What It's Like To...

What it's Like to Start a Farm

July 20, 2022 Elizabeth Pearson Garr Season 3 Episode 6
What it's Like to Start a Farm
What It's Like To...
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What It's Like To...
What it's Like to Start a Farm
Jul 20, 2022 Season 3 Episode 6
Elizabeth Pearson Garr

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Have you ever wanted to sell your house and buy a farm? After listening to Zach Gobeil describe his adventurous lifestyle, you might be tempted to. Zach, a science teacher turned farmer, stay-at-home dad, and Instagram influencer, took the risk of moving with his wife and newborn son onto a farm in New Hampshire during the pandemic.

In this episode, Zach explains the value of taking risks and the importance of making time to appreciate passions.

- What inspired him to start a farm (1:00)
- What is Aquaponics (6:32)
- How to make New Hampshire maple syrup (8:55)
- A day in the life on the farm (16:40)
- Life as a stay-at-home dad (22:03)
- Instagram quotes from New England Dad (26:18)
- Maintaining personal passions with kids and the farm (30:47)

Although it can be scary to try something new, Zach’s advice is simple: take chances and you will figure things out. He is chasing his dream so that his kids will be inspired to chase theirs.

Want to know more about Zach?

  • Find him on Instagram: smokyvalleyfarms
  • And another Instagram account: new_england_dad
  • Tweet him:  @New_England_Dad

Want to know more about The Experience Podcast?

  • Sign up to be on our Insiders' List to receive our newsletters and insiders' information! Go to theexperiencepodcast.net (sign-ups are at the bottom of the page)
  • Follow us on social media:

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Have you ever wanted to sell your house and buy a farm? After listening to Zach Gobeil describe his adventurous lifestyle, you might be tempted to. Zach, a science teacher turned farmer, stay-at-home dad, and Instagram influencer, took the risk of moving with his wife and newborn son onto a farm in New Hampshire during the pandemic.

In this episode, Zach explains the value of taking risks and the importance of making time to appreciate passions.

- What inspired him to start a farm (1:00)
- What is Aquaponics (6:32)
- How to make New Hampshire maple syrup (8:55)
- A day in the life on the farm (16:40)
- Life as a stay-at-home dad (22:03)
- Instagram quotes from New England Dad (26:18)
- Maintaining personal passions with kids and the farm (30:47)

Although it can be scary to try something new, Zach’s advice is simple: take chances and you will figure things out. He is chasing his dream so that his kids will be inspired to chase theirs.

Want to know more about Zach?

  • Find him on Instagram: smokyvalleyfarms
  • And another Instagram account: new_england_dad
  • Tweet him:  @New_England_Dad

Want to know more about The Experience Podcast?

  • Sign up to be on our Insiders' List to receive our newsletters and insiders' information! Go to theexperiencepodcast.net (sign-ups are at the bottom of the page)
  • Follow us on social media:

Support the Show.

Zach  0:07  

We have two boys and we call them our human  it's like they're up before the chickens. I feel like so. I mean, some days I'm out there at like 515 Just because I want to get an elbow up.

Elizabeth  0:23  

Starting a small family farm was a dream for Zach Gobeil and his wife, but it isn't always easy. I'm Elizabeth Pearson gar. And on this episode of The Experience podcast, Zach gives us an insider's look at creating the farm, as well as life as a stay at home dad, and as the creator of his popular Instagram page, New England Dad. 

Hi, Zach, thanks so much for making the time to be on my podcast. I'm excited to talk to you.

Zach  0:53  

Thanks for having me.

