market-farming Leaving

Dori Green dorigreen00 at
Wed Aug 15 08:27:47 EDT 2001

This is a probable goodbye to my friends here, and to farming.

I am putting my farm on the market today and making arrangements to 
surrender my animals to a humane society adoption program as soon as I 
receive an offer on the house.  In case anybody's interested, it's $80,000 
for the house and barn and five acres, $15,000 for the adjacent 15 acres.  
Nobody will lose money -- I'm being surrounded by $400,000 Stik-Bilts.

Against all better judgement and past experience, I opened my home to one 
more "hardworking but no money" housemate.  She arrived on Sunday almost two 
hours late without a phone call and hardly made any small talk before 
admitting that the place was not what she had expected and she would be 
leaving the next day.

Turns out she had some sort of strange expectation of a Disneyland bed and 
breakfast place where she would be an instant intimate friend and full 
partner.  Instead she found the reality for which I had posted pictures and 
detailed explanations about the help I needed here, and I guess I was not 
the towering Amazon goddess she had envisioned.  I did not apologize for not 
matching her fantasies!

When a housemate pays the officially-required first and last month's rent 
plus security deposit, I hire a $100 cleaning crew to make sure that we 
start off squeaky clean.  When they come with nothing, they have to make do 
with what I can do and if I can't afford new vacuum cleaner bags that week 
it might just be the best I can do with a broom and mop.  My 
all-day-Sunday-though-worn-out-from-Saturday-market housekeeping efforts 
didn't meet her standards either, this announcement after grand 
proclamations in her correspondence that oh yes she was ready to pitch in 
and work for her room and board, I should put her to work.  Oopsie, yes 
there was work for her to do, what a shock.

I'm very glad that I stayed polite but firmly packed her immediately off to 
a motel -- she was not staying for one more minute, certainly not for a free 
meal and bed-and-breakfast stay.

I just can't get it across to anybody that just one more pair of hands, just 
a few additional dollars, would make such a huge difference over what can be 
done by one person.

For two days' effort in harvesting and schlepping, plus a full week of 
hauling water in 100-degree heat, I made $40 at market on Saturday.  And 
sprang a leak in my gas line on the way there.

I might still accept housemates and potential partners if they have a 
contribution to make and aren't so stupid that they think I'll accept 
criticism from them before they've put in that contribution.  There are a 
couple of people I'm talking to now but if I have an offer before they make 
up their minds, oh well.

I am completely ready to sell this place, probably ten minutes before the 
bank would take it and for maybe five thousand dollars more than I owe on 
it.  I tried for ten years, with my inheritance and life's savings and 
income and effort.  All gone now thanks to the cruel dishonesty of that 
"build it and they will come" nonsense.

They will come, all right.  And say "wow what a great idea, wow what great 
work you're doing, hang in there."  But they will not help for even one hour 
and they will not pay even five dollars toward that work.

I have been out of off-farm work for six months and there is nothing on the 
horizon.  I composted 1,000 grown-from-seed heirloom tomato plants because 
nobody helped me get them in the ground when I tore the cartilage in my 
knee, so I don't have a big tomato cash crop.  I tried crawling along the 
rows but it just didn't work.

My mortgage bank has arbitrarily refigured my escrow retroactive to 1997 and 
issued a demand letter for $6,000.

The question has come right down to "and hang on to just exactly what?"

I am so ready to be outta this business and wake up from this nightmare that 
started out as a dream.

Dori Green
Corning, NY

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