Friday, February 20, 2009

Labor on the Micro-farm Revisited

This is not quite as much fun as Brideshead Revisited. It is mostly about work. What you can do, and the price of hiring others to do the rest.

This has been a nightly conversation at our house as we try to figure out how to get done all the things done that are on the list. It most recently came to light when I went out to the shed to get a load of wood. Our fire wood has held out nicely and we are doing very well on heating with our stove instead of the furnace, but... We hired someone to cut the wood for us. When we split it we found a small percentage of punky wood. Not a problem. What we have found is that our woodcutter cut about 25% of the pieces about 2 or 3 inches too long for our stove. I'm sure it wasn't intentional. Cutting wood in the field is a very inexact thing. However, now that we are nearing the end of the heating season most of the wood that is left is the stuff that didn't quite fit in the stove. Now I need to find the time to cut those pieces down so we can finish out the winter. Extra time and expense.

That has been my experiance with hiring things done. Mostly everything falls a bit short. You wait for someone to get around to doing the job, and then you have to schedule time to fix all the bits they didn't do right. I'm sure that isn't the case everywhere, but that's my world.

I'd love to have someone as an aprentice and spend the years imparting what I know in context, but finding the person and ploting a way to support them while they are learning is a project I'm not quite ready to take on. Beyond that I haven't much hope for good micro-farm labor. Guess I'll have to make it work with just me and the kids.
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