TALES from the tropical rainforest, at the foot of the Malaysian main mountain range. Take a break, come over and join me for a cuppa, and stay a while, will 'ya - coffee, tea, even chlorophyll, s'il vous plait
My last post created more than cursory interest on the subject ranging from owning and living on a farm to goat rearing. I received enquiries and e-mails from people wanting to visit The Farm too.
I realise that farm life is not everybody's cup of tea, so this post is dedicated to those who have the intention of retiring to a farm somewhere, but are not convinced that it's the right thing to do. Well, I'm here to help you make it happen!
In this respect I find it easier to deal with women. So let me deal with them first: Women either love or hate farming. The few in the middle are forced into the life of slavery frugal and healthy living because of circumstances (which is unfortunate, but we can always hope that they will come to love farm life).
The majority of women who enjoy farm life despite the hardships are caregivers - they care for and devote (and I mean real devotion) their entire existence to the family. I follow the activities of more than two hundred such blessed souls through their blogs. This is a tribute to these lovely ladies and their lucky families.
With men it's a bit more complicated. First there's the ego issue. Then there's the dilemma - should it be the beach house or the farm house? Before I go on let me point out that this mid-week note is not for the rich and famous ( I don't think Leornado DiCaprio or Julia Roberts read blogs anyway), nor is it for the filthy rich who can retire when and where they like.
I am dedicating this to Joe Public - to people like you and me.
I am talking about wage earners who hopefully have saved enough of their after-tax take home pay plus their 401K or the Employees Providen Fund or their pension money, whatever the case may be, for retirement.
Retirement doesn't have to be when you are 55 or 60 or whatever the 'official' retirement age is in your country. Retirement is when you are ready to lift up and take your nose away from the grindstone, look up at life and begin living it. And I say go ahead, get yourself a farm or an orchard and spend your retirement there.
Consider the following:
If you are retiring away on your own, believe me, you will appreciate the space (literally and figuratively)
After the initial euphoria of the long-awaited retirement, which lasts about two weeks, you will find it tough going to get through the twelve hours daylight sitting around the house, and another twelve to get you through the night. There's only so much sleeping you can do. So it would be a great relief that you could be away from the house, not just for a few hours, but a few days, weeks or even months
The couch and TV remote will have one less competition
Consider this: you will be walking around in a vast open space with a pruner instead of a five iron in your hand - I find that a delightfully attractive alternative
You get more exercise, fresher air and the same sunshine you get on a golf course minus the stress and frustration.
As you walk you get to talk to your animals and your trees which don't talk back to you, unlike your golf buddies
You can still go fishing, in fact the river running beside your farm may be teeming with fish
You can stop and smell the flowers, as often as you like
If you have been working in the city, thirty years of inhaling polluted air is enough, isn't it?
Instead of walking your grandchildren in shopping malls, walk them around your orchard where they can feed the animals and climb the fruit trees. It's good for them, good for you too.
But you need to be ready and be committed. Don't say "one day I'll do it", instead say "I will have enough money by ......" (insert date), in order to retire to....." (insert name and location of farm). That's call a plan, not a dream.