Thursday, December 15, 2011

The end of the year

The end of the year is coming up quickly and soon it will be 2012.  At the beginning of 2011, we had a 2 year old and a 5 month old....and now we have a very verbal and opinionated 3 year old and a very busy 16 month old.  As well as an almost 14-week old baby in my belly.

And of course at the end of the year, I can't help but think about where we are in our "plans" and where we want to go.  In the spring, Jason and I thought that he should go back to school and get his teaching credential.  But as the school year loomed closer, he and I kept thinking that maybe that wasn't the path that he should take and it wasn't exactly right.  So he started thinking again and un-enrolled at the university.

Now he has something that he's actively researching and trying to find the right option: interning/working at an organic farm next year and eventually starting our own small place.  Jason loves working outdoors and since he's interested in good food and healthy farming practices, it seems that this would be a good fit for him.  We also want to move back down to California to be closer to his family so the kids can be around their great-grandparents more.  We are also looking at options in Oregon and Washington (close to my family) as well, since you need to keep the options open.

Of course this whole idea is proving more difficult than first imagined.  We of course knew that switching careers would mean a drop in pay, but it seems that most farms, large or small, think that farm workers can survive on, not kidding, $400 a month and free produce.  So we are actively praying for a great situation to come up that pays more than that and would welcome a small family to join their business.  Of course we're not expecting much moola, but seriously....$400 a month?  Even if he was still a single college student, $400 wouldn't go very far. 

Our other option is to just find a job to pay the bills back down in California (hopefully) and then buy our own house with an acre or so and start practicing gardening and small-scale farming/raising chickens and maybe goats.  Of course this is also easier said than done since California isn't exactly the promised land when it comes to job openings right now.  The good thing is that if we could find a job, houses are rather inexpensive right now due to the recession (!).

And without saying, all of this is a big deal for me (I don't always deal with change gracefully; but I am excited about Jason's ideas and plans).  Not completely, mind-blowing scary, since we're from California, but just slightly so since Jason has such a wonderful job right now and doesn't want to give that up for something that may not pan out.

So we're just looking and praying quite a bit.  Trying to come up with what we want to do "when we grow up" is taking us a little longer than others, but I think we're getting there.


Elissa said...

Clay is always dreaming and talking about being a full time farmer. So far we have plans for a vineyard, Christmas tree farm, orchard, grove of sugar maples for syrup, and milk cows/chicken/beef/garden for our own consumption. Maybe someday we'll find a way to support a family on all of that... I'm sure you guys will find something that works perfectly for your family!

Aunt Cheryl said...

I agree with Elissa -- our hopes and dreams are sometimes slow in coming but I know you will find a way. God has so many things in store for each of us that we don't know about (and it's a good thing we don't, sometimes). Prayers that you will make the "right" decisions all the while remembering it takes $$ to raise 3 kids even though you are so creative! Love to you and glad we could see you at Christmas.

Janae said...

I would love to do this to! The physical demands for me are unrealistic though.

There's a lot of small farms in the outskirts of the bay area. As well as little diaries and creameries. Many people I know make it a point to buy organic and local. It seems like it keeps growing around here because there's a pretty big demand for it.

The more people think about their food, the larger the demand will become. I'll be praying for you!