Many people dream of moving to a farm, but it’s a big step and you can’t always be sure that it’s exactly right for you. What is life like on a farm? What should you do when you find yourself thinking “I want to live on a farm.”? In this article, we discuss farm living and provide some smart tips to help you decide if it’s for you. Read on to learn more on how to live on a farm.
What You'll Learn Today
Don’t Jump In With Both Feet!
Luckily, you don’t have to run the risk of overextending yourself and making a huge mistake to find out what farm life is like. Many people begin their farming life as caretakers or farmhands.
One of the most challenging aspects of owning a farm is the fact that you get no days off. This doesn’t have to be true, though. Full-time farmers can take days off by hiring competent farmhands. They can even take extended vacations by hiring competent caretakers. You can get a taste of frugal farm life by seeking out this type of employment.
A farmhand is someone who lives in or comes in to help with the chores on a regular basis. A caretaker, much like a house sitter, is someone who stays on the farm for an extended period of time to take care of the house, animals, crops and more while the farmer is away.
How Can You Find A Job On A Farm?
Being a farmhand is a job. Being a caretaker can even be a paid vacation. How can you find these opportunities?
There are many jobs websites that advertise farmhand and ranch hand positions. Just a quick Google search for “work on a farm or ranch” can yield a wealth of results.
If you haven’t had any farm experience, it’s a good idea to look for work as a farmhand before you set out to be a caretaker. Farming and ranching are hard work, and you don’t want to get yourself into a situation that you can’t get out of quickly if you find out that it’s really not your cup of tea.
After a few months experience as a farmhand, you will be well equipped to compare city life and farm life. With your curiosity satisfied, you may decide to go back to city life. On the other hand, you may be ready to look for work as a caretaker.
To find a position as a caretaker, you may need to advertise. Begin by scoping out areas where you would like to stay. Additionally, you’ll need to get together an impressive and truthful resume presenting your qualifications to care for a farm.
Set up a website and/or social media page that will allow potential vacation seeking farmers to get to know you. You’ll also need to have about half a dozen sound and verifiable references.
Once you’ve gathered all your documentation and identified the areas where you might like to stay, place some local print ads in newspapers and circulars. Your ads should list your capabilities and the chores you expect to attend.
For example, you might make it clear that you know that you must take care of elements such as:
- Water Systems
… and anything else that might be specific to the area of interest or to your individual skill set.
Visit the local farmers market and get to know local farmers. Even if the ones you meet are not interested in hiring a caretaker, they may very well have friends, neighbors and relations who are.
In addition to small, local papers and circulars, you may also wish to advertise in the newspapers of larger cities with broad rural distribution. This kind of advertising is inexpensive and has a surprisingly wide and effective reach.
You’ll probably get quite a variety of responses to your ads, and you’ll be able to pick and choose the type of living circumstances you want.
If you are hoping to set up an off grid homestead, you can rest assured that you’ll probably get some offers to take care of just such an establishment. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may also get the opportunity to care for a traditional farm, farmhouse and outbuildings.
If you’re unsure about whether or not you really want to live on a farm, caretaking is an opportunity to find out how to live on a farm. You can try out a lot of different farm lifestyles and decide if farm living is for you, and if so which farm lifestyle is the best fit.
Protect Your Own Interests
Take time to talk with the property owners and get to know them before you agree to anything. Be completely honest about what you hope to get and learn from the experience. Be truthful about what you are able to do and give.
Remember that you are not doing the farmer a favor, and he or she is not doing you one. This is a business agreement. Your presence and your watchful eye will help keep the property safe in the farmer’s absence. You will also be doing some work.
On the other hand, you’ll also be getting free rent. Determine your rates in advance of talking with prospective clients.
Remember that in business as in personal relationships, making a good impression is important. When you meet with prospective clients, it’s best to present a clean cut, sober and hard-working appearance. It’s also best if these are actually traits that you can bring to the arrangement.
As with any business arrangement, you should get your caretaking agreement in writing. Clearly list all of your conditions including both your duties and your privileges. Both you and the property owner should sign the document before a Notary Public to make it official.
What will it be like to live on a farm?
Farmers and ranchers have a challenging job that requires a strong sense of responsibility. As a farmer, the health and well-being of your livestock and crops are squarely in your hands. You must also care for your home and outbuildings, fencing, equipment and your family.
All of this requires mental and physical stamina, a strong work ethic and very well developed time management skills. Does it mean that at some point you may be too old to become a farmer? Absolutely not, and as always, it all depends on your personal circumstances and motivations.
How hard do farmers work?
Most farmers work more than 40 hours a week. Although life in the country can be slow-paced and relaxing, being a farmer can also be hectic, busy and challenging. You’ll have a lot of tasks to attend to each and every day. Farmers typically rise with the sun, and are hard at work all day long and sometimes into the night.
What Life Is Really Like On A Small Farm
A good farmer has to be able to juggle a lot of plates at once. Modern-day farming involves caring for livestock and crops, harvesting, preparing products for market and supervising all of the hired help needed to perform these tasks.
Farmers must not only manage their work time effectively, they must also manage their rest time effectively. Taking appropriate breaks supports ongoing hard work and accomplishment.
Although farm work is really difficult and challenging, if you do it well, it can also lead to a very strong sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Finally, here are some of my personal favorite life on the farm quotes, and here is a great list of farm names.