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Today’s guest is Rory Groves.
We go deep today talking about:
- Why and how Rory left behind city life and the tech industry to start over in the country
- Physical newsletters and the pace of life
- Seasonality in agriculture and life
- Building a family economy
- Prioritizing relationships and discipleship over everything
Rory Groves is a former technology consultant and founder of multiple software businesses. Several years ago he moved his family from the city to the country to begin the journey towards a more durable way of life. Rory and his wife Becca now reside in southern Minnesota where they farm, raise livestock, host workshops, and homeschool their six children. He is author of Durable Trades: Family-Centered Economies That Have Stood the Test of Time.
#164. Leaving The City Behind To Go All-In On The Family Economy - Rory Groves
[00:00:00] I happen to take a position that families should try to become as self reliant as possible. I think that's where liberty flows from. I think that's where sovereignty and authority comes from. And if we've given up our dependence entirely to worldly systems, then we find ourselves in the boats that a lot of families do today.
[00:00:21] Welcome back to another episode of the dad work podcast. This is Curt Storring, your host. Thank you guys for listening again. I am joined by Rory Groves and Rory is a former technology consultant and founder of multiple software businesses. Several years ago, he moved his family from the city to the country to begin the journey toward a more durable way of life.
[00:00:39] Curt: Rory and his wife, Becca reside in Southern Minnesota now where they farm, raise livestock, host workshops and homeschool their six children. Amazing. You are the author Rory of Durable Trades. Family centered economies that have stood the test of time and you can check out all of this as well as show notes at dad.
[00:00:56] Curt: org slash podcast. But if you want to check out Rory, you can go to gather and [00:01:00] grow. us or the grovestead. com. First of all, welcome. Thanks for being here. Thank you. I'm very grateful. Thank you. Yeah, no, this is, this is an exciting one for me. I had, Nate spearing on a few months ago and he did a very similar sort of thing where he left the military, bought some land and I was just doing that.
[00:01:18] Curt: So the first question that I've got on a story like this is why? Like, I imagine that all of what we're going to talk about will sort of run through this question of like, what is it that you're actually optimizing for? And I think it's so drastically different than what most people are. Yeah. Yeah. Even in so far as you probably have an intention behind what you're doing.
[00:01:38] Curt: So can you just walk us through what the decision making process was like? You've got a family, you're doing the sort of normal life. I presume. Why do all of this? Yeah, thank you. By the way, Nate's a friend of mine. Love the guy. He's got a very inspiring story. And so I'm glad he was part of the show as well.
[00:01:53] Curt: For me, so we've been out here now. Our small, rural acreage for about, 11 years. I [00:02:00] think it will be coming up 12 years this, next year. And, originally when we moved out here, it was not like there was, I mean, when you say optimizing, that would have been maybe even beyond a little bit of what I was thinking about at the time, we just saw this as we were really nested deep in the city.
[00:02:18] Curt: We loved where we lived. It just there wasn't room. It just was really cramped. And so we were starting to add kids and it was starting to think about moving to a larger house somewhere else. And I had a friend of mine at the time that had some acreage out in Southern California or let's see, not Southern California.
[00:02:36] Curt: And San Francisco area in Marin County, and I remember touring his property with him one day and kind of asking this same question, like, why would you do this? He was in tech and like I was, and that conversation just kind of led for him is just, he wanted a fuller life. He didn't want to just go through the motions and follow the treadmill to where everyone else [00:03:00] around him, what seems to be following.
[00:03:01] Curt: He wanted a larger life. He wanted to do some things that he couldn't do if he was constrained by the constraints that everyone else is constrained by. And I remember that really impacted me. And from that point forward, I started to think about, I'm in tech. I could probably work from just about anywhere.
[00:03:15] Curt: Why not? Move to some acreage. Why not get some animals? Why not learn a few things that, , might be useful down the road. And so for me, sorry. So for me, it was just a, kind of a curiosity moving to the country. Now, I will say that I did start to get, At that point in time, there were some things, there were some writing on the wall, I think you would say, of possible, skills that would be good to have, as a computer programmer, I didn't have much to contribute to society.
[00:03:43] Curt: If the lights went out, I'll just be honest. There was a reckoning once I'd say, I probably should learn how to like grow food or. Tend the land or like learn a few handy skills besides typing code into a computer. And so all of those things just kind of morphed together into, looking at some country [00:04:00] properties and ended up finding something that we really liked in our family moved down here.
[00:04:04] Curt: Like I said, and started hobby farming for a first, the first few years, but we were just kind of experimenting initially, it wasn't until we had been here for a number of years that I really started to change my perspective. And I would guess you would say optimize for, A different trajectory than when I initially came out here.
[00:04:21] Curt: Okay. And are you enjoying it? Was this the right choice for you guys? Absolutely. Okay. And so I'm going to be extremely selfish here because this is something we've played with for years now and we're action takers in so far as like we moved to Thailand with two of our kids, six, seven years ago. So we're no stranger to making big decisions like this.
[00:04:41] Curt: But some of the questions that come up are you guys living around where you lived in the city or did you move states? What about community? Did you have a church? Did you leave friends? Did you leave family behind? What was the. The calculus between community versus a better way of life. And, financially, I'm not sure what that looked [00:05:00] like, but what was, what were those thoughts like?
[00:05:02] Curt: Yeah, those are good questions. And I think, for us, we ended up moving about an hour away from where we originally lived. So we're within striking distance of our own community, but. As soon as you do move more than, say, 20 miles away, it is hard to maintain that community and we have family that live up in the city is still and we see our family all the time.
[00:05:22] Curt: But it is different. We don't go to the same church together. There is a whole new set. of friends and, relationships to establish, and that all does take time. I wouldn't be opposed or, and I don't think families necessarily need to be opposed to moving states or moving a certain distance away.
