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Anyone Homestead by themselves, or have a spouse/partner who doesnt help out on the land??

 
Posts: 46
Location: The Great PNW
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Hello Fellow Permies and Homesteaders! I need your advice/input!! :)

I currently live on a property where I am staying temporarily and maintaining the homestead (mostly) by myself. I have family who does help when i need help, which works out just fine.
So im getting back into dating now (i'm a 31 divorced female), and am struggling to find individuals who even know what homesteading is let alone are wanting to live on a "farm". Thats not even my biggest issue. I think my biggest hang up is that yeah, i could feasibly find someone who would at least be ok with being on a homestead in the future, but I dont see someone who is JUST ok with it, helping me out with various livestock, projects, garden, orchard, general handiwork, etc; even tho everyone always "says" theyll help out, i find it hard to believe generally?
I think a lot of people have a romanticized view of homesteading and farm life and when they live it they realize how much hard work is involved and then eventually go "what did i get myself into." So i could only imagine someone who didnt exactly want this lifestyle being dragged into it by a spouse and eventually just not helping out, or not being a team player on the homestead. Does that make sense?

I think its a big deal because i absolutely will live this lifestyle, even if i have to do it alone (which is not preferred, nor ideal), but i would like to find myself a good man who had some skills and some desire to live this lifestyle. Its just been super tough. Does anyone here have a S/O who doesnt really help on the homestead/land? How is that going? It makes me cringe just thinking about it, honestly. I'm just not sure id be ok with being with someone who is Ok with my homesteading lifestyle, and doesnt help out. It just already bothers me, is there any way to get over this so that I can not have such a hard time?
How about people who have dragged a spouse into this lifestyle? Did it work out well for you? Did they adapt?
I know this is all gee-wizz type stuff and the answer is probably "it depends on the person" I get that, but i am interested to see what people experiences have been. Maybe looking for encouragement and advice, whatever i can get.
Thanks All!!! <3

M
Gardener-and-helper.jpg
Gardener and helper
Gardener and helper
Freshly-picked-onions-and-corn.jpg
Freshly picked onions and corn
Freshly picked onions and corn
Happy-chickens-and-dog.jpg
Happy chickens and dog
Happy chickens and dog
 
pollinator
Posts: 1132
Location: Victoria BC
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I'm in pretty much in the same place; 35, single a few years, doing it solo, and nailed to the land that took me a decade to find.

I can't really see a relationship working with someone who doesn't have some overlapping interests... What the hell would we talk about?

It's not like a day job... I'm putting in ~80 hour weeks with no days off, and sure my schedule is my own and I could take a day off whenever, but I can't see spending a lot of time off the farm anytime soon.

The mental side is just as overwhelming, and I can't find any interest in trivial crap when there are countless interesting and complicated subjects to learn about, that are of immediate relevance!


There are a lot of dreamers out there.. and by 30ish a lot of people are pretty far along some life-trajectory of their own.


Most farms around here, someone works off farm to support it. This is a very weird dynamic to work out if you aren't in a relationship beforehand! Seems like, to most people you either end up sounding like you want to leach off an employed partner, or like you are willing to support a housespouse in an idyllic setting.


The silver lining is that I am very unlikely to lose my farm to a breakup, always an option for people who bought together.


Hope some folks have success stories to share!
 
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finding an ideal partner is not all that easy in todays world, take it from someone who's been around the block a couple times.
I would love to find a great woman who's as comfortable in a tool belt and work boots as well as heels and gown for the occasional special event.
don't settle for just anyone, find someone who you are truely compatible with, and just do your own thing in the mean time
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11439
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My husband pretty much only runs some errands, cuts firewood, and manages the wood stove during the winter.  Other land work is being done by me these days.  He may help with some brush-damming this winter but I don't expect him to.  I love to work outdoors and he does not.  He loves nature but doesn't especially enjoy working outside getting hot and dirty.  Plus he's a redhead so has to shun the sun (already had some skin cancers).

No big deal because we aren't farming, we're managing for wildlife and growing food permaculturally, so this pushing-60 gal is good to do the work.  My husband is extremely supportive about permaculture concepts and very encouraging.

I used to think I couldn't do it on my own but now that I have a better plan (as opposed to no plan) it all seems pretty easy.

 
steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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In my community, it is a very common pattern for the farmer to take care of everything that needs to be taken care of around the farm, and for the spouse to take care of everything inside the picket fence around the house. The chicken coop might be inside the picket fence, or out. The kitchen garden is inside the picket fence, but the storage garden is outside.

Once in a while the farmer might help with a canning project in the kitchen, and once in a while the spouse might drive the farmer to a field, but for the most part, each has precedence over their own domain, and takes care of their own work in their own space. If the farmer needs help, it's common to hire helpers from the community.

 
gardener
Posts: 700
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it sounds like you still have a lot of things "to be defined", so maybe it's premature to get too worried about it. As mentioned, often one person works offsite, and it's not clear where you're going to live, how far off grid you might be, how self reliant you have to be, etc. Maybe more important to find someone who shares a spirit of adventure, grit, interest in bugs/dirt/food/etc and take it from there.

(I was brought up by a hippie gardener but learned how to do absolutely zero at home. Was lucky enough to have a series of jobs that taught me to use tools, work with my hands, use my head, and lived in a place where nature, farming, and self-reliance were encouraged. I married a city boy who is great at motors, electrical repairs and fine carpentry but would probably starve to death [or get poisoned] if you were to drop him off in a market garden. Today I run a small urban farm, we both have paid jobs. One day we might go live entirely off the land, or not. He builds my rabbit hutches and rigs up pumps, I work the gardens, which he stays out of. We both enjoy harvesting, processing, and learning new things together. Who knows what's next.
In short, don't despair. My husband doesn't know an aphid from an acorn, but we enjoy spending time together and seeing each other happy, so we have fun anyway. Nobody is static, and if you find someone who's curious, likes learning, and enjoys sharing the load, it can be a common adventure.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1579
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The homestead is pretty much "me", not my hubby. When we started out, hubby learned very quickly that building a house and creating a farm wasn't his interest. Within two years he was back to working his regular job, leaving me to do the homestead project. The only things he's willing to work on now is the electrical & solar, plus he'll do some housecleaning when the place gets to far beyond me. I'm not a housekeeper, for sure. Since we don't have children, I figure that a house just needs to be clean enough to be healthy. If hubby wants it neater, then that's his job.

So I'm "it". When I need extra help I bring in somebody. I have a handyman who I bring in 1-2 days a week from time to time. He does the heavy stuff and works in things that need two people-- him and me. I tried using a wwoofer, but that turned out to be far more of a headache than it was worth. So for now, I'm off of using wwoofers, though perhaps I'll find a decent one in the future. I'll bring in a worker for a special job. For example, I had my neighbor use his equipment to yank out a tree that was messing up my fence. He also spread gravel on my driveway using his skidsteer & scoop. I'm bringing in a professional tree person to limb some giant eucalyptus trees that are getting dangerous.

Basically I do all the work. It's a full time job with unpaid overtime, but it's something I want to do. I build the house, barn, and other structures. I create growing areas. I grow food, tend livestock, build & maintain fences. I do it all. And I don't complain about it. It's my life. It's a good life. I'll do it for as long as I'm able.

You know something now that I think about it.......I really like doing this by myself and just bringing in helpers when I need them. I really like working alone. I really like seeing a project getting done 100% my way, even if it's wrong. I'll fix the wrong stuff on my next project. I like looking around this farm and being satisfied that I'm the one who created it. It's all mine.
 
Posts: 98
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FWIW, here is a little of my permaculture journey story with a husband that did not exactly share my dreams of homesteading but was 100% (ok maybe 95% lol) willing to give it a try.
Gil grew up in very urban L.A. and was a total city guy. When we met, I was a very city gal. The first 16 years of our relationship, we lived in cities. Our first home had a nice little yard with a massive raspberry patch and before I knew it, I had built raised beds and planted a garden. Pretty soon there was a compost pile and more garden beds (and two kids!). Another year went by and Gil broke apart the concrete back patio to make room for strawberry beds and I used the rubble to create an herb garden.
By this time, I was reading homesteading books and dreaming of leaving the city and getting some land.
Gil was a bit reluctant but he’s an adventurous guy so was like, what the hell, let’s go.
We both wanted to live on the west coast north of California and south of Alaska and one of my closest friends was living about an hour east of Portland, which we knew well and liked to visit so settled on 3 acres here in SW Washington.
I’d be willing to guess at least 90% of our homesteading projects are my ideas, I’m the one that reads the books, frequents forums like this, signs up for the classes (he goes to about half of them with me), etc. The garden is my design and I am the main caretaker. Gil even refers to most projects as “another of your crazy ideas”, HOWEVER, he loves living in the country, says he will never live in the city again, he loves the garden and he is totally on board with most of my ideas. He enjoys projects and working on the homestead and is always willing to help. He’s even come up with some ideas of his own and might come up with more but I’m a constant dreamer and come up with them first!
Nowadays, half the time projects will grow out of conversations we are having so he has to take some credit, hah.
We also have two grown sons that live at home and the three of them are a brute force to be reckoned with when it comes to building and doing heavy lifting. We had our house built by a contractor, but the rest of this place was hand built by the sweat of our brows.
Maybe what’s worked for us is that we grew into this life over several years.
We do really like each other and we support each other’s hobbies. When Gil was still drumming in a band, I went to the shows and helped him with his equipment. He loves going to the movies and soccer and baseball games so I go with him. I’m not a sports fan and I don’t care for the crowds but I go and have a good time because it’s his thing. We do have a lot in common but also a lot not in common and it’s worked so far (28 years) because we support each other.
I don’t know if my story is helpful or not but Gil would definitely be considered an originally reluctant homesteader who has come to love and appreciate this lifestyle. One saving grace is that he is one of the hardest working people I know and puts his all into a thing. If you can find someone with those qualities and who supports your ideas and projects, you’ve probably got it made. Be prepared to do a few things outside of your comfort zone as well because a successful relationship is give and take.
We live an hour from Portland because Gil wanted to live that close to a city. That means land was more expensive and so we both have jobs off site. But, now that our kids are adults, they are glad we are commuting distance to a city because they are both commuting to college (they wish we lived closer) so there are positives and negatives there.
So after that long story, here’s my main advice:
Don’t get together with somebody you are just “putting up with” and vice versa, I think you deserve a partner that will support you, even if all the homesteady things aren’t their ideas.
I’d definitely look for somebody that at least wants to live in the country, has a way to make a living in the country or be willing to commute and likes gardening. If he’s into those two things, the rest will follow because seriously, permaculture just makes sense and it’s fun and challenging to do what we’re doing.
Oh, and also he has to be compassionate towards animals, you can tell a lot about a person based on that one thing.
 
