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Farm Work in Maine

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“These pitchforks aren’t used for hay,” J joked ominously as he handed over the quintessential tool of the farmer.

He proved to be correct.

I then began shoveling shit for my travel money.

Literally: I was shoveling shit.

I often jest that working crappy jobs for your travel funds is the equivalent of shoveling shit. I have said that I was “shoveling shit” when working archaeology, gardening, copy editing, and a plethora of other professions, but now I was really shoveling shit.

I was knee deep in it within a pig sty. Three little piggies were in there with me, too. They were biting at my boots and pant legs to check my edibility. As I did not wish for them to mistake me for their lunch, I struck back with the blunt side of the pitchfork. They tried eating that, too.

I swore at the little piggies. I took faux kicks at their little piggy heads. They continued trying to retaste me, perhaps to see if I became edible since their last nibble. I swore a lot.

This farm work was turning out to be one shitty way to make up my bean money.

I look over at J. He was in the pig sty with me and the hungry little piggies. He was smiling a big smile as he stood ankle deep in shit, just shoveling away, enjoying the day.

A pig came from behind and I turned quick and gently booted him. I believe I threatened to buy and then eat him.

In the moment, I figured that this was the worst possible thing that I could yell at a quickly growing pig.

He obviously took my taunt as a challenge, and tried again to taste me.

I kicked at him again, and swore some more.

J was still smiling. Shoveling shit. What was wrong with this guy?

How did I end up here, standing ankle deep in shit with someone this weird?

———-

While washing vegetables my first day on the farm I asked J what he got his university degree in. He said photo journalism.

He then asked me what I got my university degree in. I said Ethnographic Journalism.

We looked around at the barn, the fields, and the dirty vegetables in the water basin in front of us. It is safe to say that our wide-eyed uni-journalist dreams did not position us in the boots we were now standing in: as farmers in Maine.

You get the path you walk.

Shoveling shit for travel funds

How to make money to travel project

  • How to make Money to Travel
  • Gardening in Maine – part I
  • Work for Travel Money at Labor Ready
  • Farm Work for Travel Funds
  • How to save money to travel
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Filed under: Farming, Maine, USA, Work

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap