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I sure could use a hand around here.  RSS feed

 
Ken Peavey
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I've got 3.7 acres of pasture with a few trees in the middle of the woods. It's fenced and cross fenced. The home is an old trailer, mostly in good repair new appliances, cold AC, and warm in the winter. The garage is solidly built, 12x24 with power. There is a livestock shelter out back. The water is clean and crisp. The bull takes care of mowing most of the field. Soil is 99% sand and drains quickly, with practically no nutrients. I'm a couple miles south of White Springs, Florida, where the summers are 93 every afternoon, and I've not seen snow in 14 years.

The job has me up early, home late, sometimes out of town, often with little notice. If I plant something it's almost certain that I'll be out of town when harvest time comes. I gave away my chickens. No time to build a coop, and with the fox and hawks there were only 6 left. I like to keep chickens around, but around here, they need to be contained. One day, I'll surely get some more, along with ducks, pigs and maybe a girlfriend for Bull. I'm coming up on that time of the year when I have more time off. This is a chance to get the place into some sort of shape. Doing it alone has shown the results to be lackluster when I can't keep projects going.

White Springs is a small town of about 1000 people. There's a post office, a couple of convenience stores, a restaurant,Stephen Foster State Park, and a big swap meet once a month. 15 miles to the south is Lake City, a good sized town with shopping, banks, movies, restaurants, hotels, and a bowling alley. Gainful employment and college study is possible, practical and may be a direction to investigate. Gainesville and Jacksonville are about 100 miles out offering the complete metropolitan experience.

I've got a spare bedroom, or a garage that can be made cozy, or space for a camper if that's the avenue to pursue. I'm considering offering room and board to the right individual in exchange for getting some help around here. I'm not much of a housekeeper, so that will need to be part of the chores.

What I'd like to do is develop a Pick Your Own Vegetable field. The plan would be for people to come, pick what they like, hand over some cash, and do it again next week. There is ample space for growing vegetables, flowers, berries, and fruit trees. The previous owner spread an unknown amount of chicken manure across the field several years ago. I've been here 3 1/2 years and have added no chemicals to the soil. The water is from a well and is untreated. The soil is clean, plants will grow, but they will need natural amendments and plenty of mulch. Compost, leaf mold, worm castings, hugelkulture and mulch will be in high demand, so there is plenty to do.

There are some light construction projects I'd like to do: a greenhouse, chicken coop, containment for a couple of pigs, outdoor kitchen, and some solar energy equipment are on the list. I work in construction so I'm pretty handy and can offer training if you have no experience here. I'm also handy in a woodshop. Replacing the kitchen cabinets is on my TO DO list. If you are handy in a woodshop, there are opportunities to market your wares.

Right now there are no planted crops and what beds there were are grown over. It's a clean slate. The place has no income. Income can be developed, and I have cash to invest to make it happen. There is opportunity here for income. Bring me your ideas, let's discuss them.


 
Billy McCann
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Hey Ken,
My name's Billy, and before I proceed to tell you why we both may just have been super blessed , me by getting on this site again and reading your post, and you by finding the perfect person(couple?) to accomplish every need you mention and more. So before I go into any detail (may take a while, I tend to ramble) , Please tell me you still need someone, I will get rite back. PEACE!
Billy
 
Ken Peavey
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Let's hear what you have to say.

 
Ken Peavey
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More information

Drugs
At work I get drug tested frequently. There is no room in my life for drugs. This is not subject to debate.

Booze
I enjoy a beer or two now and then. Back in the day I would enjoy many beers on every possible occasion. There is equipment on hand for homebrewing, and plenty of firewood for campfires. There is also room in the garage for leisure. Drink responsibly, keep things under control. Failure in this area will result in anything from a warning to instant removal.

Tobacco
I smoke in the house. Should you choose to consume tobacco products, police your waste.

Food
I eat just about everything. While I prefer the flavor and wholesomeness of home grown food, it is not always an option. That's where Walmart comes in. I'm pretty handy in the kitchen and have just about every device, pot, and pan to prepare an endless variety of meals. Trying new things is nothing I fear, except for innerds. Sometimes I get busy and live out of cans. At least once a month is ribeye steak night.


 
Ken Peavey
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From my original post, strike the word 'considering'
I'm considering offering room and board to the right individual in exchange for getting some help around here.


I will be establishing garden beds and growing vegetables for market. Initially this will be a Pick Your Own operation as mentioned above. I intend to make money and replace my job income. With the job out of the way, I can devote my time to all the things I want to do with this farm and a myriad of other projects.

There will be money involved. While you receive room and board, there is no stipend, no pay, you are not an employee. You will need to cover your own expenses outside of room and board. Cellphone, vehicle, junk food, clothing, and all other expenses are your responsibility. I'll be investing in tools and materials as well as your housing. I will recover that investment. You will not be alone in your efforts. I'll be right out there with you. You will be an independent contractor and will receive a portion of the profits. Should you leave, the contract ends. There will be no ownership conveyed.
This is not a job. There is no daily schedule, no paycheck.
This is not a short term project. A seasonal intern can surely learn, but the nature of this project goes beyond a single season.

This place is not at all set up to house children. There are some things in the house I do not want children near, nor does an extra mouth to feed fit in with my plans.
I might consider a couple, but I think 1 person is what will fit in best here.

Getting started is the challenge. It will be several weeks before income can be generated by crops, and no guarantee of sales. Seeking outside income is strongly urged.
This is a chance for both of us to make a go of it. You are free to try things your way as long as it is chem free. You are free to grow crops of your choice, away from or as part of the market growing areas.
I'm not asking for slave labor or even full time effort. Put in a reasonable effort in trade for the room and board received. What you do with the rest of your time is up to you. Putting in a large amount of time and effort is also agreeable. The portion of the as yet nonexistent profits would be in line with your contribution.
It is not my intention to rip you off, robbing your time, then sending you packing when the money starts coming in. Recovering my investment is not the first priority: it can be stretched out in order to get some money in both of our hands.
At the same time, I must protect myself from being shortchanged. You need some time away to lead your life. Regular days away and extra days away are not a problem. A week or two now and then should not be a problem. I'll be taking a trip on occasion. A month at a time and we will have to discuss the arrangement.
You will not be doing all the work, nor will I.

If this arrangement does not work out, you are free to go about your business with gained experience.
If this arrangement works out, all sorts of possibilities are possible.
What I offer is cooperation; You help me, I help you.
 
Ken Peavey
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I'm giving this thread a bump.

I have space for the right person.
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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Ken, I would put a little more consideration into a couple if I were you. I don't know what kind of experience you've had with hosting strangers before, but through our wwoof encounters we have found that couples are definitely the way to go, provided they are mature and reasonably level headed folk. They get more work done than 2 strangers since they know how to work with each other, and better than that, they tend to entertain themselves. When we have 1 WWOOFer here, it is up to us to entertain them, like it or not that's how it'll be and you'll spend every spare minute around that person. We prefer couples now just for the sole reason of they can entertain themselves and want some time to themselves away from us, which gives us some alone time as well...

Just my 2 cents there
 
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Thanks for the tip. I'll be keeping that in mind since I eventually plan to host wwoofers.
 
Hildegard Bogart
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Hello! I am very interested in this job. I am amazed that you haven't found someone yet. Please send me details at illumination1098@gmail.com. I am currently employed full time and would need to give my employer two weeks notice. Also, I would like to get a part time job ( in addition to working for you) locally. I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Ken Peavey
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UPDATE: 30 December 2013

After several months of no responses I received 5 messages asking about the position within a couple of days. At this time I have a candidate selected. We'll be getting together within the next week to introduce ourselves, tour the place and see if there is common ground. While you can still express interest, I'm not accepting new applications at this time.
 
Ken Peavey
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UPDATE
My assistant has moved on and I wish her much success.
This position is once again available.
 
Joanna Wheatley
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Hello Ken!

I joined WWOOF not long ago and happened upon your post by chance while searching for farming opportunities. I was so excited by this opportunity that I made an account here just to reply.

My boyfriend and I are starting wwoofing right after we finish working on some houses, so around October 2014. We were planning on being in the Florida area around this time but are somewhat flexible as we have no rigid schedule. If we could work on your farm we would certainly adjust our schedule accordingly. We would be available until February 2015.

We travel as a couple so of you had room for both of us we would be excited and ready to work. We are very very hard workers. He is an electrician by trade and is great working with his hands, building, woodworking, etc. I am a sports massage therapist so am accustomed to physical work.

We are city people but country people at heart. We love nature and the wilderness and would not need to be near or go to a city, we'd be happy staying on the farm. We love animals and are not scared to get dirty.

We both love everything you've described about your farm and you sound like a great person. If you have any questions feel free to ask and we would love to hear from you. We are very low maintenance and just want a chance to learn and help out. If you could email me at joannalmt83@gmail.com that would be great.

