[Market-farming] the perennial question: when does it make sense to hire employees?

Kathryn Kerby kakerby at aol.com
Tue Jul 5 09:29:01 EDT 2016

Good morning all.  This year we've been wrestling (again) with the question
of whether to hire on some help.  There are certainly days and tasks where I
could sure use it, no doubt there.  We have some logistical issues which
would make interns and so-called WOOFERs difficult to provide for
housing-wise.  I've been mulling the idea of hiring some high-school kids
for the summer just to help me out part-time, but that invariably leads me
to questions about pay, training, liability, reliability, etc.  Bottom line,
I'm wondering if the hassle factor is going to outweigh any benefits.


For those of you who ride that edge between no employees and 1-2 seasonal
employees, how do you make the call on if/when it's really warranted?

For those of you who have decided that you don't want employees, I'd be
curious to know how big an operation you have, ie how much planted ground
and/or how much livestock (if that's not too nosey), and how you've found
ways to get your to-do list done without the help.  


So far I've been focusing a lot on efficiency and tools/equipment/methods
which minimize the hands-on time for any given task.  We're also trying to
change our farm layout so that I'm not walking as much to/from just to get
repetitive things done.  Frankly we're considering scaling back rather than
hiring on.  But I wanted to consider all the options.  Thanks all.

Kathryn Kerby


Snohomish, WA

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