Work as a Farm Caretaker, and Live Rent Free

If you've always wanted to farm, but aren't ready to buy a place of your own, learn the ropes as a farm caretaker. Best of all, you will live rent free!

| May/June 1976

  • farmhouse
    It's hard work taking care of a farm, but a great way to live rent-free doing what you love.

  • farmhouse

Are you ready to head for the country, but lack the $$ to buy or rent land? That was Dale and Sandy Deraps' situation exactly . . . until a friend suggested that theycaretake a farm.  

You've probably heard of house-sitting, or living in-and looking after—a residence while its owner is on vacation.

Well, farm caretaking is somewhat similar . . . except that, in the kind of cases I'm talking about, the owner is always away, so you don't have to worry about moving out in a couple of weeks or months. Plus, you get to see what farm life is all about—firsthand and close up—without having to invest thousands of dollars in your own "spread".

Sound like a good deal? We thought so, after a friend of ours explained the idea to us. At the time we had just spent weeks gumshoeing around the backwoods in search of low-rent rural housing (to no avail), we were ready to try anything . . . and caretaking sounded like just the answer.

So, at a cost of around $100, we placed the following ad in various newspapers and county journals over a two-month period:

We will protect and maintain your farm property for the privilege of living there. Caretaking includes safeguarding adjacent outbuildings, livestock, equipment, crops, woods, roads, fields, and water systems. No utilities needed except on-site water and stovewood privileges. Must be no more than two hours' driving time from St. Louis. Reply to Box__or call collect (314) 000-0000.

3/20/2019 1:13:55 PM

Hi everyone, I am looking for someone who would be willing to help me get started in working on my land in exchange for living on it. The land is 2 acres in size in Nova Scotia and ideally I’m looking for someone who has a small amount of construction skills, although the construction side is really really small (small hut size), it’s more of a caretaker of the land thereafter that I am in need of. So, if your self sufficient, willing to live off grid in your rv, bell tent, tent, yurt, type thing...and your active, like to travel and be the adventurous nomad that we all dig, then I really really really would like to hear from you. Email

3/19/2019 12:39:57 PM

Need short term care taker for several animals in Mid Michigan for about one week. There are several animals to care for; 3 cows, chickens and a few others. Please reply to; Time needed is the week of June 21st, 2019. Large home to live in.

3/7/2019 2:30:32 PM

Gnaw Bone 3/7/2019 ISO a couple to help with grass cutting and weed eating. Major job is taking care of my senior horse, miniature donkey and 3 cats when we are out of town. You would have your own place free of rent, you are responsible for electric, phone, any internet-tv and garbage, the water is spring water when running and well water when it stops a few months a year. You must have out side income. Must be able to pass drug test and background check. We are in Lewis Country Kentucky. We are looking for a long term conservative couple. We have a shooting range and do a lot of shooting but no hunting. If you are interested please send e-mail with your information and any questions you may have.

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April, 27-28 2019
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters