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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.

Urban Farm Manager
6/15/2020 7:53:34 PM

I am in the process of starting an urban farm project serving Greater Richmond metro area - I mile to interstate access and located on a beautiful 15 acre farm with a newly-renovated 4-5 bedroom house with a private master with private entrance, bath and laundry. I am looking for a farm manager to live free while developing projects including mushroom, microspores, farm store, petting zoo, education program and tors, etc. Please contact me if you have any interest at 804-349-5788

6/5/2020 9:52:35 AM

Team of two who has many references and experience traveling around and doing different sorts of things. We do have a young teen in tow but they are far more mature and quiet than most teens. We believe in the old ways of bartering and earning your keep. We are very laid back, keep to our selves but also enjoy telling stories around a fire. We have worked as maintanance, trading rent for work and I have helped on an equestrian ranch and also grew up next door to an ape rescue so I grew up taking care of the babies. We all love animals and are hard workers. If interested please contact me;

6/1/2020 8:42:39 AM

What a wonderful idea! I am looking for a similar situation in Tennessee. I'm a single woman with 2 in-house cats in a transitional phase, wanting to experience family farm living with the heart's desire to accomplish self-sustained living in near future. If you need a trustworthy and hard working person, please contact

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