Michelle Arbol
Posts: 46
Location: The Great PNW
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Su Ba wrote:The homestead is pretty much "me", not my hubby. When we started out, hubby learned very quickly that building a house and creating a farm wasn't his interest. Within two years he was back to working his regular job, leaving me to do the homestead project. The only things he's willing to work on now is the electrical & solar, plus he'll do some housecleaning when the place gets to far beyond me. I'm not a housekeeper, for sure. Since we don't have children, I figure that a house just needs to be clean enough to be healthy. If hubby wants it neater, then that's his job.

So I'm "it". When I need extra help I bring in somebody. I have a handyman who I bring in 1-2 days a week from time to time. He does the heavy stuff and works in things that need two people-- him and me. I tried using a wwoofer, but that turned out to be far more of a headache than it was worth. So for now, I'm off of using wwoofers, though perhaps I'll find a decent one in the future. I'll bring in a worker for a special job. For example, I had my neighbor use his equipment to yank out a tree that was messing up my fence. He also spread gravel on my driveway using his skidsteer & scoop. I'm bringing in a professional tree person to limb some giant eucalyptus trees that are getting dangerous.

Basically I do all the work. It's a full time job with unpaid overtime, but it's something I want to do. I build the house, barn, and other structures. I create growing areas. I grow food, tend livestock, build & maintain fences. I do it all. And I don't complain about it. It's my life. It's a good life. I'll do it for as long as I'm able.

You know something now that I think about it.......I really like doing this by myself and just bringing in helpers when I need them. I really like working alone. I really like seeing a project getting done 100% my way, even if it's wrong. I'll fix the wrong stuff on my next project. I like looking around this farm and being satisfied that I'm the one who created it. It's all mine.



thank you for the input! yes, i understand what youre saying here. right now the homestead i manage is all me, too. Which is definitely nice in some ways. Its good to hear that there are people out there who do it by themselves, all the homesteaders i know are homesteading in pairs or in larger community or familial groups. I just never really considered an eventuality of having to do it by myself, and i guess i struggle with thoughts that i might resent my significant other? I dont really know tho, i dont want to go down that path, just was curious what others did.
I do understand that its "too early" to guess how things would turn out, i just wanted to get the thoughts and questions out there to ponder before i keep tuning down all these city boys who have no real useful skills in a farm setting..... :) :)
                                               
 
master pollinator
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My situation is odd in that my wife would like to help me out in the field. We are still shopping for land in the Philippines. But I don't want her to be my field hand, because that's something that cost between 6 and $8 a day. It would only make sense for her to do that on days when I'm not available, because it involves being the foreman.

So I've been suggesting many other things that she could do, some of which she is quite interested in. She would like to be in charge of propagation, managing the crew that handles drying of leaf products and spices, making and marketing soap, managing value-added things that use bamboo and elephant grass, and keeping everyone fed. I expect that we will turn our goat milk into cheese, since it's a high-value product that can be shipped.

It will be a learning curve for sure , but what I need is a co-manager, not someone to help with the physical drudgery that comes with the fun stuff.

We are going to try many things and see what works. I never want to have a situation where I'm the foreman and she's just one of the workers. That wouldn't multiply my efforts, or help her develop management skills.
 
Michelle Arbol
Posts: 46
Location: The Great PNW
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Sally Munoz wrote:FWIW, here is a little of my permaculture journey story with a husband that did not exactly share my dreams of homesteading but was 100% (ok maybe 95% lol) willing to give it a try.
Gil grew up in very urban L.A. and was a total city guy. When we met, I was a very city gal. The first 16 years of our relationship, we lived in cities. Our first home had a nice little yard with a massive raspberry patch and before I knew it, I had built raised beds and planted a garden. Pretty soon there was a compost pile and more garden beds (and two kids!). Another year went by and Gil broke apart the concrete back patio to make room for strawberry beds and I used the rubble to create an herb garden.
By this time, I was reading homesteading books and dreaming of leaving the city and getting some land.
Gil was a bit reluctant but he’s an adventurous guy so was like, what the hell, let’s go.
We both wanted to live on the west coast north of California and south of Alaska and one of my closest friends was living about an hour east of Portland, which we knew well and liked to visit so settled on 3 acres here in SW Washington.
I’d be willing to guess at least 90% of our homesteading projects are my ideas, I’m the one that reads the books, frequents forums like this, signs up for the classes (he goes to about half of them with me), etc. The garden is my design and I am the main caretaker. Gil even refers to most projects as “another of your crazy ideas”, HOWEVER, he loves living in the country, says he will never live in the city again, he loves the garden and he is totally on board with most of my ideas. He enjoys projects and working on the homestead and is always willing to help. He’s even come up with some ideas of his own and might come up with more but I’m a constant dreamer and come up with them first!
Nowadays, half the time projects will grow out of conversations we are having so he has to take some credit, hah.
We also have two grown sons that live at home and the three of them are a brute force to be reckoned with when it comes to building and doing heavy lifting. We had our house built by a contractor, but the rest of this place was hand built by the sweat of our brows.
Maybe what’s worked for us is that we grew into this life over several years.
We do really like each other and we support each other’s hobbies. When Gil was still drumming in a band, I went to the shows and helped him with his equipment. He loves going to the movies and soccer and baseball games so I go with him. I’m not a sports fan and I don’t care for the crowds but I go and have a good time because it’s his thing. We do have a lot in common but also a lot not in common and it’s worked so far (28 years) because we support each other.
I don’t know if my story is helpful or not but Gil would definitely be considered an originally reluctant homesteader who has come to love and appreciate this lifestyle. One saving grace is that he is one of the hardest working people I know and puts his all into a thing. If you can find someone with those qualities and who supports your ideas and projects, you’ve probably got it made. Be prepared to do a few things outside of your comfort zone as well because a successful relationship is give and take.
We live an hour from Portland because Gil wanted to live that close to a city. That means land was more expensive and so we both have jobs off site. But, now that our kids are adults, they are glad we are commuting distance to a city because they are both commuting to college (they wish we lived closer) so there are positives and negatives there.
So after that long story, here’s my main advice:
Don’t get together with somebody you are just “putting up with” and vice versa, I think you deserve a partner that will support you, even if all the homesteady things aren’t their ideas.
I’d definitely look for somebody that at least wants to live in the country, has a way to make a living in the country or be willing to commute and likes gardening. If he’s into those two things, the rest will follow because seriously, permaculture just makes sense and it’s fun and challenging to do what we’re doing.
Oh, and also he has to be compassionate towards animals, you can tell a lot about a person based on that one thing.



thank you Sally
Your story is beautiful, and does give me hope!!
 
Sally Munoz
Posts: 98
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Tereza Okava wrote:
In short, don't despair. My husband doesn't know an aphid from an acorn, but we enjoy spending time together and seeing each other happy, so we have fun anyway. Nobody is static, and if you find someone who's curious, likes learning, and enjoys sharing the load, it can be a common adventure.



So true! Well said!
 
Sally Munoz
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Su Ba wrote: It's my life. It's a good life. I'll do it for as long as I'm able.

You know something now that I think about it.......I really like doing this by myself and just bringing in helpers when I need them. I really like working alone. I really like seeing a project getting done 100% my way, even if it's wrong. I'll fix the wrong stuff on my next project. I like looking around this farm and being satisfied that I'm the one who created it. It's all mine.



Yes! My garden is my design, most of the labor is mine and that in and of itself is incredibly satisfying. I enjoy working alone too, I often say gardening is my therapy because it is.
 
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HI Michelle!
I live in the Great PNW, too. Good post, and great question.
I've been with my amazing husband for 22 years. We live on a farm. His efforts on the farm amount to helping me put the animals away at night and keeping the wood pile orderly. He also helps out when I'm building something and can use an extra set of hands. Other than that, he does his own things.
We lived in the suburbs for years and have always had our own interests, and when I got heavy into gardening 15 years ago, he wasn't really interested and we talked about it. When I asked him to move to the country so I could have more land for my animals and veggies, we talked about it some more, but he made it perfectly clear that he didn't want to be a farmer. But that he would take on the support role elsewhere to help me free up time to pursue my dream.
So he takes on more household tasks such as dishes, laundry and general cleaning, and we parent a full 50/50 and this gives me some good time to spend in our garden and orchard and messing around in our chicken run. Conversely, I work less hours off farm b/c I'm able to do that now to free up time for him to pursue his interests. We are in the business of making the other person the best version of themselves.
It's not always easy. A huge shift for me personally came from understanding that I can't do ALL the things, but I can do some of the things well. I wanted pigs, but that's above my pay grade right now, so no pigs. I also wanted goats, but there's not enough time to do that and parent well and enjoy my husband. So no goats. And that's okay. It's like priority management for me. (Although coming to the realization that I didn't have time to keep pigs felt like a physical blow...)
We have made it work. With lot's of conversation and learning when to personally say no. The biggest thing for us what setting clear boundaries BEFORE doing a thing, so that we know exactly what the other person can give to it. Which is sometimes 0%. And that's okay!
I feel like we have enough core stuff in common and we are both major homebodies, that we can make the logistics work. And I personally like some separation from him bc it gives me a chance to miss him and we always have tons to talk about when we sit down at the end of the day. Which reminds me - we try to always give the other person our full attention when they are talking about their passion projects. So when he starts going on about a mixing program he downloaded to make his pedal sound so and so when he hooks it up to his fender amp, blah blah blah, I keep my eyes wide open and give him my full attention. (Well. 80%. The other 20% is always thinking about mulching something.)
And it's seasonal - in the winter, I'm way more in the house and doing all the chores, and in the summer, I'm outside whenever I get a chance. So it shifts.
Anyways - my two cents. Take care!
 
