Friday, September 28, 2012

Important Career Change for Our Family

Hello Everyone

It’s been a little while since I updated this blog. But this has been for good reason due to some major changes in our life, the farm, and our schedule. So, I wanted to take some time and inform you of what’s going on around here.

I’ve been farming for nearly 5 years now full-time and have built, along with my wife, our business from the ground up. They’ve been good years with many memories and life lessons, many of which I’ll probably remember all my life.

But there have also been a lot of challenges with it, too. Many of which are just part of starting any new business and some are particular to farming, with its fluctuation in the growing conditions and yields. And these struggles – the down side of farming – have gotten to the point where Monique and I, after months of thinking and praying about it, have come to the following conclusion: Once the this year’s CSA is over, we’re taking a break from all farming for the indefinite future. I know this may be surprising to you; it’s not at all how we anticipated our life dream going. But the reasons that have led us to this hard decision are three fold and listed below.

- Not Enough Time with Family – The amount of time necessary to successfully run your own farm/business can be ridiculous and un-conducive for a young family. I often leave for the field, including Saturdays, before the children are up, get done sometime in the afternoon with field work, spend a little time with the family over supper, and then have to put in an hour or two of desk work before bed. And I’m not interested in any job that doesn’t allow enough time for my wife and children. Maybe when the children are older and we can work more together, the schedule will workout better. One thing I will say, though, that has been nice is the ability to drop in at the house briefly a couple times throughout the day as I pick something up, etc.

- Insufficient Income – We all know it takes a certain amount of money to keep a household operating. It’s possible to cut corners, be frugal, and not spend as much as some people, but at the end of the day it still takes a certain amount to pay the bills. And with both last year and this year being bad ones financially for us, we’ve hit the point of needing a more consistent, higher income than farming is paying right now, especially with a growing family.

- Burnt-out – And the last main reason is… I’m worn out. The amount of time, widely fluctuating income, large expenses, and stress I can’t take anymore for the next while.

Someday, I want to get back into farming because I think it’s a good, honorable profession and I enjoy it overall. But we don’t feel this is the best season of life for it.

My plans for the next while are to work a fulltime, warehouse job I took a month ago with a food company that my brother and several friends work for and one of the owners is an elder at our church. It’s a very different job than I’m used to – putting together orders of frozen food in an area that is dimly light and 100 degrees colder than the summer heat (10 degrees below zero)! But to my surprise, it’s not as cold as it sounds when bundled up, and I’m really enjoying it! And a bonus already of the job is we already have more time as a family because when I leave work I’m done working for the day and can focus more on my home.

The farm is now being managed by my younger brother, Philip, who’s worked with me since day one. And he’s doing an excellent job! We’re buying in the majority of the CSA produce from other farmers who don’t use chemical sprays, as well as still growing some ourselves.

So, we want to say a big thank you to all of you who have been part of our farm! Really, it’s been everyone who's bought from us that’s kept our dream going the last number of years. We’ve enjoyed the ride! It’s been a blessing getting to know many of you and having your support, especially those of you who’ve been with us multiple years. So, if possible, we’d like to encourage you to keep buying locally, whether it’s from a farm, a farmers’ market, or a CSA – your support does make a difference!

Jonathan and Monique Einwechter
Elise, Jon David, and Titus

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our New Baby!

Saturday morning, my faithful wife gave birth to our 3rd child - a big boy! He weighed 9 lbs, and was 21 inches long. We named him Titus Dietrich Einwechter - Titus after the faithful servent of the Lord in the Bible, and Dietrich after Dietrich Bonhoeffer who refused to yield to the Nazi governments intrusion into the churches true doctrine during World War 2.  
May little Titus live up to his name by God's grace!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Food Highlight: Beets, Part 2

Here are some tasty looking beet recipes I've found:

Beet Chips
Grilled Beets with Dilled Cucumbers
Roasted Beets with Mint Yogurt Sauce
Decadent Beet and Chocolate Cake

Interested in some further reading? This website has some facinating information, check out the history of beets, learn some fun facts, and read up on the health benefits! Also, take advantage of the beet stain removal tips at the bottom of this page.

Do you have a favorite way to eat beets? Do you prefer the tops or the roots?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pork and Vegetables are Growing Well!

