Whats the problem?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pcdreams, May 25, 2005.

  1. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    Ok I need to vent..

    Why is it that our society thinks that if you wish to be a farmer that you are lazy and unrealistic?

    I typically get this from friends and family:

    "So what are you going to do when you graduate college?" "Build a small cabin on our property and farm". "No I mean what kind of job are you going to have?"

    As if farming is not a job. Sheesh.

    I expect it from the city folk but I see it occuring more and more on these forums.

    I know money in farming isn't what it once was. But if you have everything free and clear (except for taxes of course). I would think you could do it. Hard work and not putting all you eggs in one basket of course. To me even the hardest times would seam simpler to deal with than working for some company that isn't worried about their employees, only about their bottom line.


    Whats your thoughts?
     
  2. Baskar

    Baskar Well-Known Member

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    Farming is HARD work. Even if you live on a small farm, once the animals get big enough and everything it situated right, you can have a full-time job elsewhere. Just that you won't be going to the store that much which can result in saving some money. Then again, if you live on a big farm, you'd better have a reliable crop or livestock you can depend on. Even then, it's always nice to have a backup plan. (example - plant corn for 7 years followed by a season of soy or beans of some sort)

    If they still aren't satisfied, get them to help you build a fence, chicken coop, barn, or whatever. Then get them up at 5am the next day to do some more. They'll be begging for their city lives again.
     

  3. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Forgive them, they know not what they do
    (or in this case say) :)

    there's a lot to be said for that.
    Seriously, don't be offended and ignore it.
    You're not alone, I get the same thing and two fold.

    My grown sons wanna know why i don't get a 'real' job :rolleyes:
    I manufacture a product that I sell.
    Manufacturing is a fulltime job
    I sell, distributing is a fulltime job Then there is the paperwork.
    I work harder and longer than most 9 to 5'ers.
    I can work more if I want something extra.
    I can take time off if I want. I also make in 2 days
    what those boys need to work all week for :D

    I'm getting the same bs about farming and building a cabin
    and my wanting to do other things. My gosh I don't know how
    in the world I made it this far without their advice :no: ;)
    Family does that to you. Smile and then go off and be happy.
     
  4. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Lazy? LOL. If you are a lazy farmer you won't be farming long. A farmer has to be damn smart too these days to even be in farming. You have to be a lawyer to understand all the government paperwork, an accountant, a businessman, a chemist to understand all your fertilizers and pesticides, a mechanic, a vet, a truck driver and heavy equipment operator, a carpenter to name a few.

    Just tell them you will be working in agricultural production, marketing and development.

    Farming isn't just a job though. It is much more. It is something that is in your blood. A very deep, almost spiritual thing that connects one to the land. Especially if it is land that has been in your family for generations. Land that in a very real way is a part of you. It isn't just a job or a business. You don't have many guys that commit suicide because they lost the drywalling business or gas station that their great grandfather opened. Many farmers have taken their own lives because they were the ones that ended up losing the farm their great great grandfather handed down to them.

    I'm not sure it is something that folks who never have lived on the land can understand. It is really difficult to explain to people sometimes why we live the way we do. "How do you live out in the middle of nowhere?" or my favorite which I heard last week "Don't you get bored out there since there is nothing to do?" I tried to explain to the person about how great it was to watch a full moon rising though the trees, actually being able to see the stars at night, watching the animals and wildlife, watching crops grow, the smells of spring, the "feel" of fall and the harvest but they just looked at me as if I were wearing a hat made of turds. I've had a couple of family members that have stayed here that simply don't get it either. We were out watching a relatively rare and particularly brilliant display of the northern lights and their profound comment after observing this wonderful phenomenon of nature, this cosmic display of God's handiwork was "This is so boring....I wonder if anything is on TV?"
     
