Comments on: So You (Don't Particularly) Want to be a Farmer: A Guide for the Perplexed, Bothered, Bewildered and Outright Resentful Folks Hitched to a Wanna-Be Farmer http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/ Finding the keys to the future…and trying not to lose them in the mess. Wed, 29 Jun 2011 07:10:35 -0700 hourly 1 #?v=3.0.1 By: how to detox your body in three days http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-2/#comment-16574 how to detox your body in three days Sun, 22 Nov 2009 13:53:34 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16574 <strong>how to detox your body in three days...</strong> Your body is trying to tell you something... how to detox your body in three days…

Your body is trying to tell you something…

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By: So You Want to be a Farmer « Schell Urban Homestead http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-2/#comment-16573 So You Want to be a Farmer « Schell Urban Homestead Wed, 02 Sep 2009 20:10:04 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16573 [...] Sharon Astyk wrote another post to this affect.  Rick and I could relate to her guide, ”So You (Don’t Particularly) Want to be a Farmer” on more than one account.  It’s a guide for the spouse/partner/family member of a [...] [...] Sharon Astyk wrote another post to this affect.  Rick and I could relate to her guide, ”So You (Don’t Particularly) Want to be a Farmer” on more than one account.  It’s a guide for the spouse/partner/family member of a [...]

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By: Claire http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-2/#comment-16572 Claire Tue, 09 Jun 2009 02:55:34 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16572 I loved this post as it sounds similar to what happened between me and my DH, on a much smaller scale. So we were living on a 1/8 acre inner-suburb lot. At first it was heaven for me - I got to have a garden! Not food at that point, just flowers. But I'd always wanted flowers and up to that point hadn't had any land of my own. You can grow a lot of flowers on 1/8 acre. And I did. In 1993, my DH spoke the fatal words. "You don't grow any food. How about growing something I can eat?" He readily admits it was his fault. Just to shut him up, I grew a couple of tomato plants and a few herbs, in pots. It was a very rainy year. The plants did well. I discovered I liked harvesting and drying herbs. I even liked home-grown tomatoes ... I'd never liked tomatoes from the grocery store. The next year I started a 40 square foot veggie garden. It didn't do all that well, but I was hooked. I found I liked the challenge of growing food. And of course the taste of that food. Over the years it went on ... I tripled the veggie garden size, got a couple of apple and pawpaw trees, put in a row of raspberries. There was no more room. The DH and I started talking about finding a little more land. I looked at the classifieds, learned that we'd have to move way out to get acreage, knew the DH didn't want that. I didn't want to get us into debt. We were already living simply and I wanted him to be able to retire before age 50. It didn't seem possible to satisfy all our needs and desires. Then my DH stumbled across the place where we now live. He was reading water meters, his job at the time, and read this house. It's on an acre of land, excellent land, in another inner suburb that is undervalued. The house is too small to be of interest to most people. The owner said she knew she'd have to move in a few years, so my DH gave her his phone number and said to call, he'd be interested in buying the house. She did, we did, and since 2002 I've had an acre to grow on. It's plenty enough since my DH has his own interests, and gardening isn't among them. He's tried, but he found it wasn't for him. But he's very enthusiastic about what I'm doing, contributes his carpentry skills to the project and does other things when I ask, and cooks what I grow. As for me, I have enough other interests that an acre is enough (almost more than enough) for me to manage. I don't have any real interest in raising animals - maybe a chicken or two someday, but plants are what I love. It's working for us. I loved this post as it sounds similar to what happened between me and my DH, on a much smaller scale.

So we were living on a 1/8 acre inner-suburb lot. At first it was heaven for me – I got to have a garden! Not food at that point, just flowers. But I’d always wanted flowers and up to that point hadn’t had any land of my own. You can grow a lot of flowers on 1/8 acre. And I did.

In 1993, my DH spoke the fatal words. “You don’t grow any food. How about growing something I can eat?” He readily admits it was his fault. Just to shut him up, I grew a couple of tomato plants and a few herbs, in pots. It was a very rainy year. The plants did well. I discovered I liked harvesting and drying herbs. I even liked home-grown tomatoes … I’d never liked tomatoes from the grocery store.

The next year I started a 40 square foot veggie garden. It didn’t do all that well, but I was hooked. I found I liked the challenge of growing food. And of course the taste of that food.

