Fields of Farmers | How it Works – Housing

Cover--Fields of FarmersHousing, housing, housing. It would be such a simple (mostly) thing without all those regulations. Housing is what kept us from having girl interns and apprentices for a very long time. We were finally able to find some loopholes in our county laws to put up additional legal housing on the farm.

We are not comfortable with co-ed housing. Never have been, never will be.

We need our own space. Interns in the house was not an option.

Let’s sidetrack on that for a second. I think this is a very real issue that many folks don’t think much about. If you’re a people person, having interns in the house doesn’t sound all that bad. After all, you’re going to be vetting them and selecting oh-so-carefully, right? What could possibly be bad about that?

A lot.

Remember, how we talked about being ready for interns? That it felt like you were living in a glass house? Well, you MUST have space to unwind. Space to not be “on”. Space to let down and relax. The same house doesn’t work for this.

On the flip side, your intern needs his or her own space too. For the same reasons you do. It doesn’t have to be much, it doesn’t have to be fancy, but it needs to be separate from your space.

Original Polyface Apprentice Cottage

Original Polyface Apprentice Cottage

In this chapter, Joel talks about all of the different ideas and brainstorms that we looked into for housing on our farm. I think you might get a kick out of them. 🙂

Then he lists the House Rules for our domiciles.

And he sums it up with this:

All in all, I recommend housing on or close to the farm as possible. If it’s your building, clearly defined protocols are a must or it will be trashed beyond recognition within a year or two…Make it functional and respectful, but keep it rustic. No matter what you do, housing will be your major expense.


What do you think? Could you handle living with your boss?

Could you handle living with your employee?

How important is private space to you?

If you’re just tuning in, here’s what we’ve covered so far:


If you’re just visiting today, you can buy Fields of Farmers from Polyface here or Amazon here.

2006 LANDSCAPE-001

Happy Friday!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Did you like this? Share it:

About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.

6 Responses to Fields of Farmers | How it Works – Housing

  1. Scott R Veriha says:

    I can understand what you go through with this. I am currently building my own house. I have an awesome building inspector that works with me instead of telling me what I have to do, but the building codes are still a pain in the rear end. Also, some codes make so little sense that they are almost humorous!

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Yes, we can understand that, Scott. Daniel and I built our own house too. Fortunately, we were also blessed with an excellent building inspector. Try milling your own lumber and asking them to approve that! 🙂 The real fun begins there. Ha!

  2. Staci Wallingford says:

    It’s funny. I am reading “Fields of Farmers” right now. ( I was allowed to read it AFTER my husband. haha ) I was just reading the chapter on housing last night. It is an amazing experience that you offer young farmers. God bless!

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Thank you, Staci. 🙂 I hope that you will come back and join the discussion from here on! We’d love to have you!

  3. Catharine says:

    I’m going to address the questions here.

    1) Could you handle living with your boss? Answer: Depends…depends on who they are; whether or not they are fair, responsible, and respectful. Same house: No. Same property: yes…so long as those conditions of fairness, responsibility, and respectfulness are in place.

    2) Could you handle living with your employee? Answer: Depends…same as all the above.

    3) How important is private space to you? Answer: Very! …for all the reasons given in the book and noted in this post.

    I love the Polyface way! And though I do not have a farm or work on a farm (maybe some day), as I read I see so much value in the Polyface model which can be applicable to any working environment (whether providing houseing or not). The foundations may not always be easy to put in place, but I believe they are actually rather simple and essentially oh so important. What I like is that the approach to taking on interns/staff is not so much about rules as vetting for integrity and knowing that one has the responsibility to offer integrity when encorporating staff in ones working environment…all with a mind and heart which knows that the good of the whole is best served when the good of the individuals involved is carefully considered. To my mind and heart, that is conducive to a win-win situation for all involved. What I love about the whole book is that it points out that when these important considerations are addressed at the beginning, then you have the oh-so-very-important foundations on which to build a good, strong, happy enterprise.

    Many Thanks!

  4. Kristin says:

    This makes sense–a place to unwind.