  5. to live free

    to live free Well-Known Member

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    because for them sitting on their fat tush in a cubicle is hard work. farming is playing in the dirt :haha: :bash:
     
  6. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    I work a 'full time' job and run a small farm. Yep, the full time job is hard work. But farming is a lot tougher, at least in my own experience. Bored...HA! Who has time to be bored?! There's morning chores to be done before heading off to a work, evening chores when you get back home, and everything thing else that needs to be done in between. Not to mention wet growing seasons, droughts, bugs, the local wildlife and idiots on ATVs that think they can ride where ever they feel like, even if it's through the planted fields. Guess folks really don't have a clue on what it takes to keep the farm running. Boy, if I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me why I bother..."wouldn't it be easier to run down to the grocery store?", I'd be a rich man...money wise anyway. Suppose I'd rather be rich in other ways. There's just something about looking at the dinner table and knowing the food is there because of your own efforts.
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    What will you be doing this summer? Will you be living close to the farm? Will there be time to put in a crop on a few acres on weekends?

    If you start now, they might take you more seriously. Besides, farming is more than hard work, it is a skilled job.
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I forgot. Now all farms are suited for row crops, and it is awfully hard to do livestock on weekends. Is this even possible?
     
  9. steff bugielski

    steff bugielski Well-Known Member

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    My brother-in-law once asked"so what do you guys do here all day?"
    My reply was- sleep. He knows Mike is the landlord and super for 7 apartments. I sew for a living and we both take care of 50 goats, 100 chickens 12 rabbits and 1 acre of organic garden. They have all enjoyed the finished products we have. Where do they think they come from.
    steff
     
  10. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    From To livefree "because for them sitting on their fat tush in a cubicle is hard work. farming is playing in the dirt"


    This made me smile so much because my sons loves to dig in the dirt. Usually
    i let them loose in the early spring and while in the course of digging holes for their "projects", they turn over the dirt in the raised bed gardens. Now they have a friend who joins them, i swear they have dug almost to china in that
    garden, they workhard, but enjoy it.

    Atleast one mom made a comment about it because whenever they are outside,
    that's their favorite thing to do now (she saw them when they were caked in mud) and all i could think of was how sterile her life must be for her kids.


    You are young, do the farm thing if that's what's in your heart. Most times
    people are just miserable and/or jelous that they have to sit all days in a
    cubile working to pay for all they "think" they need and someone who doesn't follow that seems strange. Remember, it's your life to live!

    I bet farming is some of the hardest work out there, but some of the most gratifying. I'm looking forward to our rural place and having a huge garden.
     
  11. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh, to be young and idealistic again! Of course some farmers make it still, not as many as the "old days", but still there are some full-time farmers. But you should know that most of them have a wife that is working a job somewhere full-time. But whose to say what the future holds?
     
  12. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    Quint, you must be a mind reader.

    I haven't actually been able to do work on the place yet (1200 miles away) but I've been working a large garden and I feel exactly the things you describe. I've known I wanted to farm for as long as I can remember and knew where I wanted to do it.

    We are heading to (what will be) the homestead this summer. Planning on figuring where things will go. Clear a drive and place for the house. and (time allowing) get our piers set.

    The other thing that gets me is I'm always told "thats xx miles to drive to work, thats to far". I always say it's worth my piece of mind and they just look at me funny. If you haven't figured it yet I'm mostly talking about my dad. He grew up on a farm and , though he's never came right out and said it, I think he didn't care much for it. He lives in the country now but doesn't do anything but mow.

    Of course he works full time in an office and thinks thats the most grand thing. LOL

    He's always asking me why, when I get home from work/school, I don't go to bed and get some rest. I always tell him there are things I WANT (garden) to do and that I will gladly sacrifice some sleep to do it. After all if you can't enjoy life then what good is all the $$ in the world?

    Thanks guys for lifting my sprits.
     
  13. Hermit

    Hermit Active Member

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    Your friends and family don't share the same priorities and goals that you do. I think you have a choice: either try patiently to help them understand how you feel and what your goals are, or stop talking to them about your future.

    Either way is hard work - explaining to a "desk jockey" that farming would be fulfilling to you will be easy - confincing them that you're right will be difficult (maybe impossible).

