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Why is this so hard?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 63
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WEll, I dunno . . . why should those of us who worked hard and sacrificed enough to get land be willing to make it available to young people? I certainly want to see someone here, but not just anyone, and I am not willing to give it away . . . I am a capitalist, not a socialist. I do want a younger partner who can walk in without any money down ~ but I will require a good deal of labor to earn his/her way in. I am offering a boost, not a free lunch. Chopping up farms into smaller residential plots ~ with 5 acres of grass ~ is the doom for agriculture ~ because once they own it, you can not prevent them from creating suburbs with all the rules and restrictions. For my life time, this quarter section of land will remain intact. What they do with it after I kick it, is no longer my concern. I do encourage young people to look at how many hours they would have to work ~ off farm ~ in order to afford a place like this, hoping that will put into perspective what I expect of them . . .

And, honestly, there are no guarantees in life . . . there is no guarantee you will have a job, a lover, a spouse, there is no guarantee you will have children, or that those children will be sane or handsome . . there is no guarantee you will live in peace or prosper . . .

A LARGE part of my issue is that 'they' want a guarantee without offering anything in return. I have a hard time getting a simple answer to HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK WILL YOU WORK. No gurantee of productivity, just a reasonable commitment to how many hours they will attempt to work. If they are unwilling to give me a guarantee of so many hours, how can I possibly be expected to guarantee them land?

There is space in the kitchen for personal items, but since I am offering to supply room and board . . . there really won't be many of 'thier' items . . I do not keep up with my kitchen as much as I would like, and I do have a hired person come and wash dishes a couple times a week . . . but if you cooked lunch and dinner and washed up afterward, I would be extremely grateful and willing to buy whatever spices, special ice creams and beers you desired. If you kept the kitchen 'clean clean' and put up the shelves I bought, but have not yet installed, I would think you could walk on water if you wanted to.

I do have 4 inside/outside dogs, which means every time they come in, they bring a little dust and mud. They are not allowed on the furniture, but the floor can get pretty cruddy in a hurry. There is one closet in the whole house, but I think that can be remedied. There are several nice spots that beg for a closet to be built. I would expect my stuff to be completely out of their space, but I would like some help packing it up, and moving it.

The older I get, the more I struggle to keep up . . . the more things slide . . . . conditions are not ideal here, but I can't bring myself to bag it . . . yet. A bit of effort from a young and energetic couple could have this place shining ~ which would raise my quality of life immmersurably.

Egg shells on the counter . . . ummm . .. I might do that once in a great while . . . but I will definitely leave glasses in the sink. If you left eggs shells or dirty dishes, I would toss them without thinking about why they were there . . . and I would hope you would do the same for me. I do my laundry quickly most days, but some days I wash the same load 3 times because I forgot it was in there. If I found yours in my way . . . I might stash it in a basket to wait for you, or I might hang it to dry or fold it up and stash it in a basket, depending on your wishes.

Intergenerational living has it's draw backs, but ~ IMO ~ it also has it's pluses. We have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. A couple egg shells on the counter . . . would not be a BFD to me. I do try to talk to 'potentials' about those kinds of things because if my leaving glasses in the sink will drive them batty, this is not the place for them. And, if they can't commit to a minimum number of hours . . . I don't want them. And, honestly, I did not get here on 40 a week . . . so if they want to work 40, they should look elsewhere ~ not to mention there is time for 'the commute', which they don;t need here and lunch hour is usually in the middle of the day, so even though it is 'off', most are away from home 9 hours, not 8, plus that pesky commute . . . So most people are 'working' 50 plus in a 'real' job. I don't think a farm business should be 'less'. IMO, any entrpenurial effort will take more ~ at least initially. People who are looking for an 'easy' life will not fit my ideal.
 
Ellen Schwab
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AS to which hand to use when feeding . . .

Sometime it DOES matter.

And, when you own the land and the livestock and you have experience with the cash flow ~ in and out ~ then you can make all the decisions. Until then . . a certain amount of respect for me and my accomplishments is in order.

Seriously.

I'll give you one quick example. I have a small flock of fiber sheep. Each sheep produces about 3 pounds of fine fleece, which I sell for 15 bucks a pound, or about 45 bucks per sheep. So, potential 450 bucks. Not a major amount, but enough to buy half a tractor tire, 3 trailer tires, or a nice weekend away.

Each of those sheep also costs 6 bucks to have shorn. Each of those sheep has to be fed ~ I feed one bale a day for 10 sheep, 4 months of the year and put them on pasture for 8 months. So, 36 dollars each, if I throw in the pasture for free. Then I give them free choice mineral which has a cost, $90 each) but I assign that the lambs. And there are some fencing costs (about $40 each, sheep break a lot of flex posts) because sheep are not real respectful of the electric fence, but I assign that to the lambs. Nine of the sheep (one is a ram) produce lambs, which I sell for 150 each.

