Growing and raising what you eat.

I just came across this quote, listed on the side bar, by Frank A. Clark: “Maybe a person’s time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to buy food,” and it really hit home.  I have been looking for higher paying, “real” jobs and so far, nothing has come to pass.  I did get a call from a head hunter on Monday for a job that would probably be a good one for me, it certainly would pay a lot more than what I’m making at MM, but it would mean going back to a “real” job, meaning one where I’d essentially sit at a desk from 9 to 5.  I’d bring home more money, but what would I lose?  Namely, all the time I spend researching, gardening, caring for the animals, etc.

After I published the last post, I went out and milked Heavenly; before I was able to milk her, however, I had to call the goats in from out in the side pasture.  They were up close to Red’s house eating brush.  When they heard me, they all came running along the side of the hill, which is quite steep.  They looked like mountain goats.  After I milked her, I checked on the cows, cleaned the butt of Heavenly’s buck kid (she isn’t doing such a good job of it), thought about taking the cover off the bed of greens and harvesting some more out of it, but instead decided to come in and try to clean some of the nine million muddy footprints off the floors in the house.  I now have half of the house clean.

Not sure why I clean, it will be covered with muddy footprints again in no time.

But back to the quote, I wish there were a way that we could afford for me to stay at the MM job, or one like it, not making so much money, but having a little bit of extra time and somewhat flexible hours so that I could continue to do the farming.  I am working really hard on saving money everywhere I can, but my bank account is dwindling.  Having to buy four tires for Yoda didn’t help that.

Maybe things will work out.  As I wrote in a cover letter that I sent out a while back, I have probably gained more life experience while unemployed than I did while employed; I had to rely heavily on my initiative, creativity and humor to survive.  I expect most people that have been unemployed like me are dying to get back to their former lives.  I honestly don’t want to go back there.  I like the life I have now and I can thank being unemployed for giving it to me.

Until later …

8 Replies to “Growing and raising what you eat.”

  1. I feel you. I experienced some unemployed in 2009 and what I learned was all the things I could do without and how all the things that I learned growing up from my grandparents served me being able to live frugally. I hold 2 masters, but still am only working 30 hours. While I wish my husband and I were making more money so that I could increase my homesteading efforts, I also enjoy the extra time to work around the garden and learn new skills like making cheese. Still, I wouldn’t turn down some nice benefactor handing over a chunk of change so that I could go and buy some acreage to spread out and be more involved w/ animal husbandry. Anyway, hang in there. Maybe that part-time dream job is just around the corner and even if it’s not I have confidence that you have more value in what you are doing that in what you could be doing.

  2. Hi Nena,

    It’s nice to hear from people that read this journal. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing in air (does that mean anything?). Isn’t that funny how now we’d use any extra money we might receive to purchase land, animals or the like instead of new shoes or a car. If I had the extra $400, I’d buy a cow. What would someone else do with $400?

  3. I’m in a similar situation — being caught between a ‘real’ job and a part-time ‘not so fun’ job. Several years ago, I was doing so-so as a fulltime artist, until I decided to go back to school to get a teaching credential. Everyone said high school math teachers were in demand, so this was a sure thing. Ha! I no more than get my credential and California lays off 30,000 teachers. So, for the last few years, I have been substitute teaching, which somedays is a nightmare experience. I want to stop the subbing and do something else, but where I live, there’s not much to do that pays what subbing pays and gives me flexibility. See, somewhere in this mess, I discovered what was important to me — namely, being home with my cats when they need me (I take in abused Persians), growing fruits, vegies, and desert plants, and doing my art. So, I’m wondering — do I keep trying to get a fulltime teaching job (decent pay and benefits), or do I keep doing the subbing and maybe some art (so-so pay but very draining emotionally), or do I launch off into a different career altogether (what I don’t know)? And if I had an extra $400, I’d buy another cat tree, some more watercolor paper, a couple of pistachio trees, and more chicken wire to protect the trees!

    BTW, I envy your homesteading efforts. I would love to do it here, but I live in the desert so water and feed for a cow or even goats would be very expensive. I may actually try some chickens this spring.

  4. Some people may be happy with a high paying, demanding job that you work at 40+ hours a week, but lots of people, like me and you, would rather be home doing what is important to us. Too bad they don’t pay us to do what we think is important.

    Some goats, especially fiber goats (and sheep), thrive in desert conditions. You might think about getting into some spinning. You could have animals that you get both fiber and meat (if you eat meat) from.

    Your art is beautiful!

  5. Hi Michelle,

    You are definitely not “writing on air”. I find your journal to be very inspiring. I admire your strength and perseverance!

    Thank you for sharing your life experiences with us.



  6. Not many people have the opportunity to learn what is truly important to them because they are too busy earning a living. Pay attention……..

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