Tressa27884 - Starting to look for "The Farm Life"

tressa27884

Loving the herd life
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1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like? I'm in the SF Bay Area, California

2. How many people are in your family? Marital status? Me, long term boyfriend, two eleven year old boys, a two year old daughter, Great Dane, Standard Poodle, Ball Python, Macaw, Little Green Parrot, Three rabbits, 12 hens, 1 cranky rooster, an aviary full of rescue birds, two kittens.

3. How would you define your farm? We've just started the process of looking for some agricultural properties, so we can have a family farm.

4. What would you do with your spare time if you had any resources you needed? Open a rescue place for abandoned farm animals.

5. Have you ever built a house, barn , or other types of building? No - does it count that I had a chicken run / coop built? Do you want to? I'd love to - we'll see how Richard takes to it. Ha.

6. Can you weld? Steel, aluminum, MiG, TiG, stick, Oxy-Acet? Oh No! Richard is very handy though.

7. Who or what inspired you to be a farmer/rancher, hobby farmer? My grandparents. I don't think I ate store bought food or wore store bought clothes until I was about 12.
8 Is it a hobby or an occupation? Hobby ahhh how nice it would be to make a living at it and be able to stay home with the critters all damned day!

9. In what areas are you knowledgeable and in what areas would you like to learn more? I'm good with chickens, great with dogs and parrots. I really want to learn about livestock!
10. In what types of farming will you never choose to do? Pigs.....

11. Are you interested in providing more of your own food supply? Absolutely - that's the ultimate goal.

12. Where do you end up when you sink into yourself, away from the outside world? Fantasizing about living / working full time out of the city.

13. Can you drive a farm tractor or a semi? Tractor yes.

14. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these? Oh God no.

15. Can you legally have all forms of livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds? Yes. See above. Ok - well the rooster isn't technically legal.

16. Can you operate a lathe? Metal, wood? No

17. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing? I love to garden, right now I have winter lettuces, peas, carrots, artichokes in the ground.

18. Do you fish? Bait or explosives? No.

19. How much space/land do you have or rent? City farm? Country? We're currently exploring buying 17 acres.

20. Are you a Novice, Technician, degreed? My husband owns a printing company. Anybody needs a good printer let me know.

21. What is your farm specialty? Or what one would you like to learn? I'd like to learn more about milk cattle and goats.

22. If you could create a degree and curriculum, what would you major in and what classes would you take? I'm studying to be a special education teacher [primarily working with deaf children]. I'd like to find a way to incorporate that into farm living.

23. Do you do wood work? framing, finish, cabinet? No.

24. Are you interested in herbal animal medicine? Absolutely.

25. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be? Anywhere that I don't have to deal with snow....California is perfect for us right now.

26. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking? No.

27. What would your ideal super hero/villain be? hmmmm...I'd like to have a magic wand.

28. Are your family or friends also interested in animals? Some are. My immediate family is, the rest think I've lost my freakin mind.

29. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? raw milk? farm fresh eggs? I love to cook, we haven't bought eggs for a long time, I'm interested in raw milk, and making the most healthful meals we can for our family. Chocolate is healthy right>

30. What was your best animal experience? The first time I was able to turn an agressive dog into a nice family pet. Worst? Working at a shelter and having to decide which dogs couldn't be rehabilitated.

31. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs? No.

32. What skills do you have that help you be more a self sufficient farm? I'm very organized, and I like to learn.

33. Do you process your own meat? Not yet. Can or preserve? Yes.
34. Do you use alternative energy sources on your farm? No. Would you like to? I'm not sure.

35 What is on your to do list? Persuade Richard that we actually can do this.

36. Have you ever lived completely off what you produce? Not yet. Would you like to? Yes!

37. In what do you trust? God, and my ability to teach my children that food doesn't actually come in a box.

38. Do you make and fix things yourself to save money? Yes.

39. Has the experience with animals changed your attitude or habits?
My daughter loves to come out and pick her snacks off the vine, the boys have learned all sorts about animal husbandry - not sure they wanted to know all they've learned!