The wool/fleeces are charged with feeding the flock, shearing, and foot care. Some years I give them a zinc foot bath, some years I don't have to. When I do, it's relatively cheap, so let's skip that cost this year.

So 45 bucks ~ potential income ~ minus 36 + 6 is 3 bucks profit PER SHEEP if there is no foot bath. And I throw in my pasture and my labor for free.

A potential helper came for an interview and our task was to feed sheep. I asked him to carry the bale over AND WAIT FOR ME TO GET THERE, so I could show him how I wanted it done. He decided her knew how to throw bales, and his ego did not think he needed to wait for me to show him, so I got there as he tossed the bale over top the sheep and showered at least 3 of them with hay. He was all proud of himself and was not happy that I informed him he RUINED those 3 fleeces and severely impacted some of the others.

So . . what's the issue? Hand spinners pay 15 bucks for unwashed, unprocessed fleece, but they do not like a lot of VM, verticulate matter in their fleeces. So . . all that hay shaft, little pieces of sticky grass that he threw over their heads and bounced off their backs made my 15 buck a pound fleece into .02. yes 2 cents a pound wool. Those little pieces of sticks and blades and seeds will not 'fall out' of the fleece. When spinning, they will cause noils ~ or ~ the spinner will have to pick each little piece out by hand or by carding which adds greatly to the job. No one wants to pay to buy a 'job'. Not me, not the spinners.

30 seconds of wait for me to get there cost a year's worth of growth. Times three.

Not to mention I now have 'disappointed buyers' and the long term cost of screwed up customer service.

So 45 - 42 is now .06 - 42 for a loss of 41 bucks times 3, which the other sheep can not absorb.

Instead of 30 dollars to the good, we are now 104.82 in the hole . . . all for 3 seconds of WAIT FOR ME. Do the math.


Now, the sheep do have lambs, and if the wool pays for their feed the potential profit is better than if I am not 'wasting' their fleeces.

Nine of the sheep should have twins ~ one is a ram and while he eats and has fleece, he does not contribute babies.

9 sheep having twins should have 18 babies, but . . . I usually keep one or two as replacements for the aging ewes, who have singles and the new mothers usually have singles, so I count on 12 babies to sell at 150 each in the fall after being on pasture all summer. So that would be 1800 income, minus the mineral at 900, minus fence repair and replacement (400) nets me 500 for a year of daily care, hauling water in a bucket and hefting hay bales or moving fence every day. AND, that is if I keep no lamb for my own freezer.

So instead of 500+30 for 530 ~ half a tractor tire, 3 tires for the trailer or a weekend away, I will have 500-104 or 396 bucks. Now, I ask you . . how many times can I let someone 'screw up' 135 bucks worth of fleece income before there is not any more bottom line for them to erode?

Now, I don't mind working for low wages, but I have to draw the line at PAYING to work.

And, I don't mind teaching someone and cleaning up after a few mistakes, but now I gotta listen to how I am controlling and mean because I want them to WAIT THE DAMN 30 SECONDS because I want to show them which hand to use when they toss hay?

Seriously. 30 seconds of ego cost 135 bucks. I seriously don't like paying that kind of fee and now it's my fault cuz I am controlling? Seriously? If you can't 'obey' for 30 seconds, how can I trust you with my 5K tractor or my combine or my land? And, I assure you I looked him in the eye and said wait until I get there and he nodded that he heard and understood.

You want 'freedom' . . . you have to earn it. And, you earn freedom by demonstrating you know how to obey when commanded. <G> You earn freedom by demonstrating you understand the WHOLE process and the ramifications. You earn freedom by demonstrating that you thought beyond your own little ego.

I can't possibly tell you everything in advance, sometimes you have to trust me and do what I told you . . . until I can explain it and show you and then let you get used to the job before you go making changes ~ MANY Of which I have already tried. It is GAULING to see you piss away profit when I anticipate the mistake and KNOW how to prevent the mistake and take the time to explicitly tell you.

Fairness ~ and respect ~ is a two way street. You want more freedom . . . demonstrate you won't cost me 135 bucks of profit in 30 seconds. You want respect, you have to give it.
 
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Ellen,

I totally understand your position. YOU have built your system the way you like it. You have the experience of managing it for years. A lot of respect for you and your system is in order by anyone who becomes your "helper". It's partially arrogance that keeps people from learning an established system. They think: "How hard can this be I've read all about this stuff. I've clicked it all before. If she doesn't understand how easy it is for me to improve her system, she must not be very open to my style."

