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Thread: Could I take this on?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Question Could I take this on?

    Hi Everyone,

    We are about to move, and an opportunity for me to own and run a small blueberry farm has come up. I guess I would really like to know whether you think this is managable while having children???



    I don't doubt my ability to run the place but I am concerned about what to do when Im heavily pregnant?? or have just given birth?? or have an infant or younger than school aged children???

    This would be my own venture as DH would be working full time and It is not to far out of town. Is anyone a farmer? or have any suggestions as to how I could manage all of this?

    It's my dream raising children on a farm *sigh*

  2. #2

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    Hi Wattle,

    How exciting for you!

    What is actually involved for you in running this business though? If you will be doing mostly paper work and admin type stuff then I can't see it being a problem. If you are going to be "out in the field" it might be a little uncomfortable during later stages of pregnancy - depending entirely on how much you grow! It might be a bit hard in the first few months after baby is born but once they are walking, they might very well enjoy toddling around the farm with you! But really, a lot of this depends on what your actual role will be and what you feel comfortable doing. As I don't really know much about berry farming, I'm not sure the details of what is involved and what it will be doing for your body. Maybe ring a couple of berry farms and talk to people?

    Good luck! Keep us posted with what you decide to do!

    MG

  3. #3

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    Thanks for replying MG

    I will be doing everything with a little help from fruit pickers/packers and DH only occasionally to do some general maintainance. Thinking about having some general farm hand help though.

  4. #4
    em.. Guest

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    hey wattle i dont think you would have any problems, think about the many of people who run farms in the middle of nowhere with no prob,
    you could do a shop,and a pick your own, and you could work in there, keeping an eye on what is coming in and out from the farm,..
    i would be looking at getting an experienced manager or farm hand to help you out a bit as needed to get used to it all...
    but i dont really think having a bub will stop you,, i would definately come for a visit if you did take it... yummy...

    my opinion,, go for it..

    liz

  5. #5

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    Hi Wattle, what a fantastic opportunity you have.

    We have found it no problem at all. I have either been pg or had toddlers the whole time I have lived on the farm and wouldn't have it any other way. One thing I do highly recommend is a good fence around the house, so they can play outside and you don't have to worry about passing vehicles or them getting out and getting near a dam.

    I do help DH with the administerial side of running things, as well as the hands on side too. During the later stages of pg I wouldn't be helping as much physically, but would still help where I could.

    Having good time management helps too, and quite often I will do stuff around when the kids were sleeping, or just load them up and take them with me (depending on what I was doing). When we had been TTC, we did try to work it around our busiest times on the farm, so I can't have a baby from April-May (sowing) or Nov-Dec (harvest) I don't know what the peak times are for berry farming, but I imagine that like wheat and sheep farming you will have periods where there is not a lot of work on except the very general upkeep of the place. Although Erin being born in the middle of October meant that I had a 5 week old when we were harvesting, but I would still just load the kids up to take Doug's lunch to him and if I was feeding her, then he just waited a bit longer for it.

    I think putting on a farm hand to do some of the heavier work for you will definately be a plus, because there will be times that will be impractical for you to do anything (ante-natal appointments and then feed times etc).

    The kids love being on the farm and being able to help out. At the moment we have 17 poddy lambs and the kids love helping me with them, like feeding out their hay and stuff. Now that Lindsay is at school, I have to make sure either DH or I are around to get him off the bus, but that would be normal even if you lived in town anyway.

    I would also highly recommend you get a Hug-A-Bub as I think it would be perfect for toting the baby around with you while you do jobs, I wish I had one when my kids were little.

    I really think you should take this chance because such a great opportunity like this doesn't come along very often. If there is anything else you would like to know, just pm me.

  6. #6

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    Hi Wattle

    I agree with what others have said. There are many advantages. I'm speaking from the experience of my parents but don't think it would have changed.

    The advantages are that if you have to stop and deal with the kids for a minute/hour/day you generally have the ability to do so without having to justify it to others.

    Sherie is right baout a good fence. Farms a a great place for kids to grow up but can also be really dangerous.

    I would recommend spending some money on a good playpen (like the Phil and Ted's one that has a shade cover on it as well but is really lite so you can move them easily). As that way when you have a little one you can set it up and have them near you but safe while you are doind things like planting or pruning or other berry related activities. Mum used to have a folding wooden one that she called "the pig pen" and if we went fencing or to the cattle yards or smilar and she knew that we would be there for ages it went too and we went in it (until we were old enough to climb over it)

    HTH
    Taff

  7. #7

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    DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If this is your dream, you will find a way to make it happen. The others have already given you some valuable practical advice. Who knows when this opportunity will come up again?

    chase your dreams! I would love to be able to do the same......

  8. #8

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    Oh yeah, we have taken the port-a-cot down to the sheep yards with us to put the kids in when they were little too. Put in some toys and they are happy for ages (usually long enough for you to do whatever it is you are doing LOL)

  9. #9

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    Just wanted to respond and say a huge thank you for all of your imput!
    It is great to be able to discuss this with you and get your perspective and encouragement too.

    We aren't sure quite what to do just yet... there are still some things to think about...
    • me wanting to finish my studies first

    • perhaps buying a share in the family property which is less than an hour away anyway and already has a manager

    • perhaps buying some land and farming it later

    • or a smaller block just for the space and a few animals??


    At least now I feel like I CAN do it either way.
    So thankyou so much for your encouragement.

    I will fill you in along the way but we hope to decide in the first six months after moving.

  10. #10

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    You have so many options - and all of them great. I'm sure whichever one you choose will be right. And I know you can do it!

  11. #11

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    Just wanted to add - from the age of about 6 my parents would take me berry-picking, so that's cheap labour if you needed it. My dad used to drive tractors from age 12ish (might have been 14-15, think he's told me 12 with supervision, but was driving at 14-15 on his own) for his uncle on his farm, so it is do-able with children growing up.

    Good luck with it, whatever you pick!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryn-Frog
    Just wanted to add - from the age of about 6 my parents would take me berry-picking, so that's cheap labour if you needed it. My dad used to drive tractors from age 12ish (might have been 14-15, think he's told me 12 with supervision, but was driving at 14-15 on his own) for his uncle on his farm, so it is do-able with children growing up.

    Good luck with it, whatever you pick!
    Actually some states have cracked down on children working on farms, too many accidents and deaths I think. So it pays to look up what is legally allowed when it comes to children working.

    Wattle - hope you make the right decision, it is all very exciting to have such choices.

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