or tending to plants you planted in the soil around your home or in an area you’ve dedicated to gardening. They can be any type of plants you want to grow, but the most common plants used in gardening are flowers and herbs, but sometimes vegetables are used too.

Just like farming, you need a lot of dedication for gardening. It can be considered both an art concerned with harmoniously arranging plants and a science incorporating the principles and techniques of plant cultivation.

As the plants grown through gardening are done under different and local weather conditions instead of their natural environment, it’s essential to encompass techniques of plant cultivation derived from plant physiology, chemistry, and botany to ensure that they can survive. The practice naturally needs more adaptation to local conditions.

Gardening is usually used in making gardens for an attractive display, and people worldwide have put in much effort to shape their gardens to provide a beautiful aesthetic. Therefore, the enthusiasm for gardening arises from a primitive response to nature and a need to produce growth and harmony.

Types of Gardening

Gardening can be more than just planting flowers. You can create multiple types of gardens based on various themes, such as choosing beautiful plants, adding a backyard pond, and even growing your own food!

There are several different types of gardens. These include:

  • Butterfly gardens
  • Container gardens
  • Demonstration gardens
  • Organic gardening
  • Water gardens
Planting seeds in a frame.
This is how planting usually starts.

What is the Importance of Gardening?

Several benefits of gardening bring a lot of importance to this activity.

Aside from helping you relax, it could also help build strength, improve endurance, promote sleep, and help maintain a healthy weight.

Activities like raking and cutting grass can be considered light to moderate exercises, and others, such as shovelling, digging, and chopping, are usually considered vigorous. So, working in a garden uses every major muscle in the body and helps keep a person fit.

In addition, outdoor gardening can help your body fight diseases. When a person is outperforming gardening, they’re more exposed to the sun, which enriches them with the nutrients they need, such as vitamin D- excellent for skin and bones!

Being out in the sun can help lower the risk of many diseases, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple sclerosis. A little sunshine in the garden goes a long way in the body.

Moreover, gardening is an instant mood booster. It can be your escape from stress in life and help a person feel more connected to the earth. It helps increase self-esteem and reduces depression as well as anxiety.

Is Gardening Important to the Environment?

Of course, gardens are also crucial to the planet! Even though gardens are human-made, they represent a natural environment.

Any plants and trees perform photosynthesis and provide fresh oxygen. And it’s roots help stabilize the soil and filter the water.

Municipal gardens and national parks become safe havens for all wild creatures that might have been displaced otherwise due to the urban sprawls of the modern world.

Is Gardening a Good Hobby?

Yes, it is! As mentioned, gardening serves as an excellent physical activity!

It makes a pretty good workout regime because it requires digging, pruning, watering, and bending. Research shows that three hours of moderate gardening equals one hour in the gym.

It’s also an excellent hobby because it can help relieve stress. Don’t you know that helps release hormones in our body that act as natural anti-depressants? This makes it an outlet to channel negative energy into something positive.

Indeed, gardening in the fresh air and sun is a very effective way to de-stress yourself and boost your mood.

Difference Between Farming and Gardening

Both farmers and gardeners grow food or plants that require sunlight, soil, and water.

However, they show significant differences in equipment used, the knowledge required, land availability, time investment, and overall functionality.

Farmers usually grow their crops on a vast scale. Whereas gardeners generally grow their crops on a smaller scale. Also, farmers use more machines, while gardeners do more by hand.

Basically, when tending to a garden, one doesn’t need severe equipment. However, farming, on the other hand, requires access to durable, hardwearing equipment that is also quite expensive. These include tractors, cultivators, hoes, shovels, and weeding frames.

Financial Contrasts and Learning Paths: Farming vs. Gardening

Farming requires a lot of finance and funding to generate profit and abundant and reliable crops must be produced. This can be very expensive and cost a person their entire life savings if they wish to build a farm.

On the other hand, gardening is a lower risk from a financial perspective and requires far less physical work than farming. It’s done when one has a passion, whereas farming is done to make an income.

Moreover, farming requires a lot of background knowledge regarding learning. Farmers usually have to go through courses and formal studies in farming to begin a farm and perform it for a livelihood.

At the same time, gardening doesn’t require much studying. But, with the help of YouTube videos on how to maintain a home garden and DIYs, gardeners are given a chance to learn some techniques and tips they can use.

Here’s a table summarizing the significant differences between farming and gardening:

Farming Gardening
Aimed at making a profit-businessAimed at providing food for a household
– leisurely activity
Large scale Small scale
Uses machinery Uses hand tools
Farm- Provides food for the trading economy.Garden- Created for private use.
How different are they?

Is Gardening a Form of Farming?

Yes, it can be, but only on a smaller scale. As gardening is horticulture, it focuses on cultivation and the plant’s properties, while agriculture is the foundation of our food chain.

As you may know, horticulture and agriculture are part of the same industry. Therefore, gardening can be a part of agriculture as well.

Gardening involves growing and modifying plants to help them grow better. Just being in the garden creates an extended-lasting sense of well-being.

This is very important in agriculture as well. It can provide stimulation and interest in the outdoors.

A male planting flowers in a tire.
Anyone can do gardening.

Final Thoughts

  • Farming involves growing crops and raising livestock. It is carried out on a larger scale, often as a business. While gardening focuses on cultivating plants, typically on a smaller, private scale.
  • Farmers aim to generate profit and supply the broader food chain. While gardeners usually grow plants for personal use or as a leisure activity.
  • Farming often requires extensive machinery and equipment. While gardening relies more on hand tools and manual labor.
  • The scale of farming is larger, catering to the trading economy. In contrast, gardening is typically done for private enjoyment.
  • Farming demands significant financial investment and formal education in agriculture. In contrast, gardening is a lower-risk, passion-driven activity. It can be learned through DIY resources.
  • Both farming and gardening are part of the broader field of horticulture. They contribute to our food supply but serve different purposes and require distinct approaches.
  • Gardening offers various physical and mental health benefits. It includes exercise, stress relief, and exposure to nature.
  •  Farming and gardening differ in what is grown and the production scale. These also vary in the tools and machinery used and their overall purpose. However, both are essential in providing food and enhancing our connection to the natural world.

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For a more concise version of this article, check the web story here.

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