I quit my office job to start a farm


If I knew then what I know now, I would not have got into this. The level of complexity, I just could not possibly have anticipated but being naive was what allowed us to get to where we are. Let’s go. Let’s go.
Let’s go down to the parrots. Before I was working at a desk, commuting, a lot of time spent sitting at computers. Yeah, I just wanted to do something that was… just felt more worthwhile, and more kind of impactful in the world and farming really felt like the right place to be. We started Brightside after we’d been traveling overseas. We spent a lot of time working on different farms in North America and in Europe and we kind of realised that there was this alternative life outside the 9-to-5. alternative life outside the 9-to-5. For as long as I can remember I’ve just wanted to live out of the city, we were just trying to work out how we were gonna do it. Like, we didn’t want to be like so many other people who buy a property out in the country and then commute into town. We just took the plunge — we bought this piece of land, we quit our jobs. It was kind of a very scary but very exciting time.
It has been more challenging here than we could have anticipated. It has been more challenging here than we could have anticipated. This is not agricultural area, this is not vegetable-growing area — but this is the area that I grew up in. It gets very cold here in the winter, down to kind of minus 13, it can be very, very, very hot in summer. So yes, there’s lots of challenges growing here and we’ve questioned our decision to do this here, a lot. My favourite thing about running a farm is definitely that I get to eat the best produce. I have a kind of unlimited supply of beautiful, fresh veggies to use. I go down and walk around my own personal supermarket and pick out what I want to eat. I didn’t anticipate all of the hats I was gonna end up wearing doing this. Like, I didn’t anticipate that I would have to be head of marketing and, you know, head of HR, and learn how to run a business. To me it was just this fantasy, you know. Yes, my love. You’re leaving? Living and working in the same place, it can be really hard, in that it’s very, very hard to switch off especially when you can look out the window and you can see the unending list of jobs that needs to get done. We’ve had to work hard over the years to draw a line and say, ‘This is a day off’. And a big part of that for us has been having kids. That’s forced us to sort of say, ‘This is work time and this is family time’. What have we gained? So much time together as a family, growing up, like raising our kids together. I feel like the kids, they have a high level of freedom. I really appreciate the time we have to spend as a family. Sometimes you have moments that are particularly challenging when you sort of think what am I doing? Why am I doing this? But I think, on the whole, we always sort of reach the end of each season thinking, ‘Gosh, that was really tiring but it was definitely worth it’. It was definitely a crazy decision in hindsight but one that I don’t regret making at all.

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