specifically operate a small family farm
that would connect the farmer with other
families. It was all about relationships,
meeting people’s primary need for wholesome food, and reaching people with the
Gospel. It didn’t take long for God to
burden our hearts with the knowledge that
it wasn’t just a calling for my husband and
me; it was a calling for our whole family.
Initially, we attempted to keep our life
divided into neat little packages. School
was something that was in its own block of
time and was given the royal blessing of
being “a time when learning happened.”
How narrow our vision was!
A farm like ours that deals directly with
the consumer on a regular basis is truly a
microcosm of the larger business world.
Incorporated into our daily lives are not
just animal care and maintenance of the
farm and its grounds; we also are faced
with marketing, accounting, and customer
service issues, as well as the challenge of
keeping abreast of the legal and political
forces that are shaping our world and business. How blessed our family is to have
built-in internships for our children in each
of these areas.
It is quite normal for the kids to go with
my husband when he is scheduled to meet
up with those who get food from our farm.
On these outings, the kids have the opportunity to sell eggs and work with money,
exemplify a servant’s attitude in helping
load a person’s order into his or her car, and
extend hospitality through a warm greeting
and inquiry into how an individual’s family
is doing. Also, as we hear of other families’
struggles, it’s a wonderful opportunity to
reinforce with our children the power and
effectiveness of prayer.
Back on the farm, stewardship of all
that God has provided is taught daily. It
may be through tending to the family
garden and then preparing these foods for
winter storage. It may come in the form of
feeding and watering the animals each and
every day in order to keep them healthy
and strong. At other times, it is the
cleaning of the barn and equipment to keep
it in working order.
Last fall, my husband was asked to
provide testimony before the Joint
Committee on Agriculture for our state, in
regard to the demand and profitability of
farms that have direct consumer contact.
Our children were afforded the opportunity
to see the state capitol from an insider’s
point of view, witness actual proceedings
Excellent customer service is the
beginning of our Christian testimony.
our family is to have built-in
internships for our children.
of our politicians in their elected roles,
and see that a small local farmer like their
dad can make a difference. Of course, on
the trip home, this opened the door for a
very thorough discussion about how laws
are made, how politicians get elected, the
powers of the different branches of
government, and how the average citizen
can get involved. What a day of
learning—and we never opened a book.
However, when we got back to “school,”
the children had a whole new perspective
as we went back into studying our
nation’s history. It all became so real!
After having worked side by side with
us on the farm for the last couple of years,
our girls, Rucia, 11, and Michaela, 10, are
beginning their own farm-related businesses. Rucia has decided to raise goats
and sheep. Her business will require a
daily commitment to animal care, finan- Tending to God’s bounty
cial planning and budgeting to feed her
animals, and eventually marketing them
for sale. Michaela has decided to follow
her natural flair for beauty. She and I have
been working at remodeling the original
milk house on the farm into her new facilities for her natural milk-based soap and
body products. Her business venture will
require the creation of the initial products
to be sold, labeling and packaging designs,
marketing and sales, and product pricing.
Her new line should be available this fall.
Our boys are on the horizon. Zechariah,
8, works side by side with his dad. He is
learning the daily operations of farm life