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finding help ?

 
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I've seen a few threads about going it alone and the realities of being in a remote location alone. I've owned a beautiful piece of property on the Oregon coast for almost 5 years. I moved here nearly 2 years ago. It is amazing and I've enjoyed the privacy, remote area, and solitude more than I expected. But as has been noted so often in various threads, it is an incredible amount of work for one person. I also travel a bit for my job - which I still love, gives me tons of flexibility, and the income to continue to develop the property. The property wasn't completely raw, but it came fairly raw.

I've tried caretakers. Of 5 caretakers in the last 5 years, only 1 couple lasted. They stayed over 2 years. Everyone else has had serious issues of interest and reliability. The more you have, the more work and maintenance it takes to keep up and on top of it. I find it disruptive and draining to have all of this turnover and bring new people up to speed on how things work (it is off-grid . . . teaching people how to keep water, power, heat, and waste systems at a very minimum.) It might just be my introverted nature which also finds the turnover draining.

Anyone have other suggestions? I have 160 acres, a HUGE garden, an orchard, a 1 acre pasture, poultry, and lots of foraging. I keep thinking I will find a couple or small family interested in the lifestyle but unable to jump onto a place like this themselves who can help take it all forward and enjoy/benefit from the bounty. Most of the time I'm great. But I get days when I'm just overwhelmed and wonder about keeping it all up, as well as having time/energy to do the fun new projects I want (root cellar, citrus greenhouse, outdoor kitchen . . .)

Anyone else have to rely on some level of outside help? I have great neighbors, but they are great for borrowing tools, not ongoing extra set of hands.
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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It's tough finding actual workers isn't it! I'm not too far from you (in Mount Shasta) and with less land (15 acres) but man is it hard to find people willing to do actual labor. One of the problems that I've run into is that all of the people that I know who are willing to do real work are busy doing just that, working their butts of on their own projects.

Lot's of people say that they want the rural homestead lifestyle but when you give them the chance you realize that what they really want is something else entirely (and more a topic for the Cider Press).

It would be great if there was some kind of Permaculture Co-Op that you could join that would give access to equipment and people to help. Wouldn't solve the day-to-day operating issues but at least the bigger projects would become a little easier to take on.
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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You say that there are families near by. Do they have any 4H/FFA aged children?

Some of those kids can be pretty good helpers, and at least you don't have to train an urbanite.
Sure, they have plenty of work at home, but that doesn't put any spending money in their pockets.

Sometimes, you can 'pay' them with some chickens or a goat kid for FFA projects.

 
Charity Curry
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I'm just remote enough that I have few nearby options. The one high school age kid graduated and moved onto college. He was helpful with dog sitting and such when he was around. I'm just remote enough that it is tough to get help that comes out for the day. I know I'm not the only one; but doesn't make it easier. Part of the learning is just to break things down in small pieces and keep the momentum.

will keep looking.
 
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