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Time for a Break

April 1, 2013

One thing that has become very apparent to me is that the farmers I have met never take a vacation. For most, the prime issue is not even the question of financing the play time.  For most it is the fact that there are animals to tend to. They need feeding and, if dairy, milking. There is no getting away from these duties.Every day. 24/7/365.

Until now.

Enter Hollie Craddick, a Farmer without a Farm. She is offering farm sitting services. She is also available to help with large jobs that need more hands, like hoof trimming, putting up a fence or drawing blood. Hollie Craddock

Hollie grew up in Wayne County and although she lived in a subdivision, she always believed she was a country girl.  The family took vacations to the beach and other places but her best memories are the times spent on her grandparents’ farm near Pax. There in the rugged hillside they had a flat place for the house and for the pond, but they managed to have a working farm with turkeys, chickens, ducks, pigs and dairy goats as well as a garden. Hollie is proud that she first successfully milked a goat at age 7.Titus and Chickens

She did finally own a farm. Her husband and she acquired some land and soon she had some animals. It was too cold for her first flock of chicks outside so they started life in the living room. She purchased two miniNubians and it turned out one was pregnant—with triplets. Her herd grew with the introduction of a buck and she also added some llamas as guard animals.  She loved it, homeschooling her toddlers and enjoying her farm chores. Things were fine on the land but not so good otherwise, and her marriage dissolved and so did her dream of farm ownership.

She went back to school and is currently pursuing her masters in teaching English as a second language. Working with some of Marshall’s foreign students, she took one to visit Stephanie Pauley’s Rowdy Acres and introduced one Chinese woman from Beijing to another side of American life. Hollie says so many of the foreign students think of America as McDonalds and malls and getting them out to the farms is one way to help them to connect to nature as well as the reality of where food is produced.

And then one of her friends told her that another friend had the opportunity to take a trip of her dreams, a cruise that she had always wanted to enjoy. Only problem was who would take care of the goats, pigs, ducks and chickens. No problem! Hollie to the rescue!Vaida and Sophia

More people have begun to make inquiries as the concept of a vacation relief has become a possibility here in the tri-state area. Also to be considered are shorter trips out of town when someone has a family emergency.

Each Farm Sitting would require individual arrangements depending on the number of animals involved and other duties as well as distance and if it is during the school year or vacation time for her son and daughter. To contact Hollie call 304-710-8414 and check out her Facebook Page, Farmless Farmer, at

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