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Daffodil Hill farm is still a work in progress, but its signature femininity is unabashed.
She only keeps Sebastopol geese, which have voluminous curly feathers.
She was heartbroken when she woke up one morning to find a raccoon had killed all 11 of her quail; she’d unwittingly housed them in a coop with holes that were too large. Keiser makes about a third of her former six-figure PR salary picking up graphic design clients from home, and selling milk and cheese at the local markets, and "can't remember the last time I shopped for something luxurious or even had a real facial." Cimini's income is under ,000 a year now, compared to her pre-farm ,000.
And when she accidentally bought a rooster (a male, as opposed to the female hen she thought she was taking home), he attacked her from behind so fiercely, she thought she’d been shot. But, both say, the money they do have is spent more meaningfully.
Four years ago, Julie Ann “Jake” Keiser was a self-described workaholic.
She owned her own public relations firm in Tampa Bay, Florida, and earned a six-figure salary. So Keiser, 43, bought a farm in Oxford, Mississippi, where she now lives and makes her living. “I wake up to either the sun or the animals yelling at me,” she says.
She’s delivered a set of slimy baby goat twins on her own in the middle of the night.
Pre-farm, “I was just going through the motions,” she says. “One minute, you're hysterical on the floor because one animal wasn't strong enough and passed away and then, the next day, you rescue an orphaned baby goat, and he's lying in bed with you with a diaper on, and you now are his mother.”Still, somebody told her, “You're not going to find a guy who wants to get so involved in your life that he has to deal with all these animals nonstop,’” Cimini recalls.
Her husband, Len, who moved to the farm to be with her a year and half ago, wasn’t deterred.
For her and many of Instagram’s #Girl Farmers, who leave their fabulous city hustles for slower, simpler, and much more Instagrammable lives, hatching flourishing farms without a man’s help feels like an empowering exercise in independence.
#Girl Farmers have become a sisterhood: They forge friendships online, and swap tips on how to milk a goat or build a chicken coop, applying that same ambition that made them so successful in their past city lives to farming.