Richard and I have just begun our search for the perfect farm. It's a need more than a want, since the five of us are currently living in a three bedroom house, trying to blend two families. Richard and I are both widows, and we're blending our two families. I am incredibly blessed to have found this wonderful man to share the rest of my life with, but sometimes I feel like The Brady Bunch.
 

tressa27884

Loving the herd life
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Richard and I went out to see the farmland we have been stalking this Sunday. It is more than I could ever hope for. Fences are all ready up, it has a nice size storage barn where Richard could move his business into. Several coops / runs. Indoor stalls in two sizes, several paddocks.......and a resident Buffalo. There is also a resident Boar.

The trainer/manager lives on site in a trailer. She was really nice, showed us around, spent a lot of time with us. I can't remember her name, but she's 70 years old, and the few people there who were boarding their horses there were very chatty with her and seemed to like her. He cousin Cory also lives in a trailer on site, I guess he does the day to day maintenance of the place.

As we walked the property I got more and more excited about it - thinking of all the possibilities, Richard got more and more overwhelmed. Although last night at dinner, when we were doing best and worst, he did say that he was considering something he had never considered before [farming]. Yippee.

We realized a few weeks ago we needed to get the kids out of the city; we pulled over on the side of the road to pick wild berries and both the boys [Connor and Michael] looked at us like we were nuts, and asked us if they were going to die from eating them. Don't you think there are easier ways to kill two eleven year old boys I responded.

Then we saw a beautiful pheasant and Michael was afraid of it. Yikes! We have to go. I was raised by grandparents who grew almost all our food. To this day I cannot eat store bought fruit and vegetables - it's tasteless. These boys of ours have a sense of entitlement that I'm hoping to work out of them by putting them to work on a farm. They really have no sense at all of self sufficiency. It pisses me off and makes me sad. I don't want them growing up the way they are. Connor in particular hates school. I'm hoping that if I put his ass to work on the farm, he'll WANT to go to school, if for no other reason than to get away from chores. Who knows though he may decide that he likes it. Not all of us are meant to be students. Either way I've told him he has to graduate high school, and be 18 before he can make any decisions for himself about what he wants to do.

The decision is easy for me. I prefer being out scooping poop and hanging with the chickens more than just about anything else. I like getting dirty. I love the smell of horse poop.

My goal is for us to be totally self sustaining. Not sure that we can make a living on top of that, but I soooo want to try.
 

Roll farms

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Good luck converting the kids. The entitlement thing is a huge part of what's going wrong w/ today's youth. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
 

jodief100

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Roll farms said:
Good luck converting the kids. The entitlement thing is a huge part of what's going wrong w/ today's youth. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
I could not agree more. Most of the kids under 25 we have hired here all dress inappropriatly, work as little as possible, leave early and complain they don't get paid enough. One stormed out in a huff and quit without notice because she was being moved from her office to a cubicle to make space for a VP!!!!!!

Good luck with the kids. We are trying the same thing with hubby's boy.
 

savingdogs

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We moved from city to country when our sons were 12 and 16 (my daughter was grown up already). The boys were soooooooooooo against the move, they wanted nothing to do with "hicks" and thought they would not fit in, etc.

The older one is extremely helpful, but never took to the farm chores. He does laundry and dishes, chops wood and feeds the wood stove all winter, but doesn't do animal chores, he doesn't do them well and doesn't like doing them. He is our computer geek and does everything electronically inclined in the house.

The younger one "converted" and is a country boy. He enjoys the animals although he won't admit it, and likes working outside with his hands, building things, etc. He does not dress like a "hick" still but his friends are all country children. He is proud of the fact that he can catch chickens the best and is able to milk the goat, etc. He does not always enjoy all the chores he is given but .....does any kid? I tend to not give him the indoor chores which suit my other son, other than them taking turns now and then lest they think the other one has an easier time.

I cannot get either one of them to do much more in the garden (other than lifting heavy things when I ask, stuff like that). They do not enjoy it or have any interest. The whole idea of slaughtering animals for food is repugnant to my older son, whereas my younger one LIKES to participate with that and help.

So you might find a mixed reaction.

The thing that effected my sons the most and made the more respectful and helpful overall was our reduced financial situation. Doing without really makes one appreciate the things that you have. So I don't think it is just city life vs. country life, it is how the parents handle the changing circumstances.

I hope in the years to come our sons will be glad their parents moved to the forest when they were teenagers.
 

elevan

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