[00:05:38] Curt: But that is, I'm glad you bring that up because that is a very key consideration. It takes a long time to build community. And if you've been living in the same place for, decades, you're not going to be able to rebuild that very quickly. And you're going to have to be very intentional. You're gonna have to put a lot of work up front when my wife and I came down.
[00:05:56] Curt: We were pretty intentional about establishing ourselves in the church and,[00:06:00] volunteering and joining different, we were in, my wife was, homeschooling, or we started homeschooling after we got down here. So she was joining up with different groups and getting to know the moms in the area. And, yeah, it does take time to do that.
[00:06:12] Curt: And it's something that you, if you are going to move to a homestead to find some land, you do need to be very intentional. You're a lot of times you're moving in with communities that have been there for generations and they're not necessarily easy to permeate. So you need to take it upon yourselves to start to form those relationships.
[00:06:28] Curt: Right. That's a great point. And we're in Canada. So I'm on the West coast, just outside of Vancouver. And to find something close would be quite a financial jump. Let's just say it's very much like any Western East coast city, I suppose, in the States as well. I think Vancouver is one of the most expensive places.
[00:06:47] Curt: And so we've been going, okay, I'm Maybe you look at an Alberta, which is kind of like a Montana, for example, and very small community, probably be quite a far way away from other people and the community would be gone. [00:07:00] And honestly, that's kept us here. We've just placed that community family support system that we've, like you said, we've taken years to build, over what would be, I think, a more.
[00:07:11] Curt: Enjoyable life. My wife is tearing up the backyard to get a garden here. We homeschool as well. And so we're doing all these things. It's like, man, if we just had a couple more acres, that'd be awesome. And so where is that balance for us? And it's just one of the things that I'm trusting God's timing because I want to live here.
[00:07:27] Curt: I want to do what you're doing, but I want to do it in my community. And that's always been my tension. And so I'm curious what you think about. The should question. Is this a lifestyle that everyone should make sacrifices to get to? Do you think or how do you frame that question for people to decide whether it actually is right for them?
[00:07:45] Curt: I tend to approach that question is not as a dogmatic mandate. I just tend to tell the story of what happened to us. And for us, , I really felt drawn to this way of life. I felt drawn to more of the simpler and more self sufficient [00:08:00] way to live because, and I think part of the reason for that is I was living, as about distance from the earth as you can possibly get.
[00:08:07] Curt: Everything that I did was reliant on scaffolding. That was a miles high. And so for me, I really felt this kind of yearning to get back connected in with creation, to have some, I would call them now durable skill sets. But just basically. What did it mean to be human?
[00:08:26] Curt: We, I think that there's an element there where you can find a, the right balance and that's going to be different for each person, but there is an element of humanity in stewarding creation. After all, it's what God says, he put us in the garden to tend and keep it. He put Adam in the garden to tend and keep it.
[00:08:42] Curt: It's man's first vocation, if you will. And so there is, if we get too far away from creation that we are missing. And I would make that case. I would say that, we are missing an aspect of God. We are missing an aspect of the Christian faith if we distance ourselves too far from creation, [00:09:00] and too far from the basic, means of subsistence.
[00:09:03] Curt: And , whether it's a should, whether everyone should go out and do it, I, I wouldn't put it in that category, but I would certainly say everyone should be moving towards it. Towards interfacing with a deeper level of creation, whether that is something that is an excursion from the city. on a routine basis, whether that's supporting other family farms that live around your area.
[00:09:24] Curt: I mean, there's a lot of families that depend on people who live in the cities in order to fund their way of life because they're selling to someone who's not farming for themselves. I happen to take a position that families should try to become as self reliant as possible. I think that's where liberty flows from.
[00:09:39] Curt: I think that's where sovereignty and authority comes from. And if we've given up our dependence entirely to worldly systems, then we find ourselves in the boats that a lot of families do today. And so there's a larger aspect at play, but where the conviction falls down is certainly going to be the case for each family to decide for themselves.
[00:09:58] Curt: Right. No, that's a fantastic [00:10:00] answer. And what are some of those things for someone like us, for example, maybe I'll just, I think we're doing a fairly good job of this just because we are intentional. Like my wife's got a backyard garden. We homeschool. A lot of that time is spent outdoors, shoes off in the ground, playing in the dirt, all that kind of stuff.
[00:10:16] Curt: And we get meat from a local farmer. We Buy organic from local as much as we can. We went down to the States the other day to get some raw milk because it's illegal up here in Canada. So we're trying to support these things. But are there other opportunities you see for people who are in the city looking to get closer to maybe how we at least would thrive closer to God?
[00:10:38] Curt: Even I love the way that you put that. What are some of the practical things that we could do even to support? A farm like yours or just get closer to that in our own lives well, there's probably that's a good question There's probably a lot of different ways that you could approach that I mean, I think it sounds like you're doing a lot of good things already with what you have I think that's important is just to start where you are and start with what you have[00:11:00] don't you know pine over 40 acres and never do anything where you're at, you know We started with a potted plants on our apartment balcony and , that was one step that led to another step that led to another step.
[00:11:13] Curt: And then eventually we found ourselves on 10 acres in Southern Minnesota. So for us, it was a progression. And I think that tends to be what the journey of faith is like. It's a progression and you get one step at a time and you maybe have a yearning in your heart for something that is completely beyond your capacity right now.
[00:11:31] Curt: And I think that's okay. Hebrews 11 talks about the heroes of the faith and that they had, they could see from afar, a better country. And I think there's always going to be this better country from afar that we're not always going to have right in front of us that we can access today, but we kind of know we're on a journey, they call themselves pilgrims.
[00:11:51] Curt: That's Bradford, William Bradford of the pilgrims who referred to that chapter often in his book, but there's this yearning for something better and that's okay to [00:12:00] not have everything right now. It's part of what keeps you moving. So get bringing it back down to reality here. One of the things that, comes to mind is getting more involved in the trades.