Over the years it went on … I tripled the veggie garden size, got a couple of apple and pawpaw trees, put in a row of raspberries. There was no more room. The DH and I started talking about finding a little more land. I looked at the classifieds, learned that we’d have to move way out to get acreage, knew the DH didn’t want that. I didn’t want to get us into debt. We were already living simply and I wanted him to be able to retire before age 50. It didn’t seem possible to satisfy all our needs and desires.

Then my DH stumbled across the place where we now live. He was reading water meters, his job at the time, and read this house. It’s on an acre of land, excellent land, in another inner suburb that is undervalued. The house is too small to be of interest to most people. The owner said she knew she’d have to move in a few years, so my DH gave her his phone number and said to call, he’d be interested in buying the house. She did, we did, and since 2002 I’ve had an acre to grow on. It’s plenty enough since my DH has his own interests, and gardening isn’t among them. He’s tried, but he found it wasn’t for him. But he’s very enthusiastic about what I’m doing, contributes his carpentry skills to the project and does other things when I ask, and cooks what I grow. As for me, I have enough other interests that an acre is enough (almost more than enough) for me to manage. I don’t have any real interest in raising animals – maybe a chicken or two someday, but plants are what I love. It’s working for us.

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By: Jeff http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-2/#comment-16571 Jeff Mon, 08 Jun 2009 21:13:54 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16571 I grew up on a farm and hated it. As I got older I found myself buying homes with larger and larger yards, so that I could have a bigger garden. Now I am in one of those developments where everybody's mailbox has to be the same color and you have to get permission just to plant a tree. My Dad still has his farm and loves every day of it. I am sure I will get back to a farm someday Can't seem to get it out of my bloodstream. I grew up on a farm and hated it. As I got older I found myself buying homes with larger and larger yards, so that I could have a bigger garden.

Now I am in one of those developments where everybody’s mailbox has to be the same color and you have to get permission just to plant a tree.

My Dad still has his farm and loves every day of it. I am sure I will get back to a farm someday Can’t seem to get it out of my bloodstream.

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By: EJ http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-1/#comment-16570 EJ Mon, 08 Jun 2009 16:05:24 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16570 I have been speaking about turning over 50k not 50k as income. It is a common mistake that new business owners make to consider all the money your business brings in as income. Its not. You have to subtract expenses. I have been speaking about turning over 50k not 50k as income. It is a common mistake that new business owners make to consider all the money your business brings in as income. Its not. You have to subtract expenses.

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By: Kate http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-1/#comment-16569 Kate Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:56:20 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16569 Hi Sharon, I've read your book and have been downloading your articles for a while. My husband is the farmer but I am now happily following along. We have been hit pretty hard - he had 30 yrs. in the auto industry. So we are revamping our lives. We have four children still at home and two out in the world trying to find their way. We started down this path about 8 years ago. We were pretty intense about it three years ago but we couldn't make it profitable. We are no longer concerned with making profitable. I was not on board last time. This time around we (the kids and I both) are willing participants and we find somethings quite fun. It is a great way to get the family working together. Come check out my blog if you have time some day. Thanks for all the information you post. Hi Sharon,
I’ve read your book and have been downloading your articles for a while. My husband is the farmer but I am now happily following along. We have been hit pretty hard – he had 30 yrs. in the auto industry. So we are revamping our lives. We have four children still at home and two out in the world trying to find their way.
We started down this path about 8 years ago. We were pretty intense about it three years ago but we couldn’t make it profitable. We are no longer concerned with making profitable. I was not on board last time. This time around we (the kids and I both) are willing participants and we find somethings quite fun. It is a great way to get the family working together.
Come check out my blog if you have time some day.
Thanks for all the information you post.

