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.

6/23/2019 11:22:57 PM

My e-mail is

6/23/2019 10:59:32 PM

Hello, my name is Jake Whitehead and I am a twenty-four year old transgender male from the Ozark hills of North Central Arkansas. I am a hardworking individual with good moral fiber and a steady, reliable energy. I am seeking an opportunity that would allow room and board for me and my dog, Crimson, to stay and earn our keep as we search for a more permanent dwelling. I will gladly contribute to the household through acts of cooking, cleaning, chores and other manual labor, providing my own groceries, paying a low rent, utilizing any handyman skills i posses, and otherwise being considerate and respectful as an expression of gratitude. Please feel free to e-mail me if you think that we could be mutually beneficial to each other's purpose. Thank you and blessed be.

Candice Brasington
6/16/2019 4:22:08 PM

Short/Long-term Farm Caretaker/family needed for small, secluded 13 acre owner-occupied farm in Norwood, NC (about 45-1hr from Charlotte). Singles, Couples, Families of any religion/race, etc & farm-friendly pets welcome. Must have own (small) self-contained camper or tiny home and own vehicle. (extra large campers won’t make it through our wooded drive-way). No drugs or excessive drinking. Background check & references required. We offer: place to park camper, well water, privacy, recreation (fishing on pond, hunting, etc), whatever food is produced from the farm, wifi, & eventually a power hook-up and small stipend depending on experience and skills. There will be a trial period and a caretaker lease will be drawn up and signed. Duties may include: tending to animals, garden, farmers markets, butchering and processing of meat animals, packaging, etc. Handy-”man” and farm skills a plus. You are free to work off-farm or create your own farm enterprise as long as can still help out on farm as agreed. If you are a hard-worker who is interested in this opportunity, please call Candice at 980-354-3786 or email at subject heading: Caretaker Position


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