If you’ve been daydreaming from your desk job about working the land of your very own farm, you might want to pay attention. Stephen Overbury is a farmer in Smiths Fall, Ontario, and he’s currently on the hunt for someone to take over his hobby farm. Overbury posted his ad on Kijiji, titling his offer “Hardworking Position Without Pay.”
The chosen applicant will have full access to Overbury’s fifty acres, which includes an organic waterfront farm, four barns, a paved driveway, equipment, and a vehicle necessary to run the farm, as well as training for farm management. In addition to the ‘permanent use’ of the farm, Overbury will also offer up the ‘picturesque 1830’s stone home,’ which he says is in good condition and includes wood floors and a wood-burning stove.
In the ad, Overbury writes that he’ll pay the cost of food for the animals and their vet bills, but in return, the chosen applicant must care for the farm and the domestic animals that live on the land. Although clearly stating that the offer is ‘free,’ he notes the “catch” is that the chosen applicant must be willing to totally commit and work hard. Overbury writes that “you must be around the property for part of each day forever type of thing. Definitely not for flighty types.”
Noting that the position is ideal for a small group of people who will divide the chores, Overbury says that someone with a home office would be preferred, and that the person must not be “financially insolvent” and be able to “demonstrate financial wherewithall.”
The posting also states that only animal lovers should bother applying: “Applicants must love and respect all animals, whether this means mice, rats, rabbits, coyotes, porcupines, skunks. Ground hogs, snakes and other so called ‘nuisance animals.’ Here, no animal is killed. I am vegan orientated but you need not be of course as long as you live and let live. And THINK GREEN.”
Overbury’s decision to get someone else to run the farm resulted from his desire to return to Japan, where he previously lived for 15 years. The farmer notes that those looking to get into the organic farming business, run a farm sanctuary or domestic or wildlife animal sanctuary will find his farm the perfect setting for their future endeavors.
The Kijiji ad has been view more than 93,000 times since being posted, with the farmer already receiving hundreds of applications from interested parties. If Overbury is unable to find a suitable tenant, he says he’ll continue working the land.
Interested applicants who are ready to get their hands dirty must provide an explanation as to why they want to take over the farm, how they plan on running the farm, a breakdown of relevant farming and animal care experience, four non-family member references and a willingness to allow Overbury to investigate their background.
If you think you have what it takes to run the Smith Falls farm, you can contact Stephen Overbury through his Kijiji ad here.