Careers...Income... What do you do for a living?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by RyleeM, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. RyleeM

    RyleeM Active Member

    Nov 28, 2004
    I am just curios, what do all you fellow homesteader do for a living? Does everyone have the pleasure of staying home? I am the only one who HAS to work in town? Just curious as to how everyone makes the bucks roll in to be able to stay on he farm.

    Does anyone invest? Rentals? Stocks?
  2. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2004
    Nope....WORK for me. I am lucky to be in the IT world. Some times I get to work from home.

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    My sense is that many people live in a rural area and commute to town isn't much different than living in town and working. The choice for a location to be doing full time farming are probably limited by small time operators anymore. I'm sure there are plenty of successful part time market garden or livestock farmsteads and by necessity they probably work off the farm to supplement their survival income. There is also only so much time and energy to do both.

    Those investing in high finance and think that homesteading would be profitable are risking a lot, but if it's a lifestyle choice they make, so who's to judge? I worked a 25 year career in a techincal position at an institution and moved out of town living in a house, the same as if buying a house in town. The air is fresher, and if I am able to find time, I can dabble in the outdoors and gardening, poultry raising for fresh food fair, and less idea of profit. I would like doing it full time, and the reality of paying bills to maintain where you live is there. If living in town, the job pays bills. You have to live on something, and barter probably is only going to sustain so much. You can't pay taxes, for example, with something you grow, unless you sell that which you produce. If you produce in a job off the homestead, you have something to pay for your life's necessities. It's a cylcle which confronts many I suspect.

    Grabbing the bull by the horns of reality to make a go of farmstead income is basically the difference between doing it and not doing it, and what you can live with for expectations a day at a time.
  4. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2004
    We farm full-time (conventionally speaking ... although DH uses a lot of minimum tillage and no-till methods) We are adjusting to not having a dairy herd and one of us might have to go to town to work. We were in government farm program for about a year and a half due to low milk prices but since then have not participated. The farm is fairly diversified -- corn, soybeans, wheat and straw, hay, beef cattle sold as freezer beef; beef cattle sold through the auction; and a small amount -- sort of test marketing -- free range chicken and eggs.

    The downside is, cash flow is tight. The upside is, we are both still on the farm (so far)

  5. coventry49

    coventry49 Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2003
    South Central Montana, foothills of the Beartooth
    I work a full time job, but thankfully, not in the city. I live 35 miles south of Billings, Montana, but my job is on the outskirts of the city. I love my job, the people I work with, and the fact that I am (finally) doing something worthwhile for a living. It not only sustains me financially, but spiritually, as well. I do my homesteading (i.e., gardening, chickens, fruit production) on a parttime basis, at least until I retire - still a dozen years away. I am looking forward to that time, however, when I can stay at home, sell my eggs, berries, tomatoes and whatnot just to supplement my SS and savings.
  6. Jane in southwest WI

    Jane in southwest WI Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    I am a technical writer and I telecommute full time. Many would consider it a dream job but it is stressful (it has gotten worse these past couple of years as they demand more and more in less time). The major benefit of course is not having to drive to work, so I can save money on gas, food, and clothes. When I take a break, I can hang a load of wash on the line and I can see the birds at the feeder from my office window.
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    I run the house and farm and haven't worked outside of my home in five years due to health problems.

    My husband is an Air Traffic Controller for the FAA. When we were in Dallas/Ft. Worth he had a ten minute commute to work. Now that we have relocated to the Mississippi countryside he has a 45 minute commute. We traded a suburban lot for 96 acres of heaven so it is worth it. He can retire in four years and is seriously considering doing so as it gets harder every day for him to get off his tractor and go to work.
  8. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I am a newspaper editor/investigative reporter/photographer and have been for nearly 25 years AND I WORK OUT OF A HOME OFFICE!!!!

    Husband owns a one-man handyman/licensed electrician business which is based at home...but he goes all over the county to do jobs. )we are a rural county)

    I also sell eggs and plan to sell composted rabbit manure to gardeners this spring!
  9. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Zone 9b
    I drive an hour to Orlando and work in a 5 story office building near OIA. It sure feels good to head to the homestead at days end! some mornings it is hard to leave the critters and the woods and head to work.
  10. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Missouri, Springfield
    I can't speek from experience (yet) ,But it would seem it depends on what you mean by homesteading.

    If you just want to live in the country then you may still need a job.

    We are buying land ( 10 acres) that we can pay off in a few years. This will also allow us the time to save for building materials for a house. We plan to be off grid so there won't be many things we need money for (taxes, shoes, gas is about it)

    So I would think it is doable. Just depends on how much you are willing to sacrifice to get what you want (I know that sounds like a oxymoron).
  11. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    May 9, 2004
    Zone 8a, AZ
    greetings from southwest montana! My husband has gone back to work part time at an auto parts store (he is retired from u s west) i am retired cop and had been working at the power company till i ruined my arms and hands by too much work. i am not attending college via workers comp and will be an addictions counselor when i grow up! I have probably 5 more years to work till husband gets ssi so thats not too bad. we are about an hour from the city of butte so i will try to work there.
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I do have a small part-time job, one that I could take my daughter to if necessary. Mostly, though, I stay home. She needs 24-hour supervision, as she's seriously mentally handicapped. We live with my 91-y-o grandmother, who is still in pretty good shape but needed some help with housework in order to continue living in her own home. She does watch my daughter sometimes, but full-time would be too much for her, so I just work outside the home about seven hours a week. I'm hoping to have some stuff to sell at the farmer's market next summer (this was our first year here, and the first time for a garden on this property). My five-year plan is to build up a small herd of dairy goats and sell milk and breeding stock (I think there will be more demand for both as time goes on; and we are legally allowed to sell raw milk off the farm here); to have a few beehives and sell honey; to have some vegetables and flowers to sell; and maybe a few eggs, some day-old chicks or ducklings (for local sales), and some meat rabbits as well. We only have one acre and have to buy almost all our feed, which is definitely limiting. My daughter does get SSI, but I would like to make enough that we could get by without it if necessary. We don't need a lot, as there's no mortgage on the property, and we have no debt.

  13. MsTrish

    MsTrish Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    I have a 45 minute commute to downtown Winter Park Florida. I am a bookkeeper for a large church. Love my job and the people that I work with are very nice. My dream has been to have a homestead,but right now I just have a small house with a big yard! Maybe some day...but for now I will just try to make the best of things where I am at.

  14. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2002
    I have had to go back to work as a nurse, which I always hoped I wouldn't have to do. My nursing job provides us with 90% of our income. I do pottery, which I wish would pay the bills. I made $2000 this last year on my pottery. Dh is starting to help more with the pottery so that we can make more pieces and possibly up the amount of money we make on it. He was a Senior Project Manager with IBM before being laid off in May 2002. He has applied and applied for jobs to no avail. He does make money around here doing some Web stuff and fixing computers for people. He also has a wood drying kiln that he dries our lumber in and dries lumber for a few other people. That all brings in another $2000-$3000 a year. He is the one that stays and builds and right now is working on the root cellar and the garden area. That is worth money too.

    We now make 20% of what we made when Dh was employed. Yet, I wouldn't trade our lifestyle we have now for what we had back then.
  15. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 18, 2002
    SE Washington
    I work for the USDA in southeastern Washington state. We own 7 acres 25 miles from work. Raise a few cattle, chickens and turkeys. We decided my wife would quit her job at the university to stay at home. Our two kids still at home are 16 and 14. She now gives piano lessons which makes up for most of the money she was making before. But now there is someone at home all the time and we don't have to rush around on weekends to get things done for the coming week. I work 4 - 10 hour days during the winter to save on gas money and it gives me a 3 day weekend every week.

  16. MPM

    MPM New Member

    Oct 17, 2004
    Hey All, S.w. Mo. Here .i'm A Self-employed Drywall Contractor And Work A Local Extrusion Plant (press Oper.) For Benefits.the Other Half Does A 35 Hr. Conv. Store Job For Her Mad Money So To Speak .life Is Good In Mo., But U Gotta Have Some Backup Plans For Retirement .the Way Congress Is Talkin About National Sales Tax Is A Concern To The Retired, What's Your View On The Subject ?
  17. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    We both work "off the farm:" my husband has a full time job with a manufacturer which provides the basis for our financial stability (and health insurance), I do publicity, brand building, and promotion as a consultant to small manufacturers and the tourism industry, with a focus on agri-tourism. In short... one is gone all day, but one has the flexibility to be on the farm when necessary.

    This past week I've been working a conference about an hour away. It has been a real eye-openner for the two of us. My husband has had to come home mid-day, which requires taking time off from work because the drive time is 1/2 hour (one way). And we've been utterly unable to get all the animals fed and watered before we've had to be out the door (which is why he's had to come home at noon).

    Periodically we discuss my taking on more work, or actually working for a larger firm... and we discard the idea based largely on financial considerations: the cost of getting to the job and other incidental costs outweigh the modest financial gains. Now we have concrete evidence that when both people work full time off the farm the animals suffer as well.

    I have the utmost admiration for people who can pull it off, or are homesteading as singles. This has been a particularly brutal week and I'd hate to have to keep it up, day in and day out, as a lifestyle. I think if I make the choice to accept full time employment and the hour commute we'd have to give up the sheep at a minimum, and probably a good swath of our gardening ambitions as well.
  18. countrygurl

    countrygurl Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    southwest mississippi
    hello all & a big hello to ravenlost, a fellow mississippian
    we moved from suburbs of new orleans to southwest mississippi 4 yrs ago
    we have 39 acres we both work off the farm myself a parttime book keeper
    and hubby a carpenter we both work for the same business.

    4 kids 18 daughter and 3 boys 16, 11 & 5

    chickens quail pheasent turkeys horse cows and bottle raise holstein
    bull calves in the winter had 18 at one time!!

    going to be chilly here tonight 32 its cold bur
  19. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 25, 2004
    I drive 55 miles to the city to work in a cubicle (software engineer). It's an hour & 10 minute drive in good weather. This past July we finally got out of the city and now are in a log cabin in the woods on 7 acres, surrounded by 56 acres of vacant land. DW stays home and homeschools the 2 remaining kids, so 3 out of 4 get to "stay at home." Got a horse and pony, are getting chickens and bees in the spring, then who knows. People at work say they couldn't drive that far and I tell them "It's not the length of the drive, it's what's at the end of the road!"
  20. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Wild, Wonderful WV
    I wish we had a "farm" to work! DH is a truck driver, so he doesn't really work "in town" I have been a SAHM for over 6 years (that long?), and I am officially in charge of the animals around here. Course that's only chickens for us right now, but we are hoping to fence in the field and start with sheep next year. I am also planning to sell a few veggies and eggs next year to suppliment dh's income. DH would love to raise cattle and make a living off of it, but I don't think he realizes the time, effort and possible disapointment.