[00:12:09] Curt: I think a lot of the trades that are pre industrial and further back, uh, provide access to ways and modes of living that are more concrete and more interfaced with nature and creation, more, more reliant on the ground level, so to speak. Uh, and so get, getting your kids or getting yourself involved in like maybe woodworking or construction or.
[00:12:32] Curt: Working with, metallurgy or working with smithing and things like that, where you're, even if it's just a side hobby thing, you're interfacing with the way that most of humans lived for most of human history. And that alone would be something that you could potentially do from the city.
[00:12:49] Curt: You could do things in your garage. A lot of woodworkers work right out of their basements or their garages, and they have a deep connection with something that's natural and it. Just so [00:13:00] happens for some of them, it's a viable career. Yeah, I Really like that. Just doing stuff doing small things because that's something that I have started with the boys we got three boys and just had a girl six months old now, but with the boys the two older boys I Got some wood from home depot got some tools and it's like let's just build stuff.
[00:13:20] Curt: It's gonna be awesome It's in the garage but what i've noticed is I started that a number of months ago and it sort of dwindled off and what I Attribute that to other than just my own lack is the pace of life. Now we are extremely slow compared to what I see. A lot of other people have who are just jam packed with extracurriculars.
[00:13:41] Curt: For example, our kids do jujitsu and kickboxing. And that's it. And then I go to church and then we go to homeschool group and that's it. So we're pretty slow. And even in that, I find myself, I got to work. I got to take care of like the house. I got to do all these things. And so I'm letting the small [00:14:00] things slide, even though they do bring me closer to that connection to just being human.
[00:14:05] Curt: And the reason I'm sharing this around pace is because one of the questions I wanted to ask you. Was about your pace now because you guys like just for everyone listening. You guys have a printed newsletter Like that's something that I don't think anybody is even you know, if you're listening to this you're listening to podcasts you're on email How many of you are subscribed to a physical newsletter?
[00:14:24] Curt: So do you want to talk about what you've learned about pace and just how that relates to The family dynamic a harmonious home and why you've decided to do Something like a physical newsletter.
[00:14:36] Curt: Yeah, that's, this is one of those things where I said, when we came out here, we didn't really have any particular ambitions initially, but then, we started to learn things after we were here.
[00:14:45] Curt: And I would describe it as that, like the land has its own effect on you. One of the things you learn about when you try to farm. Is your, you are captive to seasons right now. We, so here it's a windy and rainy in [00:15:00] Southern Minnesota, not snowing yet, but it's mid October and, we, just finished our harvest of our garden and our orchards.
[00:15:08] Curt: We just brought some of our animals into the auction to be auctioned off. And there's a whole host of things that have to be done right at harvest season. And it's not like one of the things about modernity is it allows you to kind of abstract reality in a way like you can put reality on hold in order to do some other pressing thing and then come back to it later.
[00:15:30] Curt: You hit. Hit pause on the television or I mean the, the streaming and whatever. You can just rearrange your life according to whatever schedule suits you. It doesn't work that way in nature. You are subservient to the creator in a very real way, and a lot of things take a lot of time.
[00:15:49] Curt: And so one of the rhythms of nature that we learned about since being here is, uh, is exactly what you're describing. If we overcommit to a lot of extracurricular [00:16:00] activities, we're not going to have time to do the things that we feel really bring us satisfaction and fulfillment, and get us into a better position of preparedness and independence and those kinds of things.
[00:16:12] Curt: So we are pretty, like you, we are pretty selective about what we get involved in. We basically have our church and, we have our own events that we host here on the farm. And then that's about it. We really can't get involved in a lot of homeschool co ops or things like that just because it would take time away from the family or time away from our own economy that we're trying to build out.
[00:16:37] Curt: So, that, that's all just kind of come. It's been a learning lesson for us, for some people, depending on the family makeup, it makes more sense for them to have a lot of activities during, the week, and it might suit them well. For us, we really feel like the family time together is the most critical component, and I'm home, which is a decision that I made in my career to step back from, a bird in [00:17:00] the hand.
[00:17:00] Curt: To pursue the relationships at home. And so, because I'm home, we don't want to eat away that time together. We want to try to do as many things together as we possibly can. And I'm looking at it and I think this might be one other way. To consider that question is I'm looking at it is how can I set my kids up to be independent and have self sufficient economies of their own someday in order for me to be able to do that?
[00:17:23] Curt: It's going to take a long time because I don't have the skills like I'm not like a 4th generation carpenter who can just pass that skill set on. I have a very non transferable skill. The programming languages that I stepped away from. Two years ago are already obsolete. So like, what am I going to pass on to my kids?
[00:17:40] Curt: Well, so we're in the process of trying to help identify first of all, what our kids are, cut out to do and then to try to help find them mentors and practices. Get them involved, not just in a hobby capacity, but with this view of their future careers or future families in mind. And so that, that all is kind [00:18:00] of like, if you know where you're aiming, it's not as hard to say no to some of the other, day to day commitments because you have a very clear goal that you're going for.
[00:18:08] Curt: Yeah, that is. An absolute put that in the back of your mind. If you know where you're aiming, like that's so important. And that's one of the things that I work with guys on is developing that almost like a legacy document and vision, which is where do you want to go? Because otherwise you're not going to be able to prioritize and then make good decisions.
[00:18:29] Curt: You will not be able to understand that you're a limited. Being and you can't do all of those things, but just for you and your story, what is your sort of work situation? I think that's super interesting. Did you are you only making income from the the farm or do you have something else? What did that progression look like?
[00:18:45] Curt: I forgot to answer one of your questions on the previous which was about our print newsletter So let me answer that first and that actually will help to answer the other question so, a number of years ago, I was getting a I work [00:19:00] in the tech space or I did, and everything is a numbers game in the tech space.
[00:19:04] Curt: And so I'm very familiar with email marketing and search engine marketing and social media marketing and all the kind of the tricks of that. At that time we started getting a, a print newsletter. I don't even. I can't honestly remember where we found it, but it was some old past, some old retired pastor out in, Omaha, and he would send this quarterly, , in the mail newsletter of some scripture passage and his commentary on it.
[00:19:31] Curt: And, , every time it came, it was only once every three months. And every time it came, it was like. It was like we look forward to reading it and he had like something pungent to say and it was like good to hear like, oh, you don't hear this every day. And so, , we just kind of reflected on that.
[00:19:45] Curt: That's pretty neat. I like what he's doing. I like the pace of it as being once every couple of months. It's not overwhelming, like getting, I get you sign up for something. And it's like every stinking day they send you something else and it's just too much. [00:20:00] I mean, I like, I don't know if they understand this principle, but I must work apparently on a mass scale.
[00:20:05] Curt: But just for me, anyways, it's just like too much. I can't handle that much information. But yeah, if someone wants to share his thoughts every couple of months, I can read that, I have enough time for that. So we thought that would be kind of a fun way to share some updates from our farm, what we're doing out here, what we're learning.
[00:20:20] Curt: Cause we were total green, totally green at this. We have no farming in our backgrounds. We started putting together like a three page family newsletter and just started sending it out. Started with 30 friends. And we made the decision to make it something that we just would print off and send them in the mail just to have something tangible in a day that everything is digital.
[00:20:38] Curt: So, , we started with 30, 30 friends and it's grown only by word of mouth over a period of about, we're coming up on. Seven, eight years. I'm not quite sure exactly. To our latest mailing just went out this weekend, this past weekend to 3, 200 families. Wow. So just by word of mouth. And so it's just our, all we do with this newsletter [00:21:00] is we just talk about what we're learning.
[00:21:01] Curt: We reflect on it. I've become a bit of a writer. So I share some thoughts and insights to where I think things are happening in our culture. And then we also include stories from other families. who are walking a similar road. So we, in this latest newsletter, we have a guy from Texas who started a handmade toys company with his family, and he's telling his story about how he ended up doing this and how it's going and what they're learning and what God's teaching.
[00:21:28] Curt: So it's just one of those kinds of things. Well, that newsletter led to me writing a book called durable trades. And that book led to us hosting events on our farm that were kind of talking about this theme of the family economy. And then that. Those events led to us starting a ministry last year, which was a basically a publishing ministry, a teaching and publishing ministry where we're trying to do more events around the country and trying to publish more resources for other families who are interested in this, what we say, rebuilding the family [00:22:00] economy.
[00:22:00] Curt: So that's a, that's a very condensed version to say, but it all started with just, just trying some things out. And we found that when we worked on that newsletter, it was something that we could do together as a family. My kids write articles. I ever put an article in this latest newsletter about he's my 12 year old about butchering rabbits for the first time He's been raising meat rabbits.
[00:22:21] Curt: So he wrote about that and we it's something we can do together as a family and we started asking if people wanted to donate it's free but if people want to make a donation they can and So in part some of that is off some of the cost of doing that is offset by the donations and then We have the events that we host here and then we have, of course, books that are for sale and other resources like that.
[00:22:43] Curt: So we are not self sufficient off the farm. Like, we're not making ends meet because of the farm. The farm is mainly to provide for our own sufficiency and we're getting pretty good at that. We're not all the way there. I mean, we still grocery shop, but we've gotten pretty good at. Producing a lot of [00:23:00] food and preserving the harvest and learning how to work with animals and a lot of the elements that need to be in place for self sufficiency And so when it comes to the off farm job, so to speak Those are things that we've reduced our expenses enough to the point where it's not as high of a mark to try to hit You know, we don't have to make 100, 000 a year in order to do what we're doing.
[00:23:25] Curt: We're able to offset our expenses in a number of ways. And really through the kind of the assembling of all those pieces, we're able to make a go of it, at least for now.
[00:23:33] Curt: Man, that is awesome to hear and very encouraging. What has that been like for you coming from, the high flying tech space and then you're now just doing something differently with a large amount of your time that so many men, I'm not saying you were like this, but so many men take a lot of the identity from the work to bring home the paycheck and all that kind of stuff.
[00:23:55] Curt: Was there anything in the transition for you or was it just, it's been so many years that it [00:24:00] was a natural progression?
[00:24:01] Curt: Oh, it was. It was incredibly difficult to make that transition. I really feel the Lord brought me through this transition cause I went kicking and screaming all the way.
[00:24:12] Curt: I mean, a man's identity as a provider is as deep as it gets. And so one of the things that I am 45 years old and I, this all started in earnest about five years ago where I was really starting to reevaluate where I wanted to go with my career. Did I want to, Spend another 20 years, building software or doing some kind of high tech thing where I'd really, I mean, to be quite honest, have nothing to show for it at the end of those 20 years, besides, putting food on the table, which is not nothing to show for, but I'm just mean anything to pass on to my children, uh, or did I want to start embarking on a different course where I might actually have something substantive that I can pass on to my kids, not in the way of monetary wealth.[00:25:00]
[00:25:00] Curt: But in the way of relationship, in the way of skills and knowledge, in the way of faith, and in order to do those things, we had to be together. It, it was very difficult for me at first to try to really weigh out those things. But what I ended up discovering was, first of all, when we had less income, which was a season that quite honestly, we're still in, but when you started to reduce the income, one of the things that we noticed is that, we actually were doing things that we would never have done before.
[00:25:32] Curt: I mean, we were forced into learning how to grow food and do certain skills and, get help with others in our community and join with others and learn some things together. That we probably wouldn't have been pressed to do if we just had a lot of money in the bank to hire out, all of the tasks that we used to do.