Elizabeth  0:54  

Yeah, I think you have a really interesting story that I'd love to hear more about. I don't know if a lot of people would go and buy a piece of property and start making a farm out of it and raise a couple of kids there. So what inspired you to to do this,

Zach  1:08  

um, I think it's something that's always been in the back of my wife and I's mind. We've been together since we got out of college. We're both originally from New Hampshire. And we're living in Massachusetts at the time. And it was kind of always one of those, like, we'll move back to New Hampshire eventually. And the pandemic happened. And we were home with our son full time for a long time. And we actually have a little cabin up in the mountains on the other side of the state. And we were up there so much. And we just kind of said, like, besides work, why are we living here? We decided to make the change. And we're lucky my wife's parents live two towns over so about a half an hour away. Oh, that's great. Especially with little Yeah, so that's nice. So they take the kids like once a week, and

Elizabeth  2:01  

yeah, so what what were you looking for in a piece of property,

Zach  2:05  

you know, when we moved back, we were thinking like 10 acres, just something to be able to do what we want in the future if we wanted to expand, but, you know, we weren't thinking anything big. And we ended up finding the place that we have now, which is close to 60 acres. Wow. And we didn't know we were looking for it. But when we found it, and we kind of just like fell in love with it, and were surrounded by Woods, we can't see anybody. And it's nice. You know, I think our dream more than anything than the farm was just to have our kids be able to kind of go outside and not hit a road if they didn't want to all day to just play in the woods and have that type of lifestyle. So I think even before the idea of the farm, we always kind of liked to like grow vegetables and things like that. But it was more of just like, how we wanted to raise our kids. For us. It works.

Elizabeth  3:01  

So what did it look like when you bought it compared to what it's like now? What have you done? Is I've seen your Instagram? Oh, yeah. It seems like you've done a lot on the farm side. And you've got ducks in Yeah, a lot of vegetables and fruits and all sorts of stuff.

Zach  3:17  

Yeah. So we probably bet off a little bit more than we could chew this year. But that's, that's kind of typical of may. But yeah, so we were almost here a year. Now. We moved in last August. And, you know, we kind of did everything in the spring, we actually did maple syrup in in March, which was awesome. That was so much fun. Definitely something that we're going to expand on in the future. And then we went into growing our seedlings, and we got ducks. And now we have chickens and we have rabbits. So we use the rabbits for like compost and they make good manure. So we have those three things going on right now. If I could go back in time, and probably not do one of them. It might be the ducks. The ducks are a little crazy for me, just the

Elizabeth  4:03  

personalities are there.

Zach  4:05  

They're very, they're just they have no shell to them as what I like to say. They're just like very flighty and, but they're good. So everything, everything's kind of smooth and out. And we have I think we have three gardens plus our flower garden. So we have four gardens going. One has like row crops with potatoes and corn in it. And then we have a lot of tomatoes and things like that. So I think next year, we'll probably like, try and keep it the same for a year, get better at what we're doing and not not add anything yet, because I think we could have probably done one animal this year and it still would have been a challenge and there's definitely some mornings that I wake up and I'm like, Oh, what did I get myself into? But you know, it's with any habit. It's one of those things that it gets easier but as much as I like to do it. There's definitely days where It still feels kind of like a job sometimes.

Elizabeth  5:03  

Yeah, I'm sure you've got chickens waking you up in the morning, probably. And yeah. So you said you like to garden earlier. But do you have other experience in doing all of this? Or have you been learning as you were growing?

Zach  5:15  

Yeah. So I, I grew up in a family that, you know, we like to say that food was like very important to us always kind of like a central theme in our family, we always ate dinner together every night, and my dad loves to cook and my dad always had a big garden, my parents worked a lot. They both have like pretty busy blue collar type of jobs. So they didn't really have the opportunity to do a lot outside of the norm. So I learned a lot from my dad from the gardening side. And now I'm like getting into animals, and they kind of can't believe my mom's definitely not like an animal person. They think it's funny. And so I taught science for five years elementary science, and in that I ran like a big school garden and started like learning about some aquaponics, which I want to get into in the future. And so it was definitely like, thing to do. While I kind of stayed home with the kids right now. I don't know whether in the future, I'll go back into teaching or we'll do some type of educational aspect with our farm or, you know, we're kind of taking that one day at a time right now and fortunate to be able to do so.

Elizabeth  6:33  

Can you describe what Aqua ponics is?

