According to the USDA’s Farm Family Income publications it’s hard, well pretty much impossible, for a family to survive on farming income alone. According to their study, 85-95 percent of farm household income comes from off-farm sources (including employment earnings, other business activities, and unearned income). Even among the largest farming operations (the 8 percent of farming operations with annual sales exceeding $250,000), off-farm income accounts for 24 percent of farm household income, on average. And for the the 82 percent of U.S. farming operations that have annual sales of $100,000 or less (yup that’s us), off-farm income typically accounts for all but a negligible amount of farm household income. Which is a data rich way of saying that if Ross and I don’t keep our day jobs, we will lose the farm! It also means that in between fixing up the farm, milking and feeding animals, cleaning stalls and buying supplies, I fit in 40+ hours of work and 15+ hours of commute time a week. No wonder I am tired!
This last week my off farm work as a Human Resources Coordinator at a real estate company in Seattle required me to spend the week in sunny San Diego and even though it meant being away from the farm, I certainly didn’t complain about the chance to leave the rain, eat delicious food and take a short break from the farm all while being paid. Of course, that meant my husband stayed home and pulled double duty for me! My company rented the entire hotel Paradise Point for their employees to attend our annual company meeting and despite working 10+ hours a day, I had a blast.
My favorite part of the whole trip was my last day when I had a few free hours to walk the beach, meet a hula hoop hobbyist, dream about summer which lead to the purchase of a new beach tank top and sink my feet in the sand before catching my flight back home. I didn’t get to do much sightseeing over the course of the week but my recommendation for anyone who visits San Diego’s Pacific Beach is to visit the Hula Hoop guy and try your hand at hula hooping with every size hula hoop he has. If you are feeling cocky he will even let you try hooping (is that a word?) twenty at one time! Check out all of the San Diego Hula Hoop YouTube videos to get a feel for just how many smiles this guy brings to the San Diego beaches. Below are a few pictures I snapped so that I could bring a little bit of the sun back to our readers who may feel like they will never be warm again. There is hope!