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-1/#comment-16568 Sharon Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:11:11 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16568 Cassandra - I agree with you - it doesn't take 50K to live here, because if it did, we'd be in trouble. That said, however, while many farmers who inherited their land have no mortgage, most wanna-be farmers probably will have one - there are ways to farm without owning land, and some people are lucky enough to have family land, but it is worth noting that the mortgage-free option isn't available to everyone. While I generally share your take on things, I do see EJ's point - one of the reasons I emphasize very small scale farming is that I think most farmers will need an off-farm job - because they do now. I'm particularly concerned about the destruction of state programs that provide insurance to working families and children - one major injury or illness could bankrupt a farming family and cost their land without those - and California, Arizona and Alabama are already looking likely to cut theirs. I suspect more states will follow. Sharon Cassandra – I agree with you – it doesn’t take 50K to live here, because if it did, we’d be in trouble. That said, however, while many farmers who inherited their land have no mortgage, most wanna-be farmers probably will have one – there are ways to farm without owning land, and some people are lucky enough to have family land, but it is worth noting that the mortgage-free option isn’t available to everyone. While I generally share your take on things, I do see EJ’s point – one of the reasons I emphasize very small scale farming is that I think most farmers will need an off-farm job – because they do now. I’m particularly concerned about the destruction of state programs that provide insurance to working families and children – one major injury or illness could bankrupt a farming family and cost their land without those – and California, Arizona and Alabama are already looking likely to cut theirs. I suspect more states will follow.

Sharon

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By: Cassandra http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-1/#comment-16567 Cassandra Mon, 08 Jun 2009 13:59:02 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16567 Granted, Sharon. But if we had no mortgage and no car payment (which many farmers do not--especially the self sufficient types) and actually made $49,000 a year, that would be tens of thousands of dollars a year more that we would have to spend on health insurance/health care, pensions, IRA's, mutual funds, etc, while our standard of living remained exactly the same. Maybe it's our location. I don't know what the cost of living is where y'all live. But around here, a family can live like kings on $50,000. Well... my opinion of kingly living. I know some wouldn't agree with it. I'd be content living in a mud hut if it had A/C in the summer time. LOL I don't envision myself ever wanting a farm the size where I'm going to need $100k tractors and tons of feed a month. Maybe I don't fit EJ's qualifications of having a farm. But I do fit the dictionary definition! :) Cassandra Granted, Sharon. But if we had no mortgage and no car payment (which many farmers do not–especially the self sufficient types) and actually made $49,000 a year, that would be tens of thousands of dollars a year more that we would have to spend on health insurance/health care, pensions, IRA’s, mutual funds, etc, while our standard of living remained exactly the same.

Maybe it’s our location. I don’t know what the cost of living is where y’all live. But around here, a family can live like kings on $50,000. Well… my opinion of kingly living. I know some wouldn’t agree with it. I’d be content living in a mud hut if it had A/C in the summer time. LOL

I don’t envision myself ever wanting a farm the size where I’m going to need $100k tractors and tons of feed a month. Maybe I don’t fit EJ’s qualifications of having a farm. But I do fit the dictionary definition! :)

Cassandra

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-1/#comment-16566 Sharon Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:54:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16566 Cassandra, I think EJ has a point, now that she/he has made it a little clearer - 50K the first year is pretty unlikely. But the truth is that farming for a living doesn't come with health insurance, farmers do burn out because of the chronic poverty, etc... Small scale polyculture farming can reduce one's income needs, but not all the way - you don't need 50K (although in some states, you can get food stamps on that) everywhere, but until we have some kind of extant health system, you do need something - otherwise, you have aging farmers selling their land to land speculators, since there's no pension... Sharon Cassandra, I think EJ has a point, now that she/he has made it a little clearer – 50K the first year is pretty unlikely. But the truth is that farming for a living doesn’t come with health insurance, farmers do burn out because of the chronic poverty, etc… Small scale polyculture farming can reduce one’s income needs, but not all the way – you don’t need 50K (although in some states, you can get food stamps on that) everywhere, but until we have some kind of extant health system, you do need something – otherwise, you have aging farmers selling their land to land speculators, since there’s no pension…

Sharon

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By: Brooke http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/comment-page-1/#comment-16565 Brooke Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:48:45 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/06/04/so-you-dont-particularly-want-to-be-a-farmer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed-bothered-bewildered-and-outright-resentful-folks-hitched-to-a-wanna-be-farmer/#comment-16565 Just told my husband that I am going to email him a link to this post from one of the "crazy" blogs I read. Told him it's long, but I want him to read it because it will help him understand me. His response? "Wow. How long IS it?" Nice. Just told my husband that I am going to email him a link to this post from one of the “crazy” blogs I read. Told him it’s long, but I want him to read it because it will help him understand me. His response? “Wow. How long IS it?” Nice.

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