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Offering farming and housekeeping labor in exchange for room and board and some land for 10 chickens  RSS feed

 
Jessica Tsao
Posts: 1
Location: San Jose, CA
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Hi, my name is Jessica, and I am a quiet, reserved former college student in her late twenties from San Jose, California who seeks a long-term career in farming for full-time work around any nearby rural area, though any available short-term time period is also acceptable as well. I am looking for a place to work and stay quietly for a few years, and some land to safely keep and protect my 10 pet hens throughout my stay, and I wish to learn extensively about how to operate an organic farm in regards to animal husbandry and permaculture alike. In terms of work, I am mainly seeking to develop my skills as a future farmer and to strengthen my confidence in my self-discipline.

There are absolutely no problems with arduous physical labor on my part, as I have carried 75 lb. bags of cement powder before with no problem despite my thin stature. Cleaning up and housekeeping are what I work with daily and are as familiar to me as taking care of my hens, so I don't mind any of what is usually required to maintain a house. I definitely don't mind working outdoors in rustic settings, either, for I am happy with cleaning up daily after my 10 pet hens and I always noticed that what people considered extremely dirty work has never deterred me the way it deters other people around me. Gardening and learning about growing/nurturing plants, be they vegetables or fruit trees, is a form of enjoyment in my family's backyard even when I focus on efficiency.

I have decided to enter the work force to develop a sense of confidence in my own abilities to be responsible before I go back to school, since I don't want my parents paying for something that is too costly, and loans are not an option when I am perfectly capable of working my way through life. I want to first prove to myself that self-sustaining is not out of reach for me and being a productive member of society is something I can manage before anything else. Since gardening and caring for my pet hens and working with the earth is something I do during the entire weekends when there are no major pressing matters, I figured that I could give farming a solid try for a few years. I enjoy seeing tasks to the very determined end, and one of my priorities would be to make sure that I have enough resilience to stand on my own two feet without any help from my parents for that matter (I admit that my parents were disappointed by my choice of mostly what people in my neighborhood consider "blue-collar work" over any white-collar job as an accountant or data-entry typist or whatnot, for the latter sort of work strikes me as dull in comparison somehow).

I also admit, in exasperation, that I could not decide one particular major in high school because there were too many subjects to my strongest liking all at once, ranging from Mathematics and Physics and Engineering and Design to Creative Writing and History and Art (Illustration, Digital Multimedia and Photography and many others). This has enabled me to find that there are too many jobs out there that genuinely appeal to me in plenty of ways, which has led to much confusion on my part in finding that one "perfect major for me" that everyone told me to search for. I figured that I might as well concentrate working on one field for some time and establish my credentials to myself and to others to ensure not being a burden to anyone, starting with one or two fields that are favorable to me. In the meantime, becoming truly confident enough in my ability to carry out work and live responsibly are also of utmost priority. And, while I am at it, I would like to see how well I can discipline myself and my time and manage my time on my own. Having people around me hold my hand throughout my life only convinced me that I was profoundly incompetent at everything, and I would definitely wish to change this self-perception.

I believe that what I need most right now is a certain level of confidence in my own abilities to handle my life without anyone holding my hands, that I can handle my future on my own and not have to worry my parents further. I understand that my family meant well, but I do think that I need to step out of my usual social circle and work my own way through the world. That ways, I can at least believe in myself somewhat and have some faith in myself to hold myself up without problems.

[EDITED because I typed the original version in haste. One cannot hope to write very effectively within a span of half an hour when they do not slow down enough to know exactly what they type, and it is embarrassing when one realizes that they wrote loads of wordy block paragraphs and sounded unintentionally arrogant. Argh.]
 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 555
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Permies.com is a good place to reach out, but you're also applying for farm internships too, right?

I think I understood you to say you're trying to stay in CA, or I'd recommend the teaching farm near me (www.tillersinternational.org). A good friend did an internship at Tillers and it was definitely a good experience.

An internship is basically exactly what you're asking for - I'll work and clean, you give me room and board and training.

Most of them will pay you a little bit, too, so don't give up on that possibility too early.

Best of luck!
 
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