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 Are we too old?
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criley
True Blue Farmgirl

85 Posts

Connie
Eldon MO
USA
85 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  06:58:12 AM  Show Profile
My hubby and I bought our farm almost 10 years ago. It was just a weekend retreat until the virus hit, 2020. At that same time, my son had graduated college and started his job in another city, my daughter had just graduated college, married and moved to another state, and Hubs and I were left to wander around our 4,000 sq ft house alone. Since Hubs was sent to "work from home" we decided now was the time -- sell the big house and move to the tiny 900 sq ft cottage on the farm 30 miles and 45 minutes away. Our official move was Nov 2020. We were both still working full-time 45 mins away so didn't do much to make the place "home". Fast forward to now -- my 25-yr-old son died 2 months ago, Dec 2021, my daughter is in Florida, and Hubs and I are trying to decide if we are TOO OLD to do this "farm stuff?" We are both early 60's. I have since gone part-time and taken a job with the local hometown newspaper, Hubs has gone back into the office daily to work in the city 45 mins away. Hubs plans to retire in 18 months, and I could retire at any time as soon as my project at the newspaper is finished. But now that our son is gone there is no one to really leave the farm to, as daughter has no interest in owning a farm later on. Daughter lives in FL and we in Missouri. Needless to say, here on 75 acres we just use the farm as a retreat from the world after the workday. We would like chickens, we would like a few cattle, we would like a garden, and a small vineyard, but we have no real help and we would like to be able to travel to see our daughter several times a year. It's hard enough finding someone to care for our two big dogs when we want to go away for a night. So, if we do with the farm, what we had originally hoped and dreamed to do 10 years ago, we will be tied to animals -- and a garden and fences and repairs and and and... all at mid-60's. We would really like the best of both worlds, keep our farm with our dreams AND have time to travel. HELP?

levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

9269 Posts

Denise
Beavercreek Ohio
USA
9269 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  12:51:17 PM  Show Profile
So sorry for the loss of your son Connie.

We were on a small farmette before leaving that after 21 years and moved to be near our daughter and family. Gave up the business and are currently looking for work, which isn't easy at this age.

Would it be possible for you to downsize on your land, maybe sell to someone who is interested in farming? At least you could stay without losing the total dream. Still big enough for some animals and chickens. I'm sure you will get to know more farmers in your area once you retire and can be there more and that could lead to finding someone willing to help out when you aren't there. Just a thought or two.

~Denise
Sister #43~1/18/2007

"I am a bookaholic and I have no desire to be cured."

"Home is where we find comfort, security, memories, friendship, hospitality, and above all, family. It is the place that deserves our commitment and loyalty." William J. Bennett

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

http://www.ladybugsandlilacs.blogspot.com/
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nndairy
True Blue Farmgirl

3021 Posts

Heather
Wapakoneta Ohio
USA
3021 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  1:37:36 PM  Show Profile
Hi Connie - welcome to MJFarm! So sorry to hear about your son. It is hard to put forth the effort with no one to pass the farm on to but you're never to old to achieve a dream. Maybe just modify the dream a bit. Instead of having laying hens you could order some meat chickens and instead of having cows you could get a weaned steer. Once the chickens and steer are butchered you could travel before getting more. Also look into grazing programs in your area. I can't give you a specific one for Missouri, but there are some programs out there that connect farm owners with people who want to farm so they do an apprenticeship or in the future would be interested in buying the farm from you. Also - neighbor kids could be a great help if you're only gone for a couple days. Best of luck with what ever you decide to do. Keep us posted!

~Heather
Farmgirl Sister #4701
September 2014 Farmgirl of the Month


"The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment" - Yogi teabag
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Audra Rose
True Blue Farmgirl

2216 Posts

Vanessa
Brooksville KY
USA
2216 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  2:27:03 PM  Show Profile
Connie, you have my sympathy for the loss of your son.
I agree with the suggestion that you downsize your property. You could also see if any farmers would like to use some acres for cattle, crops, or hay. The local extension office might help you.
I also work at our local newspaper. It's a good place for me to meet people in the area. I don't know about where you live but everyone here is connected to each other one way or another. My sweetie and I have made ourselves part of the community.
If you enjoy living in Missouri, don't worry about who to leave your land to. You never know, your daughters family may decide to move away from Florida. At the least, you can discuss with her and put in your will your wishes about handling the land after you pass away.
I wanted to raise chickens but after reading how much work they are I changed my mind. We have bees though.


Vanessa
Farmgirl Sister #6754
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Dreamer42
True Blue Farmgirl

2685 Posts

April
Central Oregon
USA
2685 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  6:40:01 PM  Show Profile
Hi Connie, Welcome to the forum!

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your son, my love and prayers to you and your family. No parent ever expects to lose a child.
It sounds like you have a little piece of paradise there. What about leasing a portion of your land out to a farmer to farm? We have friends of the family that are leasing land to farm and they live near by the property. Just a thought... xo

Dreamer42
Farmgirl Sister #7038
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

6534 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
6534 Posts

Posted - Feb 27 2022 :  4:34:19 PM  Show Profile
Hi Connie from way over here in Florida! I have never owned or lived on a farm and I really do not know what living on one wold mean in terms of work effort. All of the suggestions listed here today do seem reasonable to try before just giving up a dream. I agree with you that it would be a huge effort by yourselves. However a plan on leasing/selling parts of the land might be a good compromise. the one thought that keeps running through my brain is that they are not making any farmland anymore. In the decades ahead, it will be harder and harder to farm because land keeps being sold for development housing and shipping areas.