Zach  6:35  

Yeah, so it's, you work in with plants and fish at the same time. So to grow things like lettuce, and you kind of grow it in these trays that sit on top of the water, and the fish E and they poop and that water goes through like the filter, and then all those nutrients get into the water that the plants are in. So it's all like this continuous system. And you can do it inside, you'll obviously need like a greenhouse or a heated building, that you can grow a lot of produce in a small amount of space, doing stuff like that.

Elizabeth  7:14  

And it sounds really environmentally sound, you're not really using extra water and things right. Yep.

Zach  7:19  

So the water keeps getting filtered through, you're obviously using the electricity for the pumps and stuff like that. But yeah, it's very sustainable, you can eat the fish, depending on what type of fish you keep in there, we're a little more limited being in New England, and you definitely have to have a heated building or a greenhouse of some sort with the temperatures, because the water would be frozen.

Elizabeth  7:44  

Have you built new buildings on your property for different

Zach  7:49  

not yet. So we have big barn, kind of like a tractor barn, I put the brooder in there, which is like where the baby chicks go with the lamps and things. And I put the rabbits in there. But other than that, like our tractors in there and things like that. So I think eventually we think about either pigs or goats next, not next year, but in the future, like kind of like a five year plan. And once that happens, we'll build some type of little barn probably out back. Our house sits on like three open acres. And then we have like a five acre field in the back, which is where we want to, like put most of the animals eventually and then we have like woods with trails that we're going to clear some of it and we do logging to sow tree work and we heat our house predominantly with wood went through like four cords of wood last year. I'm the type of person that like you walk around less than I tell you what type of trees there are and that type of thing. So Mr. Nature guy. Yeah, I like it. I really like it.

Elizabeth  8:56  

I'm fascinated by the maple syrup. Did you know how to do that? I mean, you obviously must have a lot of maple trees. And can you walk me through that process? How

Zach  9:04  

that works? Yeah, so we have a ton of maple trees, we tapped about 100 maple trees. And that was like literally you could see him like with your eye out the window of the house. So we probably have in the 1000s of maple trees on our property which is crazy, low overwhelming to think about sometimes, like when you think about how much work goes into that. Yeah, we definitely sell like the access, then we want to do a little bit more but it's a ton of work and we had all the equipment. The guy who previously owned the house built the Sugar Shack at the bottom of the hill. So there's a boiler in there and everything and I bought a couple of books and just like kind of spent the winter researching and going down to the sugar shack and like inspecting everything and when it came time to do it. We did have to like kind of do some MacGyvering of So, you know, we definitely want to like improve on, you know, just the equipment we have and stuff, but everything worked out. And we have great Sarah, but we have a lot of it.

Elizabeth  10:11  

So what is I mean, I'm sorry to be sick. I will never say, when you say tapping a tree is a specific implement that you use, you get into the bark.

Zach  10:22  

Yep. So you got to like, I mean, in the old days, they use handrails, but you just use a power drill with this a specific type of bid you want to use in, you know, you drill in, and you want to make sure that you see like wood shavings coming out. And that tells you that you're kind of making a good hole, and you want it a little bit angled so that the SAP will run. But other than that, you just drill in and you tap in your tap and hang your bucket. And that's the old fashioned way of doing it. You know, a way a lot of people do it around here as they hang lines up. So it's like little plastic lines that connect to those taps. And the taps are a little different. They're like plastic taps. And those lines will go to big tanks, big 250 gallon plastic tanks to collect all of the syrup. Yep. And we didn't do that. Any of that this year. I think we might do a little bit of it next year. I love the look of the buckets. It looks you know, our house looks like a movie when all the buckets are hanging. So that's, that's nice. And then the plastic lines are nice, but there's a lot of upkeep with that too. It's definitely not black and white. You're gonna run cleaner through all the plastic tubing and then it's gonna be sticky. Yep. And then squirrels will run across it and you know, become a squirrel highway. So it's more efficient if you're doing a lot of it, I think but for where we are right now the buckets are we're fun. How

Elizabeth  11:58  

quickly does it come out? Is it just little drips or it really

Zach  12:03  

it doesn't pour I would say but on really good days when the runs are really good. You'll hear drips all day long, like drip, drip. Yeah. And it's cool to hear, you know, as I hit the pail, and they're like two and a half gallon buckets. So you know, on the best days, they'll fill up and pretty much of day, and I think we got around 500 gallons of 500 gallons of sap. And that probably boiled down to like 25 or 30 gallons of syrup, which goes to show you how much work goes into it and how much time Yeah, boiling it off. Because after that it goes into the boiler, which is a big double sided pan. And that has an open fire under it. So that's all heated with wood. Some people are switching now to like fuel, but most people do it still with wood. So once it's boiled off, we collect it all and we did it in like a small type of way. We collected it all on like lobster pots each time. You got to boil it off, like once more, because you have to bring it to a very specific temperature off the top of my head. I think it's 192 and a half or something like that.

Elizabeth  13:20  

That I was going to ask how you knew when it was ready, or Yeah, and it's a temperature thing

Zach  13:24  

it is and it's funny, like once you do it you kind of can tell when it's done because just love the way it boils. It literally at the end, if you've ever made caramel or anything. Yeah, it looks like that. You know, it looks like sugar bubbling instead of water. But yeah, if you're asked to reach that 192 and a half, and then you're done.

Elizabeth  13:46  

Can you go too far, like with caramel if you go too far, you burn it. And it's really so

Zach  13:50  

you can go too far. That's actually how you make maple sugar. Coconut and you can make maple sugar that way.

Elizabeth  13:58  

That's your other option.

Zach  13:59  

Yeah, we yeah, we didn't do any of that this year. But that's something you can do too.

Elizabeth  14:04  

So then did you sell it? or what have you done with all these?

Zach  14:07  

We are selling it. The spring has been so busy. And we haven't really had anything else to sell with the vegetables or anything. We're on kind of pretty main road. So we're turning the Sugar Shack into like a little farm stand towards the end of the summer. We're going to sell it out of there. Is that

Elizabeth  14:27  

your goal with a bunch of stuff like once it it gets bigger and up and running? Are you going to try to sell flowers and vegetables and all sorts of things?

Zach  14:36  

Yeah, so we're kinda this year has been like a big experimental year, kind of seeing, like, what's going to grow and what's not going to grow? It's crazy. We're in the mountains and it gets really cold here and it's like 48 degrees. I mean, your peppers aren't growing, your tomatoes aren't growing. They're not dying, but they're not happy, thriving. Yeah. So it's like thinking of Getting a greenhouse in the future for things like that. But also just thinking about, like, what can we produce, like on a bigger scale that will be easier for us. So we're trying mushrooms, we're growing like Shotoku mushrooms and wine, cat mushrooms, because it's pretty, like we get a lot of rain here. And it's just, you know, the humidity and things like that. And we have a lot of tree coverage, obviously. So growing mushrooms is an idea. And so we're just kind of trying to see what we like to do and what we don't like to do. And,

Elizabeth  15:34  

and is this mostly you're you're doing? Is your wife really involved in this too? Or does she have a different job that she's Yes,

Zach  15:43  

yeah, so my wife is the breadwinner of the family. And I must stay at home dad, so she helps out when she can. And she's definitely involved, like, on board with everything. Her a nice hope is that, you know, in the future, whatever it may be with our land, you know, turn it into something where we can both be working full time on it, in some sense. We've thought about like building cabins, we're in like a pretty popular like tourist area. So things like that we've thought about too, but we're fortunate to be able to kinda experiment and see which way we want to go with it. And

Elizabeth  16:22  

then you have little kids too. So that takes a lot of time. You don't have a lot of time. We have

Zach  16:27  

little kids. I'm definitely like up in the morning, doing all my chores, and then you know, when they go to bed at night, and Casey's parents will take them one day a week. And so I get a lot of my stuff done on those days. And

Elizabeth  16:40  

can you walk me through sort of a typical day? Yeah, when you do your chores and everything?

Zach  16:45  

Yep. So morning, it's, you know, I get up and I let the ducks the ducks can go outside now. So they go outside, and they have a couple pools and fill those up and give them new food and put down new like pine shavings in their thing, so it doesn't get gross, and that gets cleaned out, like once a month or something. And then the chickens are still inside full time. They'll be outside starting next week, they can't really go outside until they're like six weeks old, because they only have one layer of feathers. So they need to stay pretty warm for a while. It's it's pretty surprising because you look at them now. And they they look like they're ready. But they still have a few days. And um, so that's pretty much the same thing. You know, refilling water and cleaning up and things like that. And then the rabbits, which are my favorite, pretty much the same. Like we say we feel like zookeepers you know, we clean the cage, we sweep the floor. Now we give them water, that type of thing.

Zach  17:52  

Pamela, then and what time does that start morning?

Zach  17:55  

We have two boys and we call them our human versus because it's like they're up before the chickens. I feel like so. I mean, some days I'm out there at like 515 Just because I want to get it over with wow, I usually don't let any of the animals outside. Like I won't let the ducks outside until like eight o'clock or so. Just because with certain predators like hawks and things like that. Hawks are out early looking for food. And then once they find their food, they kind of go and settle for the day. Same with bears. Same with bears near you. Oh, yeah, yeah, we have a lot of bears. Yeah, we have bears most I mean, the predators that can get the chickens are hawks, Bears Bears in the early season, and then they kind of disperse like, you know, when the bears wake up in the spring, they're desperate for food, you know, they'll definitely try and do things that they wouldn't normally do. And then like foxes, coyotes, bobcats, I mean, we have it all really, we have a lot of a lot of things that can get the check. And so there's precautions that you can take, and we're kind of weighing our options about what we want to do, you know, as they're getting ready to move outside full time. But we do have a dog. He's not he's not a livestock dog at all. He's He's a husky. And he's kind of just like a big, we love him, but he's a big dummy. But I do think he kind of keeps some animals away because we let him out and he roams around and he comes back and I think just like him being around and spreading his scent places like we don't see as many animals as some other people do around here, but I'm sure we will and I'm sure well, that will be something we deal with. So so I feel like that kind of comes with the territory especially, you know, in an area like this where we're in a very rural area.

Elizabeth  19:55  

Alright, it got you off track. So you got you got all the animals

Zach  19:59  

you out fed and cleaned yep so then I'll just jump into like a project today I was working on my in laws actually live on like a pond that has a lot of tourists that live on it so I'm gonna start on like selling camp what over there so I was built in like a little little house for the camp would to go into that. But it you know it can be anything from I have a log splitter so we cut a lot of wood and the gardens have been taken up a lot of my time over the past couple months. Fill them the chicken coops clean. You know, sometimes you spend a half a day like I'll clean the rabbits cages each day, but then like every few weeks, you want to do like a complete overhaul, you know, get everything out of there, really clean it. Put every all new stuff in there, make sure nothing's going on that type of thing. And that can take a half a day in itself. It every

Elizabeth  20:57  

day is a little different, right? Yeah, no,

Zach  20:59  

it's gonna dry out which I absolutely love. I love new challenges and I love I love kind of tinkering and figuring things out. So being a farmer on a budgets kind of, in a way it's a you know, there's definitely days where I'm like, where it's aggravating, but then like when you figure something out, and you get something working, you know, it's nice, and it's cool.

Elizabeth  21:24  

And how is it seeing your boys? How old are they right now?

Zach  21:27  

Three and one. Oh, so really? Very young young.

Elizabeth  21:32  

Do you love kind of watching it through their eyes? Like watching them explore the whole farm?

Zach  21:38  

Yeah, yeah, I absolutely love it. I mean, our three year olds, like obsessed with tractors and trucks. And you know, he's got his little landscaping like kids toys that he helps out with. So it Yeah, it's really cute. And our one year old son and a walk now and yeah, I have so much fun watching them. That's definitely like the best part of my day.

Elizabeth  22:04  

How's life as a stay at home dad though. It's

Zach  22:07  

just as busy. And so it was funny. I kind of my firstborn went to daycare a little more than, well, my my second born hasn't gone at all yet. But I was still teaching for when he was like one or whatever. So he went to daycare and then during the pandemic like daycare shutdown, so that's when I left with him. And he was always like, pretty easy, relatively, he would sit for a second, were like, my second born now like that he's like, moving around is just like the total opposite. And like, you know, there's not like a free second on the day besides like naptime. And like, you pray that they take a nap. Yeah, but that's fun, too. And like, during the colder months, it was a little harder because the baby definitely couldn't like go out and ski. And like even my three year old, you take him out, but you know, he'd go out for an hour and then starting to call it quits. So that was kind of hard with it being in the colder months. But now that it's like warm, we go on hikes, and it's awesome. You know, we're out all the time. And we really enjoy it.

Elizabeth  23:16  

They must feel like they have just the biggest playfield all those acres. Woods

Zach  23:22  

and yeah, yeah. And they haven't even like began to enjoy it. You know, that time will come but I think right now they're probably just psyched to be with dad all day. My second born is like a little dad obsessed. And so he like knows the days where it's just me and him and the oldest ones going to daycare for half a day or whatever. And it's funny that you're not all in Yeah, yeah. And of course, there's moments that are difficult, but fortunate to be able to stay home and spend so much time with them.

Elizabeth  23:57  

Yeah. So you have this other I don't know if it's the alter ego with this other side of you, which is Instagram fame,

Zach  24:04  

we call it fame, but

Elizabeth  24:07  

really, really funny posts about being a dad and raising these little kids that get started

Zach  24:13  

that got started. Also during like the pandemic, I was home and at the beginning I did like more dad stuff. And I'm trying to actually kind of gear back to that. You know, everybody likes the funny stuff. And I like it too. But I feel like there's like a dark side of that as well. That gets like annoying sometimes. You know, there's a lot of plagiarism on social media with people stealing people's ideas and things like that, or you'll make a joke and obviously like there's a million opinions out there. Right and a lot of people will voice those opinions. Yeah, and that's their right. And I don't really encounter that as often. You know, my page is pretty good. PJ and I'm not that controversial, but just seeing that like as the person that I am kind of like gets me down sometimes. And my idea of my page is to bring people together and in that's how I kind of view New England, I think New England, it's kind of like a lot of different type of people like just a lot of different viewpoints. And it's like such a small place, but each state has its own identity and personality. And, you know, Massachusetts is completely different from New Hampshire and completely different from Vermont. And somehow all those people get along, you know, to some extent, and I think the country could use a little bit more of that sometimes. And so I I don't I do the comedy still, I put a lot out but I am trying to also highlight why we love New England and you know, things to do for families and hikes to go on and things like that. Most of the time, I'm so busy. And you know, I got my head down just doing work that like, the funny stuff sometimes comes easier posting because it's like, it comes at a time where I'm not like, elbow deep and, you know, chicken poop or whatever it may be, you know, so

Elizabeth  26:18  

there was a couple of things that I wrote down. You have a lot of really funny stuff, but one was, being a parent is like cleaning up after a frat party forever.

Zach  26:27  

Yeah, yeah. It's crazy. I mean, my mom was like, a clean freak growing up. And that definitely, like rubbed off a little bit. Like, I'm not a clean freak, per se, but I definitely, like hit a point where I like I'm like, Alright, this is too messy. I can't like, I just can't take it. Yeah, and I need to clean up and then I feel like two hours later, it's back to the same thing. And you know, there's juice boxes laying around and cereals. floor, and he Legos

Elizabeth  26:58  

and that's all pieces. They think why do I even try? There they are. And this was something else. My son is gluten free and that he just licks the peanut butter and jelly off the bread.

Zach  27:12  

Yeah, he's aware of it. They're the first the second one eats everything still. But yeah, my my first porn is a little, little bit pickier of an eater.

Elizabeth  27:22  

So this stuff just kind of comes to you like you just watching him eat and think I'm just gonna write that down.

Zach  27:28  

Oh, yeah, totally. Yeah, it's kind of something I've put to the side since we've bought this piece of land. But the reason I started New England dad was to eventually promote children's books that I've written or that I want to write. And I have like 10 picture books written, that I'm kind of just like, too nervous to do anything with. I also like to keep things really authentic. I take pride in authenticity. So I don't want to just like go and google something and, you know, put it out there as my own, I want to have done it, you know, and gone through it, and then post about it and tell my people the experience, because there are people out there believe it or not, that they're really not doing anything, you know, they're just Googling and they're presenting the information to you. And, you know, a lot of the time the things that they're telling, you really don't work, or they work in a certain climate, and they don't work in another climate, or, you know, there could be 100 different variables. So I take pride in being authentic. And I think it goes along with the writing that just been, you know, an honest writer and making sure that what I'm putting out there is coming from my personal experience. So that experience is growing. And as I feel more confident in it, I think I'll feel more confident like putting more stuff out there. But I loved her I have always loved to write since elementary school. I've always loved like creative writing and things like that. So yeah, it definitely just like comes to me. And I have fun with it.

Elizabeth  29:07  

Have you just written them? Or have you also illustrated them?

Zach  29:11  

I have not I haven't illustrated them yet. And I kind of like can't make up my mind whether I'm kind of stubborn sometimes in the sense that I'm like, I I feel like I could figure out how to draw myself versus like finding someone to draw them. And so that's a whole nother like, project. And then some people tell you like, oh, well, the publisher is going to want to pick their own illustrator and you hear something different from everyone then it's intimidating. You know,

Elizabeth  29:42  

now, I know you hear these things, but I hope they find their way off of your computer or wherever they are on out of your notebooks because you're really clever writer and it'll be fun to see that stuff. Thank you, but I'm sure it's hard between the chickens and the ducks and the Cheerios and and all the rest of

Zach  30:00  

it, it totally as and it's like, I think I'll have like a different view on winter this year. I don't think I like appreciated as much. I like filled my time with probably getting stuff ready for the house and things like that. But I think I'll prioritize more of like, alright, what can I do while I don't have to be doing outside work and get some of those projects done during those months?

Elizabeth  30:27  

So it is really seasonal, I guess, right? Because you sort of have to hibernate a bit.

Zach  30:32  

Yeah, yeah, it's totally seasonal, you know, things will really quiet down, you know, after October or so. So we have a vacation planned the last week of October and yeah, so that's like our, our finish line.

Elizabeth  30:48  

What do you even have time to have any downtime for yourself to relax at

Zach  30:52  

all? Or? Yeah. Oh, yeah. All I definitely build in downtime. I'm constantly going and like I do do a good job of like, fitting the things that, you know, make me happy into my life. So, you know, I'll work out every morning. And right now I'm training for an ultra. So me, yeah, so I'm doing a 50k. And then I do jujitsu a couple nights. Couple mornings a week. So my wife and I have always a, it's kind of why we waited to have kids. You know, we wanted to just make sure that like, we didn't lose ourselves when we had kids and not that our life is the same because it's not. But you know, the things we didn't really care about, we don't miss a lot. And we kind of make time for the things that are important to us. We might not go out as much. And you know, we might go out to eat like once a month, as opposed to like every week and things like that. But the things that were important to us in the city, like getting out and hiking. And we're doing a ton more of that now. So just have to go out your door. Yeah, yeah. So that's nice, because it really is at our doorstep. And you know, that's been a beautiful thing. And we just love that type of lifestyle.

Elizabeth  32:07  

Well, it's great that you have so many options, you have this land, and like you said, you can kind of take it a step back and say which way do we want to go with it? Yeah, I have so many opportunities.

