I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll just put it out there: we have suffered a tremendous loss to our family. George’s father passed away very suddenly last Monday at the young age of 57. We are devastated and heartbroken. We lost his mom in 2009.
The past week has been spent out of state for funeral services and time with our family. This is the first time we left the farm for more than a few hours since we started it almost three years ago. We were fortunate enough to have a friend who had the willingness, enthusiasm, and ability to watch over the farm for us during our absence. Julie rushed over last Tuesday morning and I did my best to train her on how to run the farm, after only having had two hours of sleep the night before. She did a wonderful job and will be writing a blog post about her experiences in the near future.
We got home late Sunday and I’m fighting an upper respiratory infection, along with the poison ivy rashes I acquired a month or so ago. These, along with my ongoing chronic health issues, have slowed me down considerably over the past couple of days. All of the frantic travel and activities are taking their toll on me today.
If you are a small farmer, how do you handle situations such as this? So many times I heard it suggested that there needs to be a temp service for farmers, but it’s really difficult to wrap my mind around how that is practical, given the variables one encounters farm-to-farm. We milk our goats with a machine; others do it by hand or with other equipment that will have different requirements. This is just one example.
But I think that there is a good idea here, and I’m willing to pursue helping to get it out there. Perhaps there needs to be a clearinghouse website for farmers and other capable hands to volunteer services for a particular geographic area. As with anything like this, the problem is integrity/character verification. Which, I suppose, can come through verifiable references, but there are just all kinds of details that need to be addressed with a project of this nature. If you have some suggestions as to what would need to be included, I am open to those!
Surely, we can’t be the only small farm where there is just a couple running it, no employees, and we are concerned about what happens when a tragedy or emergency requiring our entire family’s departure occurs. We were so fortunate that Julie took on the challenge! I would like to see if we can help others who have the same need. Obviously we need to find folks who are qualified, but we also need to be able to afford their services. This is quite a niche market.
Let us know your thoughts on this project in the comments – thanks!