[00:25:49] Curt: Like, so there's a lot of building tasks on a farm that if you can just hire it out because you got a ton of money, you never actually learn the skill. And then there were ways of just simplicity that...[00:26:00] We got used to that, we didn't need everything that we thought we needed before when, when money was less of a concern.
[00:26:07] Curt: And I really look back at that as being a, a critical transition in my life to understand that God does indeed provide. If you are following his will for your life, , he does indeed take care of you. And all of the pain and the suffering and the kicking and screaming, we kind of laugh about it now.
[00:26:25] Curt: Because. We wouldn't ever go back. I would not trade this life at all. I mean, there's no amount of money in the world you could pay me to trade the time that I have with my kids, especially right now with my kids when they're, they're youngest and they're most impressionable. I'm going to put everything I've got.
[00:26:42] Curt: Into raising these kids into loving them into helping them mature into responsible adults And then i've got the rest of my life if I want to chase after money, which I won't want to do anyway, But this is it like this is my sprint as my wife likes to say. This is my sprint And this is the time in my life, the first 10 years of my kids lives.[00:27:00]
[00:27:00] Curt: That is when I'm going to have the most impact on them for the rest of their lives. And really you're talking generations after that, because they're going to be more likely to invest in their families if their dad was present. So yes, it is hard to get past that identity, but a lot of that identity is culturally driven.
[00:27:17] Curt: And if you really look at the Bible, you see the primacy of relationship, you see the roles of fathers, you see families working together, and you see that being the context for discipleship and for the mentorship and apprenticeship and raising up the next generation.
[00:27:33] Curt: Yeah. Have you talked to Jeremy Pryor family teams at all?
[00:27:37] Curt: I don't. Recall is, is that a book or is that a podcast?
[00:27:41] Curt: It's a, it's a company and, , it's by Jeremy Pryor and Jeff Bethke. And the basic idea is, they're building multigenerational families, family leaders, and the whole idea, this is sort of a new. Mindset shift for me when I discovered this and I actually joined their group their mastermind and I just got [00:28:00] back from colorado but a month ago and the whole idea is Just what you said.
[00:28:05] Curt: I've got this amount of time to instill a certain family culture In them, , the idea is that, the cultural mandate, Genesis one, 27 to 28 is like, God chose the family unit to do that. It wasn't just, Adam, go by yourself. And Oh yeah, maybe Eve can come in later. It's like, no, you guys blessed now go.
[00:28:24] Curt: So that was just, I think you probably get along with him. I think there's a lot of overlap. And I've talked a lot to a number of guys in this podcast who I met in this, sort of integrated mastermind. So this is wonderful to just have on the back of that from a slightly different perspective. And I want to jump a little bit actually before I jump into family economy and something you said about skills how many kids did you have when you guys moved?
[00:28:46] Curt: Okay. And what ages were they,
[00:28:49] Curt: two years and nine days.
[00:28:52] Curt: Okay. So this was like, okay. So they haven't known any different.
[00:28:56] Curt: No, not really. No.
[00:28:57] Curt: Okay. That, okay. That was going to be another question. It's like, how did they [00:29:00] do this? But if that's all you've grown up on, that's fine. But the, the really, Okay.
[00:29:03] Curt: Interesting phrase, I think that I've heard you use is this family economy. And I love that. I really, I long for that because part of this whole family teams, it's, it's about business. How can you start a business to leave your nine to five, first of all, then have a scale business and then have sort of a generational wealth business to get all the family working together in that.
[00:29:23] Curt: And it sounds a lot like this idea of family economy. But before I go there, because I think that's probably going to take quite a while to dig into that. Something you said about. Not having the skills yourself so that you would need to pass other things on to your kids in a sense And I've been convicted on that big time lately.
[00:29:41] Curt: I Have had it in my head for a long time that I will one day get to the point where I'm great At fatherhood at family leadership at marriage and praise God, I am so much better and that's why I do what I do because it saved my life and [00:30:00] my kids will have grown up for the first number of years of their life with a dad who was angry and miserable, et cetera.
[00:30:06] Curt: And me just learning these skills right now means that I know them, but I'm not sure how well I can teach them all that. I wish to teach, almost as though it would have been better if I knew this coming in. And I had a full, 20 years with my kids. Now I've got a few years. They know a little bit of the bad side.
[00:30:23] Curt: So I'm looking at this going, I don't know if I'm going to be able to bring my family right now to where I wish that it would be, which is this almost, you perfect ideal of what I imagined when I became a father and a husband. And I think maybe that has challenged me in ways to see again, this word of being limited.
[00:30:43] Curt: I'm going to have to parent my children not to carry on exactly the life we're living now, but to take what I've given them as a baton and carry it further. And that really sort of broke my framework of thinking about parenting because I wanted to get to the point [00:31:00] where I was like, Hey guys, whatever I did, just go do that.
[00:31:02] Curt: You're going to have a perfect life. Now my grandkids are going to be blessed. It's going to be awesome. But here I'm like, Hey guys, here's where I haven't built the family farm yet in the relational aspect, you're guys are going to have to go do this. But that means I'm going to need to pass down skills for them to build that part, not just pass down skills to carry on what I've already built.
[00:31:21] Curt: So I feel like we're getting a little bit, or I'm getting a little bit convoluted here, but generally my fatherhood is going to be different with the skills that I pass on. And so I wonder if that was sort of what you were talking about with, you might not have these specific skills in farming.
[00:31:36] Curt: And so you're almost having to teach your kids how to learn to be good at this kind of stuff. Like, I'm sorry if that was just a total tangent, but, does that make any sense with what you were talking about?
[00:31:46] Curt: Yeah, completely. I mean, cause we came here with absolutely no idea of what we were doing.