I just made this account to contact you so I should have a profile up soon. We are so excited about this!

Thanks so much!
 
Ken Peavey
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Welcome to Permies! Good to hear from you.
I sent an email, sure hope you get it.
 
Jessica Inman
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Hi! My name is Jessica and my boyfriend's is Devon. We live in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is from a small town called Pit Meadows in Canada. He has experience in carpentry. We are both very hard workers and we love being in the sun, so that means we can work long long hours in the sun, no problem! we are low maintence. As the couple who earlier replied said, we also just made this account to reply to you. we have been wanting to go to Florida for a really long time. We have an organic garden going on in our backyard so we have some experience in that! We are also down to get dirty. My boyfriend is also a chef and makes the most gourmet meals with simple Ingridients and would love to cook for you. I hope to hear from you soon! Please email us at hellajciue@gmail.com
 
Ken Peavey
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Welcome to Permies.
This thread is becoming quite the recruiting tool.

I'll send out that same message.
 
Claire Arrowsmith
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Location: Liberty, NY
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Has this opportunity been snatched up then?
 
Ken Peavey
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The position is available.
I've started a dialog with some folks, but communication can be slow at times as people live their lives (job, work in the garden).
If you are interested, send an email or PM.
Kpeavey@live.com
ken@farmwhisperer.com
 
Colin Nelson
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Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Hey Ken, I just moved back to Louisiana from Florida, wish I had seen this while I was there.

I just wanted to recommend two sites to you. workaway.info and helpx.net

These sites are like WWOOF but less expensive and they have a host and volunteer rating system. I used both when I traveled to New Zealand, and they are the first place I go when I'm looking to travel. You might find more frequent interest there due to the rating system. Even as a male with an extensive background in self defense it brings me great peace of mind to know that the people I am staying with aren't creeps.

I love seeing about your property and what you'll be doing with it. You've got some great ideas and heavens know we need more homesteaders!

Good luck,

Colin
 
Ken Peavey
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Things evolve over time. The plan for this place has evolved as I get a clearer picture of how ideas fit together.

In the short term I'd like to grow vegetables and market them as a Pick Your Own farm. This will take a few weeks to get going and perhaps a few months before sales are more than a novelty. Previously the offer made in back channels was 25% of sales. I handle all operational expenses, housing, utilities, groceries and supplies. The offer has been amended to include $50/week because I think a person should have some money in their pocket. This will be an advance on that 25%. Sales up to $100/week is not substantial enough for me to try to recover expenses. The first $100/week in sales will be an advance on the 25%. It works out to $50 minimum each week, and should grow to $100 where it will hold until balance is achieved. I think that for many folks this would be an amount which would offer them dignity, freedom, and an incentive to perform.

I'm aware of WWOOF and Workaway. They are fine organizations but I'm not looking for a temporary assistant.
I intend to find the right person here on Permies.com.


 
stephanie summers
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family looking for work for housing. We have a small little family .. very well behaved children. Looking for the experience as well as blessing someone else. 35 and 34 years old. husband is laid off welder, im a homemaker. We love outdoors and gardeing. LOve it! From arkansas, willing to relocate anywhere in the states
 
Ken Peavey
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Thank you for your interest in helping out around here.

As I mentioned, I'm looking for an individual. A family of 4 is beyond my means of supporting.

I posted information earlier in the thread
Drugs
At work I get drug tested frequently. There is no room in my life for drugs. This is not subject to debate.


Looking at your post Marjiuana horticulture Family looking to trade work for farming leads me to believe we would not be compatible.

I wish you the best of luck in your search.
 
Siobhan Myers
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Hi my name is Siobhan and my husband and I are looking to become a part of your farm because it sounds exactly what we have been looking for. I am a domestic goddess lol in the terms that I am very clean and organized and love doing housework. My husband is an amazing carpenter and machinist. He can build just about anything and I believe we would be a great asset to your farm. I hope this is still available... We are currently in Jacksonville FL and want to move out of the city and have dreamed about doing this for quite some time. My husband grew up IN St. Mary's Ga and is used to a small town lifestyle and I lived on Hilton Head Island SC for 12 years and love the country small town environment. Please respond if you have any questions for me or if this is still available. Thank you
 
Ken Peavey
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PM sent
 
The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
Mike Oehler's Low-Cost Underground House Workshop & Survival Shelter Seminar - 3 DVD+2 Books Deal
https://permies.com/wiki/48625/digital-market/digital-market/Mike-Oehler-Cost-Underground-House
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