Time for more of a serious toned post today. Today’s subject is the unreliable nature of some, luckily very few, farmers. And maybe I shouldn’t even say farmers, instead I should use the term “farmer wannabes” because it is only the casual hobbyist farmer who I have had troubles with, never the large scale serious farmers. I have pondered for a few weeks whether to write this post or not and ultimately I’ve decided to write about it but to not use any real names, I feel this is a fair compromise between anonymity and living up to the word you give!
Two months ago I answered a post on UsedOttawa. A person was looking for a goat to keep her future new goat company. I emailed her and we started talking about Ruby here. While Ruby is an OK goat, she is too rough for my baby lambs and causes me trouble with Frankie so it is time for her to go to a new home. The person liked Ruby and wanted her on her farm, but could not take her until September. I said no problem as long as you give me a deposit… and she didn’t want to, citing no real reason. That was my first warning bell. I expressed concern about not having Ruby’s future set in stone and she reassured me that so long as she wasn’t sold by September she would give her a home.
Can you see where this story is going?
So I email her at the start of the month to make plans for dropping her off… and I receive no reply.
I send her another email a week later… and receive no reply. Not even a “sorry no longer interested” reply – just silence.
Finally today I’ve sent her a third email expressing my frustration at this situation. From what I can tell she has chosen to back out of our deal while not even having the cojones to tell me of her change in heart. How cruel, not only to break your word like that but to decimate the future security of this animal. I won’t be able to find a new home for Ruby enough to cover the costs I’ve invested in her thus far, and she simply can’t stay and encourage the other goats to escape during the winter, so it is looking like she will become some meals for us.
This isn’t the first situation where a wannabe farmer has become unreliable and affected me. A few months ago I responded to a UsedOttawa ad for free chickens: I gave the woman a call and said I’ll be there tomorrow for the chickens, she said OK. But when I got there she told me nonchalantly that she gave the chickens away the night before, and stood there saying nothing when I asked her why she didn’t call me to let me know. She lived all the way outside of Carleton Place and luckily I was in that area to get sheep supplies so my time wasn’t totally lost, but it was still a burden with no reward.
And then there’s the issue with my hay not being cut, and now my straw not being cut.
Because of these people, I’ve created a Boo Book, a list of people who I will not deal with in the future. If you choose to adopt an animal for my farm and want to see the Boo Book prior to dealing with your farmer, send me an email: I won’t publicize it but I will certainly share it with others.
Perhaps I simply expected more from people who live a farming lifestyle. Now I know that there are always unreliable folk no matter where you go or what you do. I’ve become just a bit more jaded in life. Maybe that’s a sign that I’m becoming more of a real-farmer than a wannabe-farmer.