Michelle Arbol
Posts: 46
Location: The Great PNW
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Lindsey Jane wrote:HI Michelle!
I live in the Great PNW, too. Good post, and great question.
I've been with my amazing husband for 22 years. We live on a farm. His efforts on the farm amount to helping me put the animals away at night and keeping the wood pile orderly. He also helps out when I'm building something and can use an extra set of hands. Other than that, he does his own things.
We lived in the suburbs for years and have always had our own interests, and when I got heavy into gardening 15 years ago, he wasn't really interested and we talked about it. When I asked him to move to the country so I could have more land for my animals and veggies, we talked about it some more, but he made it perfectly clear that he didn't want to be a farmer. But that he would take on the support role elsewhere to help me free up time to pursue my dream.
So he takes on more household tasks such as dishes, laundry and general cleaning, and we parent a full 50/50 and this gives me some good time to spend in our garden and orchard and messing around in our chicken run. Conversely, I work less hours off farm b/c I'm able to do that now to free up time for him to pursue his interests. We are in the business of making the other person the best version of themselves.
It's not always easy. A huge shift for me personally came from understanding that I can't do ALL the things, but I can do some of the things well. I wanted pigs, but that's above my pay grade right now, so no pigs. I also wanted goats, but there's not enough time to do that and parent well and enjoy my husband. So no goats. And that's okay. It's like priority management for me. (Although coming to the realization that I didn't have time to keep pigs felt like a physical blow...)
We have made it work. With lot's of conversation and learning when to personally say no. The biggest thing for us what setting clear boundaries BEFORE doing a thing, so that we know exactly what the other person can give to it. Which is sometimes 0%. And that's okay!
I feel like we have enough core stuff in common and we are both major homebodies, that we can make the logistics work. And I personally like some separation from him bc it gives me a chance to miss him and we always have tons to talk about when we sit down at the end of the day. Which reminds me - we try to always give the other person our full attention when they are talking about their passion projects. So when he starts going on about a mixing program he downloaded to make his pedal sound so and so when he hooks it up to his fender amp, blah blah blah, I keep my eyes wide open and give him my full attention. (Well. 80%. The other 20% is always thinking about mulching something.)
And it's seasonal - in the winter, I'm way more in the house and doing all the chores, and in the summer, I'm outside whenever I get a chance. So it shifts.
Anyways - my two cents. Take care!



Awesome! Thank you for the value added input, neighbor
Yea, i agree, communication is soooo important!! Glad to hear about your success stories and that this is definitely a doable thing, given the right attitudes. I think thats probably my thing, i think i had in my head for years that i would be able to find a man who absolutely wanted this lifestyle and we would work together and be partners...but now im facing the reality of the fact that this may not be where i am headed. Wrapping my head around that and trying to adjust my expectations now is definitely doable, i just wasnt sure how that would look, or if its a very successful thing out there, i guess.
 
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I guess I do almost all the work on our place.  The wife loves it, says it is good for me!! lol
We just sold our house and our 1/2 acre lot in NW Montana, (Columbia Falls), because we found 10 acres we liked.  One of our sons bought the 10 acres next to it.
The majority of the work on our old place was from me.  I managed to grow around 300 pounds of produce each year and my wife did about 70 percent of the canning.  We moved this fall to Helena Montana and are in the process of building new home now.  I retired, (just social security), and am at the new homestead full time.  We are fortunate that all four of our sons are contractors and will help with the construction of our homes.
I will be starting on gardens this spring after home is finished.  Lots of infrastructure to build on raw land but am very excited to do this.  Lots of fencing to be done this next year, (abundance of Ponderosa Pines on property for fence posts), we have bears, deer, elk, coyotes and wolves in the area so will be building strong high fence around garden and animal area.
I have an idea for the fenced area.  Strong fence on outside then another smaller fence a few feet inside that will create chicken run, then garden area.  
My wife is fortunate that she was able to transfer within the company she works for so keeps all her benefits from old job.
It seems that I am working more hours a day now than when I worked for someone else, but am loving it.  I sleep so good at night it is crazy!
Anyone wanting to take a work vacation next year is welcome to come by.  We will have trailer pads available.  Currently we are living in trailers on property, (my daughter and two grandkids are here also as is my son and his family).  Just 12 miles NW of Helena.  Short drive to Yellowstone Park and Glacier Park.  ;-)
 
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I find it ironic that most of the guys into it are already married or in similar long term relationships, the their partner often doesn't want in on the work. While here sets a whole gaggle of gals (see what I did there?) who can't find a guy that's willing to work with us on the work. Work as in farm, garden, livestock, etc.

I think it depends on the person and in a lot of situations it works well that each person has 'my stuff, their stuff'. When I need another set of hands, the partner helps, and I help when they need another set of hands.

For myself personally.. I'm in much the same boat as the rest of you are saying. 27y/o single, living on family farm, fair size flock of sheep and a couple rabbits, hoping to add a couple pigs next year.
I don't expect to find a male version of myself. I would like to find someone that we can have 'my projects, their projects' but also some together projects. If I'm in a relationship it seems dumb to have added stress of 'oh no I can't do that by myself' when there is a person readily available that we're supposed to be a team.
Currently I do 95% of everything myself. The rest I have to bribe Dad into helping me. And the remaining percent is the stressing to-do list that my Dad can't help me (physical limitations) or I would rather put it off than have to deal with him to do it. Not exactly ideal.

~ Almost year long relationship. Guy was so into homesteading and gardening, actually met on a homesteading forum. It ended when I realized that he is a big dreamer guy but very very very low on the actual doing of any of these things. There was some other things that iced the cake but I realized that me doing everything was going to be life if I stayed in the relationship.

~ Four year long relationship. Actually engaged most of that time. Very convoluted story but I realized he wanted a maid and mother whereas I wanted an equal partner. He also was not ever going to help with any projects. It would be like I was alone, but also having this person live there and me doing enough to feed and support them too.

~ Almost year long relationship. Very great guy, super supportive. I was very blunt and upfront about my goals and what I knew I wanted in the future. In the end he realized that we would have been great friends but he didn't think he was going to be happy in the future I want. It was sad but we were honest with each other and still remain friendly and talk sometimes.

And of course between these is the multiple first dates and several dates of disappointment. Guys who spend more time and product on their hair than I've probably used in my life. Guys who clearly are only dating for the future removal of clothing, etc. Guys who want maid/mother/caretaker.

I'm not exactly painting a hopeful picture here but this has been my experiences. I'm talking to a guy now and while he admits he knows very little about animals or anything of this stuff, but he likes to learn and enjoys talking about things. We haven't met yet and at this point I don't get too wound up until after meeting in person and talking for a while.

Some might think it would be easier in a rural area, but it isn't. There's the rednecks, the 'trailer people', the townies, the wanna-be gangsters, and the amish. People either are going to live exactly in the same place with the same problems and their family has had for generations.. Or want to go to the city, and having grown up near Detroit it's highly amusing because a lot of them would get shot at in an hour probably.. Or the 'smart kids' who move away for college and never come back.
Honestly I'd happily give some amish guys a chance if they're willing to take up toothbrushes. It would have it's own possible problems but at least we'd be much more on the same page. Too bad their isn't ex amish dating sites? hahahaha...
 
Michelle Arbol
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kadence blevins wrote:I find it ironic that most of the guys into it are already married or in similar long term relationships, the their partner often doesn't want in on the work. While here sets a whole gaggle of gals (see what I did there?) who can't find a guy that's willing to work with us on the work. Work as in farm, garden, livestock, etc.

I think it depends on the person and in a lot of situations it works well that each person has 'my stuff, their stuff'. When I need another set of hands, the partner helps, and I help when they need another set of hands.

For myself personally.. I'm in much the same boat as the rest of you are saying. 27y/o single, living on family farm, fair size flock of sheep and a couple rabbits, hoping to add a couple pigs next year.
I don't expect to find a male version of myself. I would like to find someone that we can have 'my projects, their projects' but also some together projects. If I'm in a relationship it seems dumb to have added stress of 'oh no I can't do that by myself' when there is a person readily available that we're supposed to be a team.
Currently I do 95% of everything myself. The rest I have to bribe Dad into helping me. And the remaining percent is the stressing to-do list that my Dad can't help me (physical limitations) or I would rather put it off than have to deal with him to do it. Not exactly ideal.

~ Almost year long relationship. Guy was so into homesteading and gardening, actually met on a homesteading forum. It ended when I realized that he is a big dreamer guy but very very very low on the actual doing of any of these things. There was some other things that iced the cake but I realized that me doing everything was going to be life if I stayed in the relationship.

~ Four year long relationship. Actually engaged most of that time. Very convoluted story but I realized he wanted a maid and mother whereas I wanted an equal partner. He also was not ever going to help with any projects. It would be like I was alone, but also having this person live there and me doing enough to feed and support them too.

~ Almost year long relationship. Very great guy, super supportive. I was very blunt and upfront about my goals and what I knew I wanted in the future. In the end he realized that we would have been great friends but he didn't think he was going to be happy in the future I want. It was sad but we were honest with each other and still remain friendly and talk sometimes.

And of course between these is the multiple first dates and several dates of disappointment. Guys who spend more time and product on their hair than I've probably used in my life. Guys who clearly are only dating for the future removal of clothing, etc. Guys who want maid/mother/caretaker.

I'm not exactly painting a hopeful picture here but this has been my experiences. I'm talking to a guy now and while he admits he knows very little about animals or anything of this stuff, but he likes to learn and enjoys talking about things. We haven't met yet and at this point I don't get too wound up until after meeting in person and talking for a while.