    Deciding not to discuss your goals with doubtful or critical associates is easy - implementing that policy will be difficult - they'll feel hurt and restentful that you won't talk to them about it. I guess that you could try to be tactful about it.

    My friends and family don't understand my desire for the farming way of life. That's really hard some times, but farming makes me so happy that I get over their disapproval and scepticism.

    You only get one trip around (I think), so do what makes you happy. It's possible to love and support people, even if you don't agree with them on every little thing.

    Just my two cents. "Been there, still doing that." Best wishes for quick-healing blisters and financial success.
     
  14. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    I'm not talking large scale here. I'm talking mostly self-sustaining. Selling a few fruits and veggies, maybe some jams and cheese.

    of course I would raise chickens for eggs, a cow for milk and a couple beef.


    I agree with you Hermit. It is hard to do. He is always asking about my plans for the future. We get along great on everything but that. :)

    He told me the other day that he hoped I was rich someday. I told him I hope not and that I think money causes more problems than it solves. LOL If looks could kill...I'd be dead
     
  15. Hermit

    Hermit Active Member

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    I'd much rather be happy than rich.
     
  16. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    There is things on the Farm you can not buy.The sights,smells,and what you hear.

    Go out on a cold Winter morning,the crunch of Snow under your feet,the sound of Stock wanting to be fed.

    The smell of fresh Mowed Hay,the sound of the Baler,the sweat putting up the Hay.

    The sound of Combines,the smell of Wheat,the augers taking it into the Bins.

    The sound of a Big Oak falling,watching the shavings coming from your Chainsaw,the smell of fresh cut Wood.And the smell of Smoke from it being burned in the Winter.

    Ofcourse there is so much more like the sound of Peepers,Whip Poor Wills,and Coyotes.The smell of Home made Bread.The taste of fresh Vegatables,and Meats.

    You mean people should get money with all this.I feel we are paid very well,more than you could make in any city.

    big rockpile
     
  17. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    If you're serious about sellling your product to finance your lifestyle, show them your business plan, your profit/cost projections, your research sources, apprenticeship/job history, etc. After all, if you don't have it to show them, then you just might go the way of the "farmers" they have in mind when they make the comments they do. Think of it as more about getting your ducks in a row than giving your critics something to chew on. Regardless of the spin you put on it, though, you're a fool plain and simple if you don't think these things through before you jump. Dreams only become reality through conscious effort, and a lot of skills homesteaders need aren't too intimately tied to common sense.

    Self-sustaining is only possible if you can actually make it work. Until then, questions about where your support will come from are valid and show a grasp on reality that you might be slightly lacking. I don't mean this in an insulting way; after all--I'm 27 and I'm already where you want to be and went through the same thing. But I wasted a lot of energy explaining things to other people when I hadn't finished figuring it out myself. Wanting validation from outside sources and being insulted when you don't get it indicates to me a lack of confidence. Fortunately, confidence comes with experience, and it doesn't take long for you to get what you need when you're knee deep in chicken manure, staked out for a week with a .22 looking for that dang fox or outside at midnight with a headlamp picking beans so you don't lose the crop.

    Food for thought.
     
  18. tnborn

    tnborn Well-Known Member

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    Bullet and I quit talking to family members about farming, etc. They are quick to ridicule the livestyle that we want. I am not working myself into a grave for the almighty dollar.
    At dusky dark, I enjoy sitting on the porch and listening to the whipperwills, frogs, night sounds. I also get some type of serenity in working in the garden and on the farm. I like what I do unfourtunately we both have outside jobs other than the farm/homestead.
    tnborn
     
  19. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I'm 41 yrs. old and my family thinks I'm d-mned near retarded and crazy. "Boy you sure do go through a lot just to have some animals". "Why would you, a single woman, want to work so hard? " Oh it stinks out here (by the barn)" just try to ignore them. They will never understand and it's their loss.
     
  20. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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