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If you want to help someone working around the homestead, please don't (insert action here).

 
gardener
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Some people are nice, and they mean well, and they want to help. But sometimes that niceness can inadvertently manifest itself as a hindrance, or oftentimes even a danger. How about a thread where we can maybe do a little (polite) venting that could even help others (and maybe even ourselves) to learn to be better at helping others working around the homestead.

I'll start:

When someone is cutting a board with a saw, please don't hold the waste end of the board being cut. It will almost certainly result in pinching the sawblade, which is at least an annoying hindrance, and at most dangerous with power saws.

If you want to help in this scenario, place your hands slightly below the board ready to catch it as it falls free, if the cutter wishes, of course.
 
pollinator
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Jordan here is where things can be different.
When I am cutting fine timber, or lining boards, I want the end to be held so the cut is clean all along itself.

BUT, having somebody who cannot reverse a ute and trailer giving you directions!!! when you dont actually need help is challenging.

 
pollinator
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Please don't talk while I'm measuring, clearly trying to figure something out, or struggling with something frustrating.  
 
pollinator
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I have a whole list of don’ts.  Here’s one ….

Voice of experience —-
When you come through a gate, don’t leave it open….not even for a minute while you do something. Close all gates immediately after you pass through.
 
master steward
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If you want to help someone working around the homestead, please learn their habits and their flows. Please spend time looking at how you can help and where the weaknesses are. Please try to be an asset and blend in.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Don’t harvest unless you know what you’re doing ….. or ask for help first.

I’ve lost so much food over this one. Things picked too soon include:  watermelons, pumpkins, sweet corn, potatoes, pineapples,  peas, peppers, carrots, daikon, beans I had planned to save for dry beans.
 
steward
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Please don't drive a manual transmission truck if you've never used a stick shift before.
 
Jordan Holland
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John C Daley wrote:Jordan here is where things can be different.
When I am cutting fine timber, or lining boards, I want the end to be held so the cut is clean all along itself.



Yes, one person's help can be another person's bane. And even with one person, help in one instance might not be so helpful in another. I would say a skilled carpenter will likely know how to hold the end of a board in a way that helps, but the average person with little experience may not. And there are times when it may be appropriate and times when not. I would say the vast majority of the time, I would be hindered by someone trying to help in this situation, but there's no absolute right way to do it. On a very important cut, I would take extra precautions to support the work, but maybe that's just because I don't have someone skilled enough to trust to help on hand.
 
gardener
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don’t just start weeding. you don’t know what all my plants look like.
 
Su Ba
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Greg, right!!!

I once lost a long row of baby beet plantlets and was left with an orderly row of nicely spaced weeds!
 
gardener
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Please don't mow their lawn while they are on vacation. We have way to many things growing that others think are weeds.  I have lost over 100 trees to this.
 
master pollinator
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When you tire of watching me hump my wheelbarrow up to the top of my berm five times everyday, please don’t come over and tell me where I could rent a tractor. If you see me with a hand pruner and a lopper, please don’t offer to loan me your power hedge trimmer. When you see me raking on a glorious autumn day, please don’t offer your new 900 CFM motorized jet blow jobber.
 
pollinator
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James Freyr wrote:Please don't drive a manual transmission truck if you've never used a stick shift before.



Oh, there is a story there. C'mon, let's have it!
 
master gardener
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Please don't move or use my tools, without express permission, and IF you get that, for the love of all that lives and breathes, don't leave them out in the rain - put them back where you got them.

If you really want to help me, ask me what to do,  let me show you how I need it done - then do that, to the best of your ability, instead of wandering off to do something you think would be fun. If you help me with what I need done, I'll have more time and be very open, if at all possible, to letting you do the thing you want to do, and we both might even learn something new.
 
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howdy,

"don’t just start weeding. you don’t know what all my plants look like"     ("%#&^*(%#!@#%"......oh, remember to be NICE!)
 
pollinator
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greg mosser wrote:don’t just start weeding. you don’t know what all my plants look like.



I'm sure I caused my grandma many headaches by pulling a plant and running inside to ask if it was a weed or not.  :D

Don't rearrange things in the house or outbuildings unless asked to do so.  What might work better for you probably won't be welcomed by the person who's used to the same tool/dish being in the same place for 20 years.

Don't show up with chemical fertilizers  because "they'll really get your plants a growin'."