Some might think it would be easier in a rural area, but it isn't. There's the rednecks, the 'trailer people', the townies, the wanna-be gangsters, and the amish. People either are going to live exactly in the same place with the same problems and their family has had for generations.. Or want to go to the city, and having grown up near Detroit it's highly amusing because a lot of them would get shot at in an hour probably.. Or the 'smart kids' who move away for college and never come back.
Honestly I'd happily give some amish guys a chance if they're willing to take up toothbrushes. It would have it's own possible problems but at least we'd be much more on the same page. Too bad their isn't ex amish dating sites? hahahaha...



I enjoyed reading your post. I totally understand, i'm in a similar situation, just throw in a few longer term relationships and a marriage. Shrug. Ive considered the Amish thing, too. Maybe were on to something there
 
pollinator
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So my husband is so not into all the things I do. At least I've always said that. I'm starting to look at him differently now. It used to be that when I needed help I had to directly ask for it and he would do exactly as I asked only. Today, however, I realized at the grocery as we were examining Kombucha labels that my man has turned. There was this weird thing buried on the property and it turns out as he was cutting wood he found a log that had stuff growing from it so he randomly planted it. Totally something I would do. He also planted the rotten potatoes and then went through the effort of protecting them from the pigs.

Now the pigs, totally not his thing. No interest there. I've got him stratifying tree seeds now and planning a forest though, so it's taken years but I've got a convert peeps!

One thing I will say is that maybe finding someone who just loves you and wants to spend time with you is enough. My husband would meander around the property listening to me for hours just because he wanted to spend time with me. He never refused to help me, even when he thought I was doing stupid things. He gently tried to discourage me from some of my crazier plans but he still let me do them.

Admittedly I do a lot of the work on my own but I must also admit I enjoy that. I enjoy the quite time in the garden or digging holes or vrooming about on the tractors. So perhaps all this time I thought I had someone who didn't care but what I really had was someone who knew me and loved me so deeply he let me be the nut I am and only intervened when I got a wee bit too nutty.


My final thought is that perhaps looking for someone totally in to Homesteading is the wrong thing to do. Perhaps finding someone who enjoys gardening or animals or food preservation is enough.

I may also have to go show my husband way more appreciation!
 
elle sagenev
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Dennis Barrow wrote:I guess I do almost all the work on our place.  The wife loves it, says it is good for me!! lol
We just sold our house and our 1/2 acre lot in NW Montana, (Columbia Falls), because we found 10 acres we liked.  One of our sons bought the 10 acres next to it.
The majority of the work on our old place was from me.  I managed to grow around 300 pounds of produce each year and my wife did about 70 percent of the canning.  We moved this fall to Helena Montana and are in the process of building new home now.  I retired, (just social security), and am at the new homestead full time.  We are fortunate that all four of our sons are contractors and will help with the construction of our homes.
I will be starting on gardens this spring after home is finished.  Lots of infrastructure to build on raw land but am very excited to do this.  Lots of fencing to be done this next year, (abundance of Ponderosa Pines on property for fence posts), we have bears, deer, elk, coyotes and wolves in the area so will be building strong high fence around garden and animal area.
I have an idea for the fenced area.  Strong fence on outside then another smaller fence a few feet inside that will create chicken run, then garden area.  
My wife is fortunate that she was able to transfer within the company she works for so keeps all her benefits from old job.
It seems that I am working more hours a day now than when I worked for someone else, but am loving it.  I sleep so good at night it is crazy!
Anyone wanting to take a work vacation next year is welcome to come by.  We will have trailer pads available.  Currently we are living in trailers on property, (my daughter and two grandkids are here also as is my son and his family).  Just 12 miles NW of Helena.  Short drive to Yellowstone Park and Glacier Park.  ;-)



Helena is a BEAUTIFUL area!
 
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I think looking at the idea of "dragging" your s/o into any kind of activity is almost definitely going to ensure they hate it. Whether that be homesteading, snowboarding, building a house, managing a business, etc, etc. One thing I have learned is just how important it is to make space for people to participate. When we're super passionate about something, we can often get super focused and bulldoze other people's interests, leaving them feeling awkward and uninterested in participating.

For example: maybe you want chickens. But you have an incredibly specific idea of the right way to have chickens. So when your s/o says they might be interested in having chickens, you have this whole entire plan in your head of exactly how it'll work — what kind of birds, what kind of shelter, what kind of feed, how many to have, etc. That doesn't leave a lot of room for the other person to participate other than being a person who does chores. For these things we are super passionate about, we have to try really hard to make space for other people if we want them to participate. Maybe that means you let them do some research of their own, make a bunch of mistakes, and generally do it "wrong". But wrong isn't forever, and maybe wrong chickens are better than no chickens.

I know quite a few people who have gotten reluctant s/o's more active and interested in their lifestyle (usually homesteading, rural living, children, or moving away from cities). I also know a lot of people who haven't been able to do that. I think it all kind of comes down to how important it is for you to have your s/o participate. It may very well be that getting them interested and active is a much bigger project than the actual homesteading, at least at first. But if it's something you care about in your relationship, I'd say choose to make it a priority and work toward it.
 
