The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How do you hire a good homesteading helper?

how to hire help for homesteading chores

Money was tight when we first moved to our homestead. Major projects had to get done in a low budget, Do It Yourself fashion.

Lately we've been able to save a little thanks to our chicken waterer business and decided to hire some help for a few of the bigger upcoming projects.
hiring for homesteading chores the sequel image
Turns out it's not so easy to pay someone else to do your homesteading chores.

We've struggled in the past to find someone that is both capable and interested enough to actually show up. That's why we were so happy when our friend from Dungannon arrived on time and ready to work this morning.

The old house is well on its way to being converted to future garden space thanks to Grant's hard work. We agreed on an hourly rate of 10 dollars but both Anna and I were impressed enough with his hustle to throw in a bonus by paying him 40 dollars for 2.5 hours of good labor, and added a bag of fresh green peppers. I figure this will increase the chances of him coming back and it really was worth it to us due to the difficulty of this particular demolition project.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Sounds like you're the beginnings of a good relationship. I think any relationship that is primarily about money means the labourers are always going to be less invested in the relationship. When it becomes about an equal trade of money for work it's more like a business deal and I think it feels better for both sides. Since we decide things emotionally you have to find people where it feels right. Rational exchange of money for labour isn't sustainable, for the the reasons you described -- as soon as another offer of more money comes along, the rational worker abandons you and goes to greener pastures. It's all about the love ~ and the respect ~ and the mutual benefit -- as you're doing your neighbour. awesome, awesome, awesome...
Comment by J Fri Sep 30 16:39:20 2011
My mom sent me a long email saying basically the same thing. I suspect you're both right, that turning hiring someone into more than an exchange of money is the trick to making the experience feel good on both ends (and thus to be repeated.) I sure hope we can find that happy spot with Grant because he was a joy to have on the farm (and a serious hard worker!)
Comment by anna Sat Oct 1 10:33:22 2011

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