The only way out is through.

This week’s newsletter is straight from the farmer’s heart…  

Farming is not for the faint of heart.   I am discovering that you have to be a little bit crazy to be a farmer and by crazy I mean you have to love what you do because farming is not easy (it’s a labor of love).   It is probably one of the riskiest jobs a person can do. Putting all your cards on the table season after season only to go along with what mother nature brings… where nothing is a sure thing. What is easy is the romantic picture of a farm and a farmer’s life. It’s easy to paint a picture of this romantic notion of the two farmers who are married and farm together and live this lifestyle that we’re all trying to get back to. Farming is romantic to us, not because it’s the dream life, but because farming is what brought us together in the first place.. our goals of feeding the community the best possible food and doing the hardwork it takes to make it happen is our version of romantic.. #thebloodsweatandtears kind of romance.

Most older generations who grew up on farms will tell you they left their family farms because the work was hard and that they could make more money doing something else that didn’t require so many hours of physical labor, while enjoying the modern conveniences of living close to the stores, the lifestyle, the weekends off etc. Most people left the country to go to the city for a better lifestyle, a better wage, and better opportunities.


Nothing about farming is “easy” and there sure are a lot of parts that aren’t “dreamy”.. the long days, shifts in the weather, a rainy season, a drought, the mountains of things to achieve each day, the things that come up unexpectedly and that can’t wait, putting the farm first before yourself and often before family & friends, and visits with those family and friends aren’t really possible during the growing unless somebody’s there willing to lend a hand because there never seem to be enough hours in the day.

Farmer’s also educate.  Informing the community and the consumer about why they should support the farm and why they should buy local and why buying food direct from the farmer costs more than the food at the grocery store… fielding questions all the time because education is a huge component of what we do and why do we do the things that we do – to feed the community well.  One things for sure it’s not the big ol’ paycheck….

Feeding our community is a huge responsibility and a privilege and an honor. Our days are purposeful .. brimming with purpose and hard work.. every decision we make impacts hundreds of people, the land, the soil etc and it truly is an amazing gift to be a farmer.  There is freedom in being your own boss, being solely devoted to one piece of land, understanding and working with nature, working with the livestock , providing for your community in a meaningful way and through it all learning more about yourself and how to be a better person and farmer.


Owning and running a farm is like one giant puzzle and if you really like the challenge of decoding said giant puzzle with a guaranteed lifetime of challenge, growth and learning then perhaps maybe you too could be a farmer.  In order to succeed you need to keep a child like faith and to be inspired by this puzzle.  Never let it weigh you down or fill you with fear because it will swallow you whole.  You will be challenged each and everyday.  Take a step back and change your perspective.  Don’t be afraid to look at something closely to understand what’s really going on.   Because let me tell you every season is different.. whether it’s a change in the weather, a whole new experience that pops up, or a disease is carried in on the wind..  a whole crop or years worth of work and preparation could be gone.. in an instant.  You will need this child like faith and the challenge of this lifelong puzzle to pull you out from any obstacle that may come up.  Otherwise you will feel as though all is for not and grow bitter and resentful… The “I get to’s,” “I can do this” – the positivity, the challenge and the change of perspective makes farming a life worth living for us!

We’ve been tested to the limit this season as it has been the hardest season yet .. it has challenged us more mentally and physically than any other year.  Working in the oppressive heat and drought for months on end is not something anyone can get used to.   Besides ourselves, we also learned that most plants don’t do well in that kind of weather either and that we had to work twice as hard (and water twice as much) just to have all the produce we’ve had in seasons past.  *even tomatoes eggplants and peppers and other hot season crops get stressed in the hot weather and drop their flowers which could mean a whole succession of fruit will be lost.*  As a result we learned SO MUCH.  We learned more about irrigation than ever before, we learned what the plants really need in a time of stress, how to work around the sun with out a complete meltdown etc… all while trying to find and maintain a sense of balance within our own selves, as individual people.


In these times we struggle to find balance.   And yet we get up every day willing (and freely so) to do it all over again because we can’t imagine doing anything else …because of the challenge, the puzzle, the drive, the passion, the pride, that child like faith and the result: the amazing food that we believe in and are feeding our community with, and the idea that we are leaving this land and its soils better off for generations to come.. For all those reasons it is all worth it.   I only share with you the struggles now so that you may get a greater understanding of what it takes to be a farmer.   We hear so much of the time “oh you guys live the dream #dreamlife/ I wish I had your lifestyle..” Well, if you’re crazy enough to do it you will find a way and you too will find out that it’s going to take a lifetime to learn everything a farm and the land will have to teach you. That lifelong puzzle.  I realize the older you get the less you know and it truly is a humbling experience. The farm has taught me more about that than anyone can ever know.

These experiences good or bad give me a chance to change my perspective.. to get a greater understanding of myself and how to make things better.  To be kinder to myself, to let go more easily and to just be in the moment.  Being a farmer there is no other choice.. the only way out is through.  All of these things are easy to say aloud but sometimes, through trying times, they’re not as easy to live by and for that I am grateful to work with my favorite person and my partner who is my strength when I feel let down or tired or happy and everything in between.   Together we ride, we endure and we thrive. We will continue to stride ahead, to enjoy the challenge of this amazing puzzle and boldly go where every farmer has gone before.


With kindest regards,

your crazy farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts