This farm venture has been so revealing and continues to amaze me. We thought when we started that if it worked that we’d be a forever farm-life-family and accepted that it had a big chance of failing. Here we are with our farm for sale not due to failure, but because we can’t keep up with it. It’s not that easy for us to keep our business this small. Our region is incredibly supportive of independent specialty stores and restaurants, just the type of places we personally love to support, and it doesn’t feel right to have to be so selective in who we supply.
But, the idea of going bigger seems like it may stretch us beyond what we want for our family. We started the farm so our family could be closer, and it has done that and a lot of more (our little cauldron of weakness highlighter and relationship maker). But, after the honeymoon, real farm life loses some of its romance and naturally and especially for children, interests change. Keeping the same closeness as we’ve grown already has become more challenging.
I’ve always operated to know what direction I’m going so I can have maximum planning and control along the way. Planning and control are good qualities for business operations and making a living. Hard headed goats, weather, growing kids, machinery, cheese fermentation, and so on have helped me change my reliance on control and planning and realize that when relationships are the main goal that control and planning mean very little and other qualities are more valuable. It takes effort, but I’m getting better at going with the flow and trusting. So being led to the idea of selling the farm, we’ve jumped without any expectation of what will happen. It wasn’t an easy decision to make.
Although it’s hard to imagine the other side, I’m excited at the idea of downsizing on my work schedule and the opportunity for us to travel and have flexibility. I’m sure I’ll wear the relief and be more present. But also, I know I’ll be sad to leave the farm…I love working outside (most of the year), using nature to make something, creating something from scratch, and the occasional “I don’t like goat cheese but yours is wow good.” Connecting as a family while farming has a lot of potential but just may not be the right thing now for right now us. I’m ok with this and see this step will help towards a part of masculinity that I need improvement in…being selfless.
We’re confident though that what does happen will be the right next step regardless. Just the jump already has provided so much clarity. Who knows, we may find a new way to connect our family and grow the farm to the next level!