Avoiding Burnout

Two of my favorite podcasters, John at Growing Farms Podcast and Ethan at The Beginning Farmer, have both recently taken extended breaks from podcasting and both have discussed how close they have recently come to giving up farming. And a few of my favorite bloggers (you know who you are) have scaled back their farming/homesteading this year. They’re helping to remind me of the risk of burnout.

We’re producing way more food this year than we can eat or sell. We enjoy giving food to the local food bank, and we’ve been giving them plenty this year, but even that isn’t an adequate outlet for all of our excess. And, of course, giving away our produce isn’t a sustainable economic model.

I love working outside and I love growing food. But I can’t keep up with all of our gardens in the summer without neglecting the rest of the farm.

I’m going to finish out this year as planned. But when winter finally settles things down around here I’m going to carefully reassess what we’re doing. I don’t plan to ever stop growing our own food. We are homesteaders first and foremost. That won’t change. But I’m seriously wondering whether it makes sense for us to keep trying to grow food for so many other people as well.

In the meantime, we’re going to market tomorrow with more produce than we’ve ever taken before. I’m not burned out yet.