[00:31:50] Curt: And actually that's kind of the attraction. It's like, that's why people like to reach out to us because they don't know what they're doing either. And, and neither do we. So we just like figure it out together, but we're not experts [00:32:00] at any of the things that we're engaged in. Other than, I was born and raised in a Christian home and I had a good family, and I know that at a minimum, I can, I know the results of generational faithfulness, I've seen it in my own family, and I know the results of redemption, which is what I would say to you right now, is that even if you're starting at a place in life, Where you're like, I messed up for this whole long season and I'm going to pass my messing up on to my kids because, I didn't do it right.
[00:32:32] Curt: That's the thing about redemption. It doesn't matter. God wipes the slate clean and he starts fresh. The fact that you had to go through that, he can take that experience. And actually that is the exact experience that your kids will remember is how much dad changed in that moment. And that might propel them further than they would have if they had grown up with the perfect dad all along, who knows, but that's what redemption does.
[00:32:55] Curt: God looks at a man's heart. And so God can redeem whatever [00:33:00] time is lost because of our own sin and our own failures and weaknesses. But the other thing to keep in mind is that God lays out the blueprints. For what fatherhood should be. And first of all, and I think this is really interesting, but , the, the term Potter familius, which is the historic, we use that as priest of the home or father or house, , head of the household is oftentimes used for that.
[00:33:20] Curt: But Potter familius simply means father of the family. And that word Potter is the same word. Pattern. So you as the father, are the pattern for your family for good or ill, you alone are the one that your children will take after. They will seek after what is important to dad will be important to them and what you model in the home, not even so much in the specific skills that you carry, although those are important I think, but they're nowhere near as important to who you are as a person.
[00:33:54] Curt: Does dad really trust God? Is he really willing to live a [00:34:00] life of faith and to trust God for his provision or to trust God for, whatever the next step is, have they seen mom and dad walk that out in their lives that is going to do a whole lot more than finding the right mentors so that they have.
[00:34:13] Curt: You know what? I was describing a viable family economy of their own someday. That's just part of my pattern is I'm looking ahead at some of these things where they're going to need to be, where they're going to need to have resources and abilities. And because that's part of who I am, it's my tendency is I'm starting to set some of those things in place.
[00:34:34] Curt: But the core of everything that we do. Besides the work, besides the, homeschooling and those things are great, but the core of everything we do is that we worship together and I lead my family in daily worship every day and I represent the priest of the household to my family. So I'm the one that's that puts me in the spot on the hot seat of I need to live a life [00:35:00] and model this truly for my kids because they're watching me talk now I better live this out, but also it inspires me to try to connect with them at a deeper level of spiritual level Those are the kinds of things that will leave a generational inheritance And in the Lord will provide in the Lord may enrich or he may not enrich depending on how he wants to do it But those are the most critical elements and if you have that in place I truly believe that he's going to take care of everything else as in terms of it an inheritance and provision and protection and liberty and independence for your family.
[00:35:34] Curt: As long as dad is locked in on that on those first principles,
[00:35:38] Curt: so encouraging, man. Thank you. I really appreciate that. What does, just real quick. What does worship look like for you guys? I'm I'm interested in the sort of how to and I Am prone to going all in immediately and it's been a year and a half and Praise god.
[00:35:57] Curt: He's put a lot of zeal in my heart and i'm hoping that he gives [00:36:00] me the wisdom to go along with that zeal but for things like this, I mean we've just instituted instituted. I shouldn't say that we've just started on a rhythm
[00:36:10] Curt: So I'm just like having these little things to try and live more on the rhythm that God's got for us, but when you say like a family worship or something, is that really structured? What does that look like?
[00:36:22] Curt: It's super simple, especially when you have kids and we have six of them from 12 down to one. And so it can get a little unruly if we get too structured, but we keep it really simple.
[00:36:33] Curt: And, By the way, if you look back in not so long ago, this was the rule, not the exception. Every father was leading his family in worship, and it was expected to do so. And that was a normal way of things. The church was a gathering of families who were already hosting their own churches within their own families.
[00:36:52] Curt: That's how the family was viewed. But in our case, it's just singing, we sing a hymn together, we read a study a [00:37:00] portion of scripture and then we pray and the whole thing might take 20 minutes. But the goal is consistency. It's something that we prioritize and we do it every day. And the kids all know that this is part of Our family rhythm, and so I think it's just a God honors that consistency over time and the fact that we do it every day and we don't allow other things to disrupt that schedule for me.
[00:37:24] Curt: I hope that my kids are understanding that this is very important. This is the most important thing that we do in a day and, and just kind of let those lessons sink in. But otherwise, yeah, I mean, maybe we'll just read a chapter of scripture. Sure. Maybe it's just a couple of verses. It just depends on the day and what we're studying.
[00:37:44] Curt: And then I talk about it. I just Personally, I asked the kids a couple questions what they think of it. I don't come prepared with a sermon We're not using any kind of curriculum or workbook We just use this the real scriptures and we read it aloud together and then I share if anything comes to mind I try to [00:38:00] share what's on my heart and what what's impressing upon me and man we have had the most amazing family bonding times through those evening worships.
[00:38:11] Curt: Not every time is like sensational, but through those times, it's like a heartbeat in our family that I can check in with everyone and see where everyone's at. And I can take care of weeds before they become too hard to pull. We can deal with different events of the day that have happened in our family.
[00:38:27] Curt: And it's, to me, it's just absolutely critical and to be faithful to that rhythm of family worship.
[00:38:33] Curt: I love that. Okay. So I've been, trying to read scripture before bedtime to everyone because I know my wife gets it more if I bring it to her. My kids will get it more if I bring it to them. But just adding a song, adding a little bit of prayer, that's wonderful and a lot less stressful than I'm thinking like, okay, we got to set up the choir stage.
