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We're in our 40's and we're interested in volunteering at a southern farm/homestead/intent. comm.

 
Posts: 5
Location: NE TX (at the moment)
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It's kind of a lengthy read, but it tells of who we are, where we are, what we've done and what we'd like to continue doing...

Hi, all!

She's 42 and I'm 45, and we have some farming experience.  For me, it's about two years, and for her, a good bit longer.  We've been volunteering at a farm in NE Texas for the last two years, but unfortunate circumstances have set us on the path to move.  Unfortunately, the owner of the far passed away in a very tragic accident last month, and the executor of his estate is unable to keep it going due to the extreme complexity of the estate which involves 4 properties in various stages of the same idea, and one is outside of the country.

When we came here, the owner was running is as mostly a hobby farm, but was interested in building a small community.  Since we came here, we've doubled the size of the garden, added fencing to section off the pasture  (to rotate the small goat herd), and my wife became very active in soapmaking, sewing, and embroidery.  She's also very talented in other crafts and enjoys teaching others.  

We were just beginning to take the farm from hobby to the next level, but bad weather took the owner to the next life.

It would be wonderful if this farm could continue in his memory.  The size and capacity of the garden, the healthy goat herd, nice flock of chickens, ducks and guineas, rabbits, two cows and the availability and knowledge of multiple food preservation methods and various off-grid items make it possible that a fair-sized family would almost never have to leave.  When the pandemic hit and the lockdowns started, we were all prepared ahead of time to make it through, and we never batted an eyelash over it.  However, we are not yet at a level to make it financially self-sustaining, although if it weren't for taxes and utilities, one could live a long life here without ever seeing the inside of a grocery store for more than basic staples.  His goal was to make it a SHTF-ready safe haven for us should something like the pandemic (or worse) occur.  We met and exceeded that goal.  Making money was a secondary goal, and we were just getting to the point where we were about to break even on feed and vet care (much of which we did here ourselves).

Since we can't continue here on his property, we would like to take what we've learned and built on here to another farm that could use a hand.  We are currently in communication with a farm in Florida but we would also like to have a backup plan, should that one not go quite as planned.  We're not rich and can't pay much for rent, so we're looking for a volunteer (work for rent) opportunity.  We're not looking for a handout - we didn't come here with our hands out, and we're not leaving with our hands out.  We have a small income that pays our few bills, and we could put a down payment and make the payments on a couple of acres of cheap land in West Texas, Missouri or east Oklahoma if we had some shelter to start with.  But, I digress (a little).

A little more about me - I'm a former over-the-road truck driver, volunteer firefighter and EMS first responder.  I'm not currently affiliated with a department, but was before we moved here two years ago.  I stopped driving truck 5 years ago when I still had a little back left.  I've tried looking for other regular work, but thanks to my trucking experience, only the headhunters in the transportation have an interest.  Apparently, a few years in trucking makes someone unable to do anything else and negate previous experience elsewhere?  Who knows?  I started working for my landlord doing maintenance.  Since coming here to the farm, I did a lot of the bigger things including planting and expanding the garden, fences and vet care.  We shared a lot of the yard upkeep.

My wife has been on disability for several years in part due to a car wreck.  She had bariatric surgery a few years ago and has lost a lot of weight, allowing her to get around better and do more, but still, but she stays busy with the animals (feeding, milking, hatching, etc), garden and the soaps, sewing, quilting and food preservation.  She also was the owner's housekeeper beginning about 9 months ago up until his death.

A few months before w came here, we began working on a plan to get our own place and thought we could save money by putting everything in storage and going camping for several months around the state, but that didn't work as planned.  So, we tried volunteering.  We didn't save a lot, but we gained things money can't buy - a quality learning experience, friends and a man who was like a dad to me (the owner of this farm).  

We do smoke, but we don't have an issue with doing it outside, and we don't trash the land with butts.  We're not dunks or druggies, but we do enjoy an occasional drink or two once in a great while.  Religiously, we're more earth-based in our beliefs, but we respect everyone's faiths.

We're looking for a farm, homestead or intentional community that would like a couple who will help take care of your place according to your needs, wishes and goals.  We can't really afford a huge rent, but will be happy to work for the place to stay.  Mobile home, tiny home, camper, doesn't matter.  We can take care of our own food and other needs.  We prefer to stay in the southern tier of states between AZ and FL/GA - The shorter the winter and the longer the growing season, the better!

Thank you for your time!
 
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