As I said, I don't have a farm, but I subscribe to the organization American Farmland Trust. They help to secure lands that can be used for farming and protection from development. With grants and loans, they often can get a new farmer started with owning a piece of these lands in an affordable manner. Check out their site and see all of the good work they are doing and maybe that will give you new ideas and help with the decision for what to do by giving you new ideas to consider.

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
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ceridwen
True Blue Farmgirl

899 Posts

Carole
New York
USA
899 Posts

Posted - Mar 22 2022 :  08:02:29 AM  Show Profile
You are never to old to pursuit a dream ... You can always tailor your dream to your lifestyle, a bit of both worlds.

Carole
Farmgirl Sister 3610 - Nov 7/2011
http:www.carolesquiltingetc.com
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IndoorsyGal
Farmgirl in Training

14 Posts

Allison
Fort Scott Kansas
USA
14 Posts

Posted - Mar 25 2022 :  6:37:02 PM  Show Profile
I'm so sorry to hear about your son. I can see how that would change everything for you.

We're in our 60s and just on a small parcel but are just getting into homesteading for self-sufficiency, and with prices going up, we are glad we did. We also started designing permaculture into our systems and had a plan for this year - to turn a fenced area next to the house into a mini-farm with the gardens and chickens and berries and water catchment off the shed and it was all so lovely in my head.

Then late January, my lumbar decided it was older than I think I am and that changed everything. We are very wooded and have very little sunny area but we had to design a new area that's closer to the house if not as perfect. But as things get harder, we'll still be able to manage it. My husband already has chronic fatigue so we never know when he can get out to do work in the yard.

You sound very torn and you really should go with what YOU want now. If you want the farm, then getting older just means making sure you plan around your abilities and possibly future less-abilities. If you want to travel, then you should probably do that.

But you're not too old to do either. And I guess that was the point I was trying to get to.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/sweaterdoll

https://sweaterdoll.blogspot.com
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

6534 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
6534 Posts

Posted - Mar 28 2022 :  11:21:02 AM  Show Profile
Connie, I hope you have found some clarity about what the best option would be for you to move forward with your little farm. Everyone here has great suggestions but I know it is hard and there are no clear decisions. As we move into Spring and Summer, perhaps you will get a feel for what options would be the best for you. Good luck and feel free to vent and give us updates as you made decisions about which path to take!

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
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EMGJulie
True Blue Farmgirl

54 Posts

Julie
CLAWSON MI
USA
54 Posts

Posted - Aug 18 2023 :  08:30:58 AM  Show Profile
For Connie, who started the post...

How are you doing? I feel for you - your loss, your quandary about the farm, can you update us on how you are 18 months after your original post? I agree the suggestions are all helpful.

Julie #8169

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." -C.S. Lewis
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criley
True Blue Farmgirl

85 Posts

Connie
Eldon MO
USA
85 Posts

Posted - Aug 18 2023 :  11:31:55 AM  Show Profile
Thank you all and God bless you for the wonderful suggestions. So many choices, so many conflicts. Hubby and I are still at the farm. He did retire but then went back to work at his office, as they needed help. Fortunately he can take off as needed. I work only on occasion, from home. Daughter ended up coming back here for the past year to live in our camper as she needed a break from her hubby and I am so happy to have her living close to me (like in the camper in the yard!). She is working but decided to pursue her Master's degree while here; it was an intense program but she finishes today! I have gotten some chickens, they bring us joy and laughter, and EGGS. Hubby and I have discussed several options, but we are still somewhat stagnant. From what I understand, grief can do that to even the strongest of us. I have come to the realization my son is never coming home, I just think of him as living somewhere else (Heaven) and I will see him "some day". Heather's ideas of getting meat chickens and a steer to raise for beef are awesome. As Dreamer 42 suggested, at this point we are crop-sharing with a local dairy farmer who plants our creek bottoms with soybeans (and corn) and mows and bales our pastures for hay. In addition to keeping the fields useable and "manicured", we are making some money for taxes, insurance, and a few projects so that that is icing on the cake! Additionally, when he has beef to butcher, we have gotten some. I have made contact with a local neighbor who has teens and have approached them about caring for the pets and chickens when we travel. As of yet, we haven't arranged anything, but it is an option. I have been reading bits of The Good Life by Scott and Helen Nearing written years ago and watching videos on Back to Eden about the gardening method of Paul Gautschi. Those have given me some drive to do something/anything while we wait until our minds are made up, so today the chickens are going to help me by scratching to clear a garden spot for some fall plantings, and next spring. Hope is on the horizon!

Livin' the Life of Riley
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1498 Posts

Rae
MN
1498 Posts

Posted - May 06 2024 :  07:16:58 AM  Show Profile
We are mid 60ís and farm. We went from 50 heat of cattle to 10, black angus. We have 23 laying hens and garden. For us I canít imagine not farming at this point. We started in our 50ís. With the way the world is we plan to focus a lot on our garden this year as beef and eggs covered. Eggs I am able to sell weekly so pays for feed. Just my thoughts #128578;

Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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windypines
True Blue Farmgirl

4130 Posts

Michele
Bruce Wisconsin
USA
4130 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  03:30:13 AM  Show Profile
Farming is a commitment, whether you have a few or alot of animals. I am like Rae and we have down sized our herd and have chickens. I also have a milk cow. We are in our sixties also. So some days I wonder if its all worth it, but deep down I would not be doing it if I did not love it. Good luck to all.

Farming in WI

Michele


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