Zach  32:18  

Yep. Yeah, fine. It is fun. It's stressful sometimes, because it can just be left, but it doesn't need I think it's just like my own pressure, you know, that I put on myself. Like I said, we're lucky to be able, we don't really like need an income off of it right now. So it's yeah, it's nice to be able to experiment and, you know, figure out what's going to work. And while we want to do here, and another thing that we said when we moved was like my wife went to business school, she has her MBA, and she's always been like an entrepreneur, we've both kind of now our entrepreneurial people. And I think one thing we said when we moved was that we'd like to be like part of a community and help build a community. When we moved up here, we're looking at places and thinking about like building a bike shop. So it's like, I think we're open to a lot of different things. And just with that idea in mind of in the future, we'd love to be like a centerpiece of a community where people go and help the community and, you know, they help us and things like that. And, you know, getting back to just a simpler frame of mind.

Elizabeth  33:31  

That's so great. I think that that's so much of what we need to you were referencing earlier, kind of the divisions in our culture and all that. And I think community is so important, you know, wherever we are, and wherever we can kind of make an impact in our own community and sort of connection. Yeah. rhombuses. Yeah, is really a step in the right direction.

Zach  33:51  

Yeah, yeah. And, you know, it's funny, like with the teaching side of things, that has been such a big part of my life, and it's something that I do think about a lot. It's like, I grew up in a more rural area, and I went and taught for, like, 12 years in a very urban setting. And I think that, like I got to a point where I feel like if I do go back to teaching, I could do like great things in a rural setting, because I have such a different point of view than maybe some kids that I grew up with and without like bringing up specific issues, you know, just seeing different mindsets and things like that. I think kids need to be exposed to a variety of people. So,

Elizabeth  34:40  

you know, I You brought into your experience, and then you could bring that back. Right, exactly. Yeah. Well, that's really inspiring what you're creating there, and I love how it's kind of a work in progress. Yeah, just figuring it out and following a dream and I think that's a really cool way to

Zach  34:56  

live. Yeah, well, thank you very much. I would say take dances because we've taken chances. And, you know, you kind of just figure things out. I feel like it's easy to be scared of stuff. And I am a person like that has a certain amount of anxiety and, like, I fight that in my life by doing scary things and taking chances and going after opportunities and things like that. And it feels good when you accomplish those things. And that's, that, to me is being a good dad, too. You know? How can I tell my kids to go out and chase their dreams if I don't chase mine? So I would

Elizabeth  35:33  

fully agree. I mean, if you're just following some scripted path that somebody else scripted for you, or maybe even that you scripted for yourself, you know, that could change so keep it wide. Let yourself have some flexibility. Yeah. 100%. Well, thank you so much that I just really, so enjoyed talking to you. Yeah, thanks

Zach  35:51  

so much for having me. Really appreciate it was so nice meeting Yeah.

Elizabeth  35:59  

I had such a good time talking with Zach. I don't think starting a farm will ever be in my future. My vegetable garden is probably enough for me. But still, I think a lot of what he shared can apply to all of us. Here are some of my takeaways from our conversation. Number one, sometimes biting off more than you can chew is actually good. Next thing you know, you may end up experimenting with growing various mushrooms or chasing around ducklings with no chill, too. It doesn't hurt to get up early, whether it's to feed the chickens, get your kids in early breakfast, or just check some things off your list for the day. Three. When you're taking on a new adventure, keep a beginner's mindset. Be open to learning, experimenting, trying new things. Maybe this year we grow corn, maybe next we add goats. Some things will work, some won't. It's all part of the process. For think what it would be like if everyone had the mindset of wanting to create and contribute to a sense of community. Five. One way to fight anxieties and fears is to take risks, lean into challenges go after opportunities. And finally number six, when life gives you maple trees make maple syrup. I'd like to thank Zack Kobe for taking time to share his experiences with me. If you'd like to learn more about Zach and find his Instagram page, please go to our website, the experience podcast.net You can also find all of our past episodes there and see how to follow us on social media. Please sign up for our newsletter and tell a few friends about this podcast too. I'm Elizabeth Pearson. Gar thanks for joining the experience