Anyone who accepts your position must have TOTAL respect for all the years of experience and sweat equity you have in your lifestyle. They should be like a new puppy who submits itself to you until they learn how to behave in your company. Then, when you are ready, you give them the love and respect they earn.

I'm speaking from 30+ years of practical, on site, experience, not theoretical experience. Part of some people's problem is that they equate "theoretical experience" with practical experience. Good luck getting respect from someone who has lived the lifestyle day to day instead of click to click. A person doesn't deserve respect. He or she would have to go out of their way and apply themself to earn it. Earning respect is a long term commitment and may be a source of frustration, if things don't go your way every day.
 
Ellen Schwab
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Gary,

I am NOT withholding respect. I am full of patience and very forgiving of honest mistakes. We all make them. But, When I make an effort to PREVENT Mistakes and they thwart my efforts, I get a little irritated. HAD I not told this kid to wait, I would take full responsbility for his screw up. But when I did tell him . . . he gets the blame for not obeying. And scoffing at the cost of his mistake was too much for me.

I am not expecting 20 year olds to have the experience and knowledge I have, but I do expect them to be OPEN to the idea that I ~ might ~ just know a thing or two.

I am VERY open to new ideas, but they DO need my permission to make changes. No one starts at the top and this farm is no exception. I do NOT want to follow someone around making sure they use the proper hand to feed . . . but I do have to make sure they don't kill 30K worth of livestock or let 26 thousand pounds loose on the state highway. And, I really can't have someone taking 8 hours to accomplish what I get done in 2.

I can deal with arrogance, if they are right often enough. But, arrogance and wrong is just not tolerable.

 
steward
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Ellen , May I suggest something ? You are asking for a detailed business plan that only someone with years of experience would be able to give you . It took me years of raising meat birds Salatin style before I could determine the actual cost of each bird and I still have not accounted for my own labor . For me to be able today to project a detailed plan for untried future projects is impossible . The learning curve is too high . Perhaps , by the time someone has the experience to give you the detailed assurances you require they are already established elsewhere . Perhaps also , by the time someone has enough experience to give you those details they might want a more detailed offer from you . It would be difficult for myself to plan a business stategy without some assurity that my homebase is secured . Your offer is very , very generous .
 
Mother Tree
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Ellen, I contacted the young man I mentioned to you and, much to my surprise, he told me that he had already worked for you and that after working, in his words, 'very hard', you asked him and animals to leave with no notice.

He didn't offer any more details, and I didn't ask for any, but I really do think that anyone who would commit to investing everything they have to come and work with you will need some kind of assurance that you're not just going to kick them out with no warning. I don't believe that permies is the place to air dirty washing in public so I'd rather not hear any more details, but I would urge you to come to some sort of written agreement with anyone who wants to work with you that you aren't going to ask them to leave at short notice unless they break some very explicit rules.
 
gary calery
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Burra Maluca wrote:Ellen, I contacted the young man I mentioned to you and, much to my surprise, he told me that he had already worked for you and that after working, in his words, 'very hard', you asked him and animals to leave with no notice.

He didn't offer any more details, and I didn't ask for any, but I really do think that anyone who would commit to investing everything they have to come and work with you will need some kind of assurance that you're not just going to kick them out with no warning. I don't believe that permies is the place to air dirty washing in public so I'd rather not hear any more details, but I would urge you to come to some sort of written agreement with anyone who wants to work with you that you aren't going to ask them to leave at short notice unless they break some very explicit rules.





That's the first "dity washing" that I have heard on this thread.
 
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Location: Boyd, Texas
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Ellen I totally understand. I have a guy working for me that I am probably going to have to let go because he is costing me almost as much in random damages as I am paying him. It is mostly carelessness and refusal to follow instructions, but a pickup back glass, two chainsaws, two weedeaters, a pair of glasses, lots of lost broken and mislaid tools, etc.
 
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Location: At home with my soulmate <3 Living in a hot dry place.
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Ellen, I think maybe you are misrepresenting what you are really looking for. You say you're offering to let someone farm on your land and use your tools. This suggests that you have land you aren't using and would like to see it used by someone with interest. However, what you are really wanting is someone to come work for you, a farmhand or manager, not someone with their own ideas and dreams. Nothing wrong with what you want, in fact that's what WWOOF and HelpX and other sites are all about. But you need to be clear that you aren't offering a shared farming space, at least not initially.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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gary calery wrote:
That's the first "dirty washing" that I have heard on this thread.



What has been aired should serve as a red flag to any members to make sure they take adequate precautions.

I feel that no more good can come from this thread as it is deteriorating rapidly.

I wish Ellen every success in finding a couple willing and able to fill the role she is offering, and I urge any members who take up such an offer to think very carefully about having a back-up plan should things not turn out they way they were hoping and they find themselves and their livestock homeless.

This thread is now locked.
 
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