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