Behavior modification: for the birds (via The Clueless Farmer)

The Clueless Farmer(s) have been busy since they started “Glean Acres” and ordered 500 baby chicks. Their adventures are amusing and uplifting. Lots of great pictures. I wouldn’t miss following their story on the road less traveled.

In an insane world of war and economic calamity, it’s a relief to find something that’s good and real and simple. I think they’re living in approximately the way human beings were intended to live. I’m cheering for them to be successful enough to continue to farm for a long time.

Behavior modification: for the birds Two of our roosters spent the night locked outside the coop. They had been behaving badly. Running around grabbing other chickens by the back of their necks with their very sharp, strong beaks. I know how sharp and strong those beaks are because they frequently mistake my toe or a mosquito bite on the back of my leg for a choice tidbit when it’s feeding time. It leaves a bruise! After nursing several beak bruises, a wise woman would learn her les … Read More

via The Clueless Farmer

“Whomperjawed” (via The Clueless Farmer)

Légumes

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The “Clueless Farmhand” has now become the “Clueless Farmer.” Step one (buy a few acres with a livable house) is complete.

Sounds like the new farmer-entrepreneur, Diana, and her husband, will be focusing on the chicken business, and also growing quite a variety of vegetables. Diana, aka “Farmer Di” and “Doodi,” is methodically learning all she can about how to be a successful part of the “local-food” movement. Click on the Clueless Farmer’s report below.  Her post includes lots of links to useful farming information.

This is a serious career-change event. Diana says: “My completely awesome husband turned down a perfectly decent and lucrative office job in favor of farming for a subsistence income.”

The real farming begins this week, with “100 fluffy day-old chicks and about 500 seedlings of various vegetables.” That sounds feasible on five acres, with some room for expansion.

If it works, the small-farm movement has potential to provide a great lifestyle, along with a modest income, for thousands of workers who would otherwise be stuck in dead-end jobs, and living in suburbia.

Producing and consuming our food locally (including organic food) makes sense, and it can improve our food security in times of shortages.

We closed on our 5+ acre “farmette,” somewhat disconcertingly noted by our bank’s appraiser as being a “suburban” home (by rural standards), this morning. We’re officially terrified. All our pretty plans on how much we need to spend to get so much revenue from so many square feet of some specific vegetable or chicken species seem suddenly very ethereal when juxtaposed with our actual expenses. I have been in Madison County, VA for 4+ days now, fo … Read More

via The Clueless Farmer

Property Virgins (via The Clueless Farm Hand)

The Virginia welcome sign at the Virginia welc...

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Update! Update! The Clueless Farmhands have a deal to buy their Virginia farm, complete with livable house. The bank suddenly decided to OK the short sale. See their update post here. It contains a long list of things they have to do to get the farm running this Spring. (Far from a leisurely idyllic existence, farming is probably more like endless work and 24-7 responsibility.) But I guess you’re your own boss and can work at your own pace, so far as Mother Nature allows. If the Clueless Farmhands can pull it off, maybe other people can do it! Opens up your limited career and lifestyle options, doesn’t it? Do you think you could do it?

End of Update.

You’ve had the fantasy. Admit it. What you really want is a few acres of farmland and a house. You’d like to buy it dirt cheap, because it IS mostly dirt, after all.

You want to chuck the career and the credit cards. Tell your boss to take this job and . . . Escape from the materialism, the congestion, the commute.

You’d trade it all in for freedom and simplicity. Life on the farm.

The Clueless Farmhand couple has done what you dream of doing. They’ve searched five counties in rural Virginia. They’ve looked at single-wides, double-wides, and actual houses. They think they’re ready to take the plunge.

I suspect most folks in Consternation-land will find their story enlightening. At last report . . .

Property Virgins You would think during these days of foreclosures it would be easy to pick up a nice old farmhouse with a bit of land and some serviceable outbuildings for a song. For the past six months or so … Read More

via The Clueless Farm Hand

March 9, 2011 Update: The Clueless Farm Hand has posted an update, detailing the bumpy road to buying a distressed property via a short sale. I had heard that buying real estate through foreclosures and short sales could be problematic, but this was an eye-opener for me. — John Hayden