Tereza Okava
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Kyle Neath wrote:One thing I have learned is just how important it is to make space for people to participate. When we're super passionate about something, we can often get super focused and bulldoze other people's interests, leaving them feeling awkward and uninterested in participating.


I would venture to say that this is excellent advice for building many kinds of relationships- marriage, parent/child, student/teacher, mentor/mentoree- it's very easy to roll your eyes when your spouse takes ten minutes to figure out which container is the salt (when you ask him to please salt the pasta water) and say "oh I'll just do it myself". Same when your kids make a mess doing dishes, your intern makes an absolute mess on their first job, etc. But doing that disrespects their willingness to help, and stops them from learning; everyone comes to things at their own level, and if you don't let someone even try it (or if you make trying an unpleasant experience), how are they going to learn? (or learn that they like bugs/plants/permaculture?)

Elle, how sweet.
 
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Patty:
When I took over the family farm I was in my second marriage. She was from town and never liked farming, and never helped me do one thing. Even worse, she set a budget of $50 a week and that was all I got...for anything I wanted. It was hard to farm with those constraints.

Still the Permie Law of: What is the hardest thing, will also be your best asset: and so to get by, I had to chase grants from the USDA; and managed to get a lot of them, $67,000 in grants so far, and $160,000 in low interest loans. So in a way she helped.

Those same grants helped me to retain my farm when her and I divorced. The way grants are written is, a farmer must farm for x amount of years to "pay back" the grant. They do that so a person does not get a farm grant just to make their farm more valuable so they can sell it for a higher price the next year. Well if the divorce stopped the farming, we would have had to pay back those grants, plus 20% in a fee, so she would have had to pay me $22,000 in cash. Instead she just gave me my farm. It was fair anyway, because I was doing all the farming.

Katie:
When I met Katie, she was from in town, and a state away, and yet I dragged her here, with two young kids in tow as well. But her and the kids have just thrived here. One of her daughters I just never see leaving because she loves farm life so much! And Katie has done well. She always worked right along side me, but as I got sick, she has really taken over, and never was shy on anything. From butchering livestock, to doing tractor work, to even chasing a escaped sheep at 7 months pregnant, she threw up from exhaustion.

When I look back over the 11 years since I took over this farm, and more actively farmed it, it seems I have hit all the highs and lows. There was a divorce, and yet I survived. There was disease, and yet I survived that. But there was also 2 rounds of cancer, disability, and yet through all the nonsense, I managed to take my farm from hobby farm homesteader status, to full-time farming. I have also seen my farm really be transformed, with every big project, really allowing the farm to improve. More land, more fields, barns being built, and the flock of sheep increasing, not to mention all the smaller improvements that were made.

Holy crap, in looking back, if I can do it, anyone can.
 
Travis Johnson
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bruce Fine wrote:finding an ideal partner is not all that easy in todays world, take it from someone who's been around the block a couple times.
I would love to find a great woman who's as comfortable in a tool belt and work boots as well as heels and gown for the occasional special event.
don't settle for just anyone, find someone who you are truely compatible with, and just do your own thing in the mean time



Hey Bruce, do not lose hope...Katie is unique I admit, but she can be 100% woman, and 100% farmer, all at the same time! (LOL)



DSCN3707.JPG
Katie in the sheep barn
Katie in the sheep barn
 
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I'm now divorced with two kids, homesteading alone for the time being at least. I don't know what is going to happen to our homestead, it's all in the open yet.
I manage by cutting down everything to minimum. I only do the things I enjoy and buy the rest from the shops for the time being. I work at money-making projects from my home.

As for possible future man, I know I'm not going to choose him based on his practical skills. It would be wonderful if he had those skills and was interested in homesteading, but it's not essential. In fact, the only thing that I now consider essential is that the man appreciates me for who I am, values me and my personality and has at least some empathy. And supports himself of course too. He does not need to support me or my kids, I support us (and my ex-husband hopefully will help financially). I want a soulmate and a companion. I don't know whether I will find one but until I do, I'll keep living life to the full as well as I can. It is a struggle some days
 
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I found when I graduated college at the late age of 30 YO, that there was not much choice and I had also minimum requirements such as no drugs, no smoking, not alcoholic or a mean selfish person. My excuse was all the good ones were taken.
I had limited myself, at first, to those in my own culture.  At work I met a married Asian lady who liked to walk and talk during the lunch hour.  I found out she had cancer and needed someone to talk too.  Through her, my eyes became open to the reality the world was full of many choices and opportunities.  
A couple years later I was married to a lady from the Philippines who grew up on a farm and often goes behind to weed and clean up and harvest because I neglect these areas.  We have been happily married for soon to be 27 years.  The kids are almost all grown and gone so a small farm is on order so she can raise chickens and ducks.
 
Nina Jay
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Thank you Dennis Bengham,  your message warmed my soul.
I think my requirements now, although they sound minimal on the surface, are actually quite tough ones. I expect nothing less than an emotionally healthy, mature man. This of course means that I need to be an emotionally healthy, mature woman myself. It's a process and I'm working on it
 
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