[00:38:51] Curt: You got to get your instruments. It's no, that's too much. Okay.
[00:38:55] Curt: Keep it simple. I mean, depending on the ages and stages of your kids, you're going to, it's probably going to [00:39:00] change over the course of. Your family, but keep it simple, but just be consistent, I think is the main thing.
[00:39:06] Curt: That's fair.
[00:39:06] Curt: And you know what? That brings up something that my wife pointed out a little while ago is that this is just a season. And I love that you said that with agriculture is that you're beholden to the seasons. And I hadn't thought about that until over the last couple of months where my wife is like, look, this is just, this is baby having season.
[00:39:23] Curt: Let's just like really get into it and just understand that everything will take a backseat Having children, raising children, all the rest of that kind of stuff. Everything from what we can do events wise to intimacy, to everything in between. And I'm wondering if that's also been sort of the rhythm that you're noticing is that there are just seasons, agriculture when you're farming, but also just in family life and that rather than fighting against those, I have found so much peace in just surrendering and going, okay, I guess we're just here right now.
[00:39:52] Curt: And that's made it easier for me. Have you noticed that as well?
[00:39:54] Curt: That's good. And that's very good wisdom right there too, because it is true. It, you can get, even in a family [00:40:00] economy, you can get so preoccupied with the business that you miss the whole point of it. , even if you're together, you can be together in the house the whole day and never really look at each other in the eye and really never really have those meaningful connections.
[00:40:11] Curt: That pull will always be there no matter what you're involved in. So the, the baby having season, I like that terminology. Yeah, that it's a season and there are, there are certain, , sacrifices you're going to make in that season. , and make sure you make those sacrifices. You're always going to have another opportunity to do things later in life, , to pursue some, , whether it's hobbies or, some kind of side business that you can't do when you have little kids around.
[00:40:38] Curt: Those are, those are things that are going to happen. You're going to have time for that, but you're never going to have a second chance. Right to make that impression on your kids. You're never going to have that again That's only going to come through one time And so you really want to make sure that you're paying close attention to the health and the well being of your kids Your wife because this is especially [00:41:00] Taxing on wives when you have little kids and you want to make sure that you're you know, constructing that secure stable home life And prioritizing those relationships
[00:41:08] Curt: Yeah, yeah, that's that's really good.
[00:41:10] Curt: And I think that's a good way to go into this family economy idea I think maybe we need a bit of a definition first and then just like what why are we talking about it? Why is it important? What does that look like to focus on that as the optimization piece sort of going back to the very first part of this conversation?
[00:41:28] Curt: Rather than individual sort of units coming back together in this home, but everyone's sort of scattering Otherwise, is that a good? Way to sort of set the, set the stage.
[00:41:38] Curt: Yeah. I think the term family economy is it needs definition today because it is so unusual, but for most of human history, this was just the normal way that families operated the family.
[00:41:51] Curt: I believe. God created families to work together. You, you brought up Adam and Eve in the garden, and that's exactly the first principle right there. [00:42:00] Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel. They were created and intended to work together as a family, not to each one go off to his own separate vocation and career and, separate day school, daycare centers and, and public schooling.
[00:42:15] Curt: Today the family is so segregated. And that's an artifact of the Industrial Revolution and the industrial society that we're in right now. The main, breakthrough, I guess you could say, or, or pivot in the Industrial Revolution was reorienting society around efficient mass production. In order to do that, you had to break apart the family.
[00:42:36] Curt: You had to find, mom went to work in the textile mills. They said the three, three fourths of the textile mills during the Industrial Revolution were employed, were, of the three fourths of the employees of the textile mills during the industrial revolution were women and daughters. And so you had the men working in the mines.
[00:42:54] Curt: You had the women in the textile mills. And it started for the first time in history, only about 200 years ago, you [00:43:00] started to see the family breaking apart in order to make a living. But prior to that, and all the way back to Noah, all the way back to Adam and Eve, you had families working together to provide the things they needed.
[00:43:14] Curt: And so the premise of the family economy is just redefining. And, reemphasizing the imperative of finding family centered vocations, family centered work as far as it is possible within an industrial society. That's the idea. That's the goal, because it is within the context of the family centered economy that you find things like intergenerational discipleship.
[00:43:36] Curt: Right. What do we have today? We have 80 90 percent of kids abandoning the faith of their parents within the first generation. You have things like marital fidelity. You actually need each other. It's not just a lifestyle choice to get married. It's functional. You really need Someone to lead the household and you need someone to support that leader.
[00:43:55] Curt: And so marriage becomes, More essential and the vision for the husband [00:44:00] and the wife become aligned. You're going the same direction You're not pulling apart in two different directions with two different sets of co workers and two different bosses Two different, health care benefit packages and compensation rewards.
[00:44:11] Curt: You're not doing any of that. You're coming together on a single vision So I believe that god did create families To work together in the sense that they were supposed to have a unified vision from which they went out and took dominion and subdued creation and made their imprint on the world. But today, we're so fragmented.
[00:44:29] Curt: That is a foreign concept for families to work together, but it's still possible. And that's the emphasis of the family economy. And that's what we started up the ministry gather and grow about was just how can families find ways to work together? And to start to make some strides back towards a family centered economy, which establishes, the basis for all of the rest of the things that we want.
[00:44:52] Curt: Wow. Okay. That I can feel the draw for that personally in my heart, and I'm grateful for the [00:45:00] life that we live because I think. We're sort of on the right track personally. And I know because this is so counter cultural, which I mean, anything good these days is counter cultural. It's going to be very hard, even for people who are prone to believing it, to pull away from that cultural narrative, the zeitgeist of the day, which is.
[00:45:21] Curt: Independence, which is the only thing worth celebrating is, the achievement of masculine virtues, even in women, which is to say going outside and creating and making money and not caring for the children. What are some of the things that you guys are seeing be in the way of people really truly grasping this?