. This year, we decided to add hogs back into our operation, and we have really enjoyed it! During Jonathan's first year of farming, he raised pigs, chickens, beef and produce. But over the next several years we decided it would be better to try and focus on produce growing - until this past spring.

Lazy days - the pigs are hot!

We've fed a lot of scrap produce to the pigs this year, which they love.

The pigs live in a three sided barn, receiving plenty of fresh air
and sunshine through the open side of the barn.  

We've been sending the hogs to the processor recently, so we now have a large supply of great tasting pork for sale - sausage, bacon, chops, shoulder roast, spare ribs and more. Check out our price and availability list by clicking here if you will pick up in Wayne and here for Lititz.

Transplanting! My brothers Samuel, Noah, and Timothy love helping Jon in the field.
You may recall us using the lettuce planter earlier this year. It is a wonderful labor and time saving device.

Red leaf lettuce growing in double sided plastic - black on the underside and white on top. This is to help reflect the heat and keep the lettuce from becoming bitter and bolting (seeding), since lettuce is a cool weather crop and can't take the summer heat.

The broccoli is doing okay this year. They' producing smaller heads than hoped for but hopefully you'll all get a taste of it.

Pepper plants.

The tomato plants are blooming and have a few green tomatoes now.

There's a lot of produce to pick! I guess I'd better get picking....

... and pulling weeds.

But after awhile, I need something to eat - one of the first carrots out of the patch will do!

We have had a lot of garlic scapes coming in this year.

Before we give the salad mix, we wash and spin it dry.

Some of our field hands who do a lot of work on the farm. If it wasn't for them we wouldn't be able to operate our farm.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Food Highlight: Beets, Part 1

photo credit: dichohecho

With their distinctive earthy flavor and brilliant colors, beets make a beautiful and unique addition to any culinary fare. Beets are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean area [1] and it is thought that originally beet roots were not eaten and that the leaves were used for medicinal purposes, treating complications such as fevers, constipation, wounds and other ailments [2].

My mom's been up visiting from Tennessee and yesterday she made this tasty dish for lunch.
I hope you enjoy it too!

1 bunch beet greens, cut into bite size squares
4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 bunch (4-6) spring onions, sliced
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
5-10 oz. Mushroom, sliced

With kitchen shears cut beet greens into bite sized squares. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic. Add the beet greens once the garlic has begun to swell and before it browns. Cook 1 min. Add sliced mushrooms. As the greens and mushrooms begin to get tender add sliced spring onions. Cover with a lid and cook 2 minutes. Add sea salt to taste.
Serve over brown rice, pasta or as a side dish.

Here are two other recipes I've found:
Beet Greens with Bacon

Pasta with Beet Greens, Blue Cheese and Hazelnuts

How do you serve your beets greens?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Food Highlight: Garlic Scapes

photo credit:

A tall, spindling shoot growing from the midst of the garlic leaves and curling around it self near the top, a garlic scape is the flowering stem of hard neck garlic. The scapes are removed to redirect the plants energy towards growing the garlic bulb, instead of new seed. Crisp and refreshing, the scape brings a slightly milder garlic flavor than the garlic bulb still growing beneath the soil.

Here are a few garlic scape recipes:

What are your plans for enjoying your garlic scapes?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Menu Plan: Simplicity

 photo credit:cosmic kitty/

 This week my focus with meals is simplicity. I'm gearing up for a big cooking/baking/freezing day to get a months' worth of breakfasts and lunches set aside for Jon. Below is my menu plan for this week.

 - Garlic Scape Pesto over Egg Noodles with Caesar Salad
 - Lemon & Garlic Scape Salad with Radish Butter on Toasted Baguette
 - Radish Greens Soup (we really enjoyed this last week- reminded us of cream of broccoli soup)
 - Tossed Cold Noodle Salad with Sugar Peas and Spring Onions

How about you? What are you planning to make with your produce this week?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Food Highlight: Radishes

Photo Credit: Teodora Vlaicu/Stock.Xchng

Red, pink, purple, white – radishes come in a variety of colors, but all are fairly well known for their pungent, peppery flavor and generally make their appearance as salad toppings in American food culture.

Radishes contain amalyse, an enzyme that helps to break down carbohydrates, as well as fiber, minerals such as magnesium, calcium, folate and manganese. They also are a source of vitamin C, which is a water soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body and thus must be replenished daily.

