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maryjane Posted - Sep 06 2014 : 8:29:11 PM
My husband surprised me today by showing up to help me milk. He and our food packaging crew have been working from 6 am to well past dark 7 days/wk the past few weeks because of an unexpected huge order (biggest ever) from REI for my line of organic backpacking foods. My SIL had to drive to Seattle and back in one day (12 hours) to pick up more pouches because we didn't have enough for the order. In other words, hubby has been buried and we haven't seen too much of each other. It was like going out on a date! Plus he was in the mood to entertain me while I was milking with some hilarious conversations he's been meaning to have with my cows about civility, modesty, manners, chewing with your mouth closed, sports, and news of the world. And to top it all off, he offered to do the mopping after I was done.
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CloversMum Posted - Feb 15 2016 : 7:44:01 PM
Must be the season, but just this past week I've received two inquires about available work here on our farm. Some day it might be nice to hire extra hands, but not possible at the moment.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 13 2015 : 08:18:27 AM
Thank you for all the advice. Everyone one of you have very good points to consider.

The caviet you mention, Cindy, is exactly what I was wondering and will ask more questions before anything happens.

This may, however, be an opportunity for us to help others.

Ron Posted - Dec 13 2015 : 06:30:14 AM
Had it go both ways....generally Char I think you'll be helping and getting help. Patience is the key but I'm sure you folks have that one under control....go for never fails
txbikergirl Posted - Dec 13 2015 : 06:25:06 AM
i am going to echo what mary jane said, it is a ton of work but incredibly rewarding - but you are taking on essentially kids so it really expands your workload.

i have done this in the business/office world, and a bit at home but not as much. just remember it will be MORE work for you, not less. but i find tremendous joy working with young people, especially so given how it seems a whole generation is being taught to be self-obsessed and hasn't been taught to do anything at all.

one caviet, if the parent is saying they need the value of hard work i wonder what they are being taught at home - because every kid can do dishes, yardwork, run errands, learn bills, etc.... and so many parents demand nothing at home now, and then wonder why their kids don't know a darn thing.

i do have a thought, could your daughter assist with managing someone younger? i dont remember her age, but it could give her some skills in delegation, training, management, teamwork. build some confidence for her in all those areas, and perhaps start to show some other facets of her skillset and where she shines. it amazes me how well even the youngest kids can show someone else how to do something, and they always know ten times what we thought they did - they are sponges. i know you worry about her future. as you do all your kids - but any extra challenges bring on extra parental worry ;> it might give you confidence in her future to see her bark orders and telling someone what to do in physical areas that are too demanding for her but she knows what needs done... a thought. i don't know enough about the personal situation to be of help, but it sounds interesting to me...
maryjane Posted - Dec 12 2015 : 10:46:17 AM
I housed and fed and trained farm apprentices for almost a dozen years through our non-profit Pay Dirt Farm School. Some of them lived here for as long as six months. Most of them were at least 18 though. If you avoid thinking of it as "free labor," you'll be okay. It's good you're not taking it lightly, Charlene, because it's a big commitment. It's like signing on to be a foster parent. You might consider charging the parents. Seriously, they pay huge amounts of money to colleges so I'm going to be bold and say the practical knowledge your farm offers is every bit as valuable to them and their children, if not more, which is the reason the parents asked you in the first place.

Young adults respond better to adopted parents for some reason. There were times though when I had several here at a time I wondered about my sanity, not knowing how rewarding it would end up a dozen years after the fact. I would say that all of them came from non-farm families but after being here they stayed with something agriculture and have gone on to do some pretty remarkable things along those lines. We get the sweetest letters and updates from many of them.

I remember a young man who flew out here from NYC to live in one of our little cabins (no phone--pre-cell phone era). His father called us a few days later almost yelling into the phone as if he were calling the outback of Australia. He was worried. At that moment in time N. Idaho was making headlines (unfortunately) because of a large, verbal hate group that had taken up residence north of here. After barely introducing himself, his father said loudly, "Is a rich, Jewish boy from the city safe out there?" He's one of the kids we've lost touch with but I remember we taught him how to drive a truck and he got it stuck in a mud hole up to its axles. What a great learning experience for a kid born and raised in NYC. As it turns out, the kids we had here remember being here in great detail, more than I do, which is very telling in and of itself.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 12 2015 : 09:13:36 AM
I had an acquaintance come up to me a few weeks ago, offering her teenage child's labor to help with farm chores. She wanted a chance to help him learn the value of hard work. Then she told me that we wouldn't even need to pay him. (Money is a great motivator and I can't imagine someone just coming to work-who doesn't really want to work anyway- for free.)

Have any of you taken on a "project" such as this? Don't get me wrong, I certainly want to help others whenever and however I can. But I don't want to jump into the deep end of a pool without my lifejacket either. Thoughts, tips, or advice?? Obviously, I would talk to the teen to see what his interests are ... any farm interests? My guys drive a Bronco that has been converted over to a gator/RTV, tractors, and other equipment so that is fun for them but its always part of getting work done.
CloversMum Posted - Sep 07 2014 : 8:45:18 PM
That is a fun story, MaryJane...both about the huge order and your hubby. Good for REI for knowing a great product! And laughter out in the milking parlor...what a treat! Blessings abound!
Ron Posted - Sep 07 2014 : 05:52:26 AM
Great news on both fronts. The unexpected large order and hubby showing up to entertain and help. I do not know how you guys keep up. Always so much to do. Must be some good stuff in the water/ milk in Idaho that gives you folks super human ability! :)
NellieBelle Posted - Sep 07 2014 : 04:25:04 AM
What a very welcome and pleasant surprise indeed!