Don't come to help with a know-it-all attitude.   You gain more respect from demonstrating you know what you're doing than talking about it.
 
James Freyr
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

James Freyr wrote:Please don't drive a manual transmission truck if you've never used a stick shift before.



Oh, there is a story there. C'mon, let's have it!



There is a story, a 3rd party story, but still a story. New interns show up on the farm. The farm is widely known (to those who shop at farmers markets here in Tennessee) and popular. So on the first day the keys are handed to a new intern, and is directed to drive the truck over to a particular place on the farm to work. The intern does as told. Out of the vehicle and doing whatever task was assigned to the intern, a crash is heard and the truck is no longer where it was originally parked. Intern left it in neutral, turned off the key and didn't know to set the parking brake or leave it in gear when not running. The truck rolled downhill, through a fence and into a house on a neighboring property.
 
Jordan Holland
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James Freyr wrote:
There is a story, a 3rd party story, but still a story. New interns show up on the farm. The farm is widely known (to those who shop at farmers markets here in Tennessee) and popular. So on the first day the keys are handed to a new intern, and is directed to drive the truck over to a particular place on the farm to work. The intern does as told. Out of the vehicle and doing whatever task was assigned to the intern, a crash is heard and the truck is no longer where it was originally parked. Intern left it in neutral, turned off the key and didn't know to set the parking brake or leave it in gear when not running. The truck rolled downhill, through a fence and into a house on a neighboring property.



Sounds like someone learned why it's called a "parking brake" that day! Luckily I've had no personal experience with this, but I have heard there have been some interesting similar experiences that could be added as:

"If you've never driven a tractor, please don't just assume you know how."
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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LOL! I drive stick, so does DW. Stories abound. Don't wish to hijack; I wish we could carve this off into a transportation forum but I can't find one.
 
gardener
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Don't finish something without asking.  You may have to unfinish it because something else had to be done first.
 
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I'm giggling right now from reading some of the similar situations. I can say "now", since I do not have a homestead anymore, but a small gardens here and there. However, few of those past offers of "help" thought me that while I didn't (and still don't) want to sound rude or as a total bitch, I made several signs inside and outside of my home that reads:
"Lets be comfortable and don't ask me for loaning you anything. Thank you".
It's better this way I think. I also learned to be assertive after spending serious $ on helping others (pick-up truck for 3 months returned without oil and...empty, broken drag lawn mover + tractor, rusted garden tools, pneumatic tools, damaged books,  etc... I've had enough!).
People can think of me what they want. They will anyway. Good or bad. I don't care

 
Carla Burke
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Ela La Salle wrote:I'm giggling right now from reading some of the similar situations. I can say "now", since I do not have a homestead anymore, but a small gardens here and there. However, few of those past offers of "help" thought me that while I didn't (and still don't) want to sound rude or as a total bitch, I made several signs inside and outside of my home that reads:
"Lets be comfortable and don't ask me for loaning you anything. Thank you".
It's better this way I think. I also learned to be assertive after spending serious $ on helping others (pick-up truck for 3 months returned without oil and...empty, broken drag lawn mover + tractor, rusted garden tools, pneumatic tools, damaged books,  etc... I've had enough!).
People can think of me what they want. They will anyway. Good or bad. I don't care



In things small enough, I'd rather just buy them one, as a gift. I've been known to just buy a thing, and have it delivered to them, without a word. When they come to thank me, I shrug, and mention that sometimes, when we put something out in the universe, it comes to pass - good or evil.
 
Jordan Holland
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"People can think of me what they want. They will anyway. Good or bad. I don't care."

That's a quotable quote right there!

I knew a man who had a neighbor "on hard times" whose lawnmower had croaked. He had himself just bought a new one and decided to let the neighbor borrow his old one until he could get his fixed or replaced. Several months later, his neighbor called telling him his lawnmower was broken, and he wanted to know if he could come over and fix it because he needed to mow his yard! Some people...
 
pollinator
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Please just don't even come! Whenever you come, and I know you have the best intentions, but all we do is work for a half hour and then do anything else. Drink, smoke, play with the dogs, check out your new truck, talk shit about mutual acquaintances, hit acorns with a golf club... How do you expect me to get anything done around here?
 
pollinator
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Make "helpful" suggestions.
 
What could go wrong in a swell place like "The Evil Eye"? Or with this tiny ad?
paul's patreon stuff got his videos and podcasts running again!
https://permies.com/t/patreon
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