Here is a collection of radish recipes:

Radish Greens Soup (just had this last night - it was amazingly good!)
Radish Butter on Toasted Baguette
Feta-Radish Spread
Hardcooked Eggs with Radishes & Anchovy-Butter Crostini
Radishes & Flavored Butters

I tweaked the feta-radish spread a little bit, instead of adding greek yogurt I used heavy cream and just added enough to make the mixture nice and spreadable then I tossed in some chicken. We rolled the feta-radish-chicken spread in wraps with lots of lettuce and had them for supper. Wow, were they good!

How are you using your radishes? Any particular recipe you are wanting to try?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Menu Plan: May 21-27, 2012

This week I'm starting up my spring menu planning, which for me contains two important elements. The first is to enjoy the produce coming in from the field and the second is to use up the odds and ends sitting in the cupboards and deep freezer - sort of like spring cleaning to make way for all the food I hope to preserve this summer/fall.


Green Smoothies with lettuce, frozen rhubarb and frozen bananas (milk base) & Eggs

Strawberry Muesli


Radish Greens Soup & Salad

Spring Onion Soup with Sausage and Potatoes & Rhubarb Float with Buttermilk Sorbet

Chicken Wraps with Feta-Radish spread.

Taco Salad

Salad with Mackerel Patties

Garlic Scape Pesto over Egg Noodles

What are your plans for using your produce?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May Update

Hello Everyone!
We've been busy planting and preparing for the start of the CSA coming up in a week!
The plantlings are doing nicely; thankfully they've adapted well to an early warm spell followed by a late cold season.

Lettuce, waiting to be transplated.
We've planted at least 12,000 heads of lettuce so far this spring.

The garlic we planted last fall is doing beautifully;
right now we are on track to harvest the bulbs this July.

Our potato patch after the frost -
partially killed by the cold but thankfully rebounding.


My brother, Samuel, is staying with us for a few months this spring/early summer as an apprentice on the farm. He wants to farm for a living, although he's leaning more towards animal husbandry rather than produce cultivation. We are working on teaching him a bit about the business aspects of the farm as well, such as accounting.

Beautiful salad mix!

Our buck kid, whom Elise fondly calls "Bebe".
 She loves feeding him dandelions and maple leaves,
as well as refilling his water bucket which he frequently spills.

Trixie, our dairy goat given to us by my parents.
The children both seem to be handling goat milk better than cow milk.
Elise and Jon David love having animals. Between taking care of the goats and "maaa"ing at our landlord's sheep they are having a ball!

~Monique Einwechter

Monday, March 19, 2012

CSA Signup Time! The Growing Season is Starting!

Spring is here on the farm! We've been putting in quite a bit of time into the field recently, as you can see below.
Also, if you haven't already done so, it's time to signup for our CSA! Being part of our CSA is a great way to get chemical-free, fresh, local produce each week all summer long. We still have shares available for this season and would love to have you be part of our farm. To get more info and see the short video CNN did on us, click here.

It's time to till up the ground! This spring warmth and dryness has been especially early, making it nice to plant.

Timothy secures the irrigation tape on the plastic mulch layer so we'll be able to water th plants in the summer if needed.

I'll have to admit, my younger brother, Philip, lays a straighter plastic row than I do, so I usually have him do it, which he of course likes.

We used to do transplanting by hand, but that was before we started renting this machine!

Instead of pushing yourself along on the ground, all you have to do is sit back in your "easy chair" and put the plants in the machine made and watered holes. Well, it's not all that easy, but it's a world better than most of the other alternatives!

We can plant 2000-3000 plants an hour with this!

On this particular day we planted around 3000 heads of lettuce.

Yes, technology, if  used properly, is a great thing!

We also planted 300lbs of potatoes (nearly 1 mile of row) in 1/2 an hour.
(Photo from 2011)

We're raising our own pigs this year! Hogs are a lot of fun to raise, though they eat you out of house and home if you let them.

So, to help compensate with this, we're trying to feed them as much of our scrap produce as possible. Another benefit of this system, in addition to healthier pork, is all our leftover and scrap vegetables can be turned into great tasting bacon and sausage!

A few of our seeds...

Elise loves to help where she can!

Our family - I love them!
So thank you for supporting us in the life we love - being a family and farming!
Hope to see you before long as the produce grows and the CSA gets under way!