One might think that you love a farmer the same way you would love another man. That person is…wrong…
When I say love a farmer, I mean to love a farmer who is your other half—the man that completes you—the man that you would only be half a person without.
These men are special.
These men go without so others may have.
They love with a love so big that’s it often unseen.
These men are part of the hardworking providers that take care of many more than just their own families. They feed my family, and they feed yours. In their busy lives, they need a special kind of wife that knows just how to love them.
I don’t pretend to be perfect in the love I give to my Farmer. I am flawed. I make hideous, embarrassing, huge mistakes. Yet my Farmer loves me anyway—unconditionally. In our years, I have tried to pay very close attention to the main Farmer in my life, as well as the many others around me.
They are indeed, a very special breed. They should come with special care instructions. But, alas, they do not. So I offer only what I believe to be the basic needs of any modern farmer.
As farmers, we have a little bit of experience selling crops (just a tad).
We grow crops on a large scale (see Meet The Farmers). However, I wanted to make good, organic produce available to locals who can’t grow their own food and the tourists that come through. So we decided to set aside one acre to grow produce on a small scale.
My next move was to approach a grocery store. There is one tiny Mom & Pop store nearby that I thought might possibly want to sell produce, but it was risky.
The owner was very kind. I gave him enough free corn to feed his family dinner, and then he agreed to try our produce.
At first, I made posters and had those interested in corn make an order. I contacted him every Monday morning and got the order. We spent Monday preparing the order, and then into the root cellar it went for the night. Tuesday morning we made our delivery.
As the corn did well, he asked me for a sample of beans. I gave him three pounds, and before I knew it, I was taking orders for corn and beans Monday mornings.
Now, most Monday mornings I call, and he tells me, “Bring me all of everything you have.” He’s never turned any of our produce down.
Every winter it happens–we discover a frozen water pipe. It’s just a fact of life here. This isn’t the first time we’ve repaired a frozen water pipe, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
If we hadn’t repaired this pipe as soon as we noticed it was broken, it could have warmed up and made one huge muddy mess once the ice inside it melted and the water started spewing out.
Luckily, repairing this frozen pipe was easily done with tools we had on hand.
In order to fix this frozen pipe, we needed:
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Whether you’re a homesteader looking for the best prices for your own essentials, or you just have a homesteader on your shopping list, I’ve got a list of what you need. Beginner? Intermediate? Advanced? I’ve got all the homesteaders on your list covered.
Simply find your level of homesteading to find the best gifts of the year.
I hear all kinds of stories from individuals who want nothing more than to get away from the rat race and become more self-sufficient. Their desires range anywhere from just growing their own food to being completely off the grid. The passion is high, but there is one thing standing in their way: their spouse doesn’t exactly love the idea.
“What do I do if all I want is this life, but my spouse doesn’t want to homestead?”
It’s a hard question. If that’s you asking this question, I’m not going to lie to you–I never had to win over my spouse, so I can’t put myself in your shoes or understand your desire. What I can do is reassure you that all is not lost.
You see, I grew up in a large city. I had a corporate fast-moving career. I had big-city plans that all involved being on-grid. I loved the technology, my world travels and experiences, and my home–complete with luxury–like electricity and city water, sewer, and garbage services.
I never wanted to be off-grid or doing it all myself.
Then I met my husband. We had many conversations about what we would do if we got married, and I made one thing clear–he was going to move into my house. I most certainly was not going to move to his house out in the middle of nowhere with all those animals, and snakes, and a well, and laundry line, and…you get the idea.
In the end, he won me over. Now I am just as happy as a clam living off the land and learning more and more the life of self-sufficiency every day from him. And I’d love to share with you just how he won me over. Perhaps you too can pick up some tips that could help you win your spouse over…
This is the third part of a series on starting a farm without debt. To read the first article, go here. For the second, go here.
Starting a farm used to be an American dream held by so many. In recent times, however, it’s a fading dream. The one thing that remains constant is the passion of those who dearly long to one day own their own land, crops, and animals.
Unfortunately, one of the changing factors is the price it takes to start a farm. The homestead days of being able to acquire and settle your own for little or no cost are gone. These days everything comes with a hefty price, and countless regulations which often also come with large (and possibly numerous) price tags.
Those who want to start a family farm are frightened with the price of it all. There’s no “cheap” way to do it, I’m not going to lie to you. But there are a few strategies to use heading in for those who don’t want to have debt the rest of their lives, and then hand that debt over to their children.
One such strategy? Start with your animals–don’t get the land or the equipment right away. All three together cost an arm and a leg, and your pocketbook may never recover. Starting with just one and making it work for you while you save up for the next one may make things go slower, but in the end you’ll have gotten there debt free.
Waiting for the finances and just the right piece of land for your farm can seem like it’s taking a lifetime. Then all at once, you’ve got your land and things can’t happen soon enough. Deadlines come no matter what your situation.
Question is, will you be ready?
Much of what happens on a farm may seem like common knowledge.
It’s that simple, right? Not quite.
Many new farmers find themselves living the dream the first year, or even two, but then quickly realize they aren’t where they thought they would be.
Here are 11 things to do to make sure you are more prepared when you finally get your land.
One of the most heartbreaking things a farmer has to go through is purchasing necessary items for his/her farm. Land and equipment prices are often into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. By the time you buy even a small piece of land, minimal equipment, and a small herd/flock, you could be in debt a million dollars.
Farming, however, isn’t like other businesses–you don’t necessarily make back what you put in monetarily.
Out of curiosity the Farmer and I looked into a small (couple hundred acre) farm loan and what it would take to pay it off. After we did the math we learned two key things:
First, we would have to have a great crop each and every year in order to have a chance of paying it off. If there was ever one year when a natural disaster happened, we couldn’t make it and all our work would have been in vein.
The second thing we learned was that even if we had excellent yields on a consistent basis, the odds were we would never live long enough to pay off our loans. It was highly likely one (or more) of our children would inherit our debt.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to think that one or more of my children will want to stay on the farm and finish paying it off. But…what if they don’t? What if the Farmer and I put our blood, sweat, and tears into a farm and upon our death our children just got rid of it. In our eyes, that would mean we’d never own our farm.
These are sobering facts. When you do the math, it becomes clear pretty quickly that taking a loan out to start a farm puts you in a position of being a slave to the payments–most likely for the rest of your life.
Sound depressing? Maybe so–and that should be even more of a reason why if you want to start your own farm you should try to do everything you can to avoid debt.
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Although it hasn’t always been true for me, farming is now a way of life that I have quite comfortably woven my life around. I eat, sleep and breathe farm life. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that we work hard, and with God’s grace are able to produce clean quality food that will feed many families.
Our crop variety and production as well as the meat we supply, rotate with the markets in an ever changing way that not even we understand at times. But one thing remains a constant: my Farmer who was born on and raised as a farmer on this homestead has always known what to do and how to do it.
It’s not a secret in our tight group of friends that should the Farmer pass away first, I would not be able to run the farm the same way he does. Even though I am involved in so much of what goes on and the decisions made, without him, I couldn’t even pretend things wouldn’t have to change.
Farms are expensive. Very expensive. In fact, anyone buying a sizable farm will likely not pay for that farm in their lifetime.
There will always be repairs to be made, tractors to upgrade, new bulls to be purchased, and seed to be bought. But when you’re just looking at start-up costs, you can easily spend half a million dollars on a small 100 acre farm.
Farmers don’t have this kind of money. I’m not talking about huge corporate farms–I’m talking about a family who just wants to grow good, honest, healthy food for folks.
So when your dream is just to grow food, and you aren’t loaded going into your journey, where do you start?