[00:45:39] Curt: Because I almost feel like it's not that people need to be convinced that it's right. It's almost that they need to be convinced that everything they believe is wrong. And I'm wondering, I'm wondering if there's Like a couple of main things that you've seen be really impactful to get people back around this idea.
[00:45:54] Curt: Well, I mean, what comes to mind is the scripture, Jesus said, [00:46:00] one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. And we basically find ourselves in the heart of a culture where it is defined. By the abundance of possessions that that's like the entire orientation of everything we do is how do we make more money?
[00:46:17] Curt: Or how do we spend more money? And so the, the issue really comes back to this one that I've talked a lot about already is, is it more important to have efficiency or relationship because relationships are inherently inefficient, right? I mean, nobody would, no one would come up with the idea of a family.
[00:46:38] Curt: If they wanted to mass produce widgets in a factory, it's just not, the family is actually a terrible idea. You, what you, what you'd have is clones, right? Is that what star Wars has? You'd have clones or robots. I mean, that would be the ultimate, like. And goal of a factory system. God didn't create [00:47:00] robots and he didn't create clones.
[00:47:01] Curt: He created families. He created these individual sovereign units that were supposed to be self sufficient. Like, in other words, to provide for themselves. And then there was supposed to be, what does he say? Why? Why did he create husband and wife for godly offspring? It was for the perpetuation of the faith.
[00:47:19] Curt: It's generational faith is the goal of the family centered economy. And Goal of the family or what I would say the family economy. And so what you're really, what I'm trying to hearken back to is that we live in a very odd time in history right now. Even though we grew up in it, this is a very unique situation.
[00:47:39] Curt: For most of human history, nobody thought this way. The household was the sovereign unit in the building block of society. And to think that you could break that apart in order to mass produce, it just would have been unthinkable. No one would have gone along with it, and no one did for a long time up until they were able to gradually start to break down some of the [00:48:00] ideologies behind this.
[00:48:00] Curt: And then you saw kind of the whole dike break loose around the late or the early 18th century. And you had the industrial revolution, which really reoriented all of our thoughts around that. So all that to say, the family economy is the normal way. For human history families work together. That's how it always was but more ma in a modern context.
[00:48:24] Curt: How do you work your way out of that? I think that was part of your question too Is because now you're up against about 500 years of individualist philosophy And incredible shifts and cultural expectations Well, I mean I think just like anything, the first step is just recognizing that, Hey, we got to do something about this.
[00:48:44] Curt: And the direction we're going is not only going to be bad for our family, but it's not going to be sustainable as a civilization if everyone just continues to be an atomized individual, we are not going to, the society only perpetuates and the [00:49:00] civilization only continues because there are still some families around that are carrying it forward.
[00:49:05] Curt: Yeah, I don't want to get too bogged down in the weeds, but you can look at a number of different metrics. And we're in the process of a civil suicide, I guess you could say, because we're not doing the basic things that are needed to maintain an imperium. So going forward, some of those families are going to choose to start taking it upon themselves to produce for themselves and become less dependent on a system that is, hostile to the family.
[00:49:29] Curt: And they're going to learn to do these things together so that their kids are around when they're there discipling. I make the point in my book about. Discipleship of work. I wrote like a little Reflection on that, but it's really in the context of working together that most of our discipleship happens.
[00:49:45] Curt: I did. I highly prioritize family worship But to be really honest with you It's when we're putting up the pig fencing that I'm talking about some of the most important topics in my kids lives Because we're together and you look at the farm families [00:50:00] of a generation or two ago They worked out. They worked together on the farm.
[00:50:03] Curt: The discipleship happened. The mentorship happened while working together. So just like we have done in the area of homeschooling, which nobody thought you could take back homeschooling back into the home. No, back in the 1950s and 60s, when this is starting to be floated as an idea, nobody thought that was possible.
[00:50:22] Curt: Well, here we are today. In at least in the United States, there's about 6 million kids that are homeschooled, academically across the board. They're superior to public school counterparts, but it's not even about the academics. It's really about those relationships that are being built. So I believe as high of a watermark as it is.
[00:50:41] Curt: It is possible for families to reclaim a family centered economy. We're just going to have to wait for God to part the seas for us to get there.
[00:50:49] Curt: Yeah. All right. So what are some of the how to's along the way then? And I think this probably gets into the trades, and choosing something that you can coalesce around.
[00:50:59] Curt: Is [00:51:00] that okay? You've decided. I actually think that what Rory is saying is right. I've checked in with God. I think that this is a pull on my heart. What is this next step? Do you just go through your book and sort of like poke your finger at, okay, I guess I'm going to be a plumber or what does that look like?
[00:51:14] Curt: Well, plumbers actually not in the book. Oh, dang. Okay. Well, what were, what were some of those ones that just to give a quick idea? Well, plumber, plumber and electrician are too, are too, modern to be included because it has, they're all, it had to be around before the industrial revolution to make the cut.
[00:51:31] Curt: So that was, that was my litmus test. Cause I was looking at what's the most durable type of profession, not just family centered, but also it's going to be around for a long time. No, but, so I wrote that book. That was our own, that was a project just for my own family. I never actually set out to write a book.
[00:51:46] Curt: It wasn't in my mindset initially. But I was looking for what are my options. If this is what I want to do, what are my options? And so I ranked, 61 different trades and I use the term trades kind of broadly. They're not all manual trade. Some of them [00:52:00] are, like professor is in there, but I went through and looked at all these different trades that had existed for thousands and thousands of years.
[00:52:08] Curt: And I, I ranked them about like, how much time does a family actually have working together in this trade? Is there opportunity for children to be part of it? Is there opportunity for older adults? Traditionally, families had three or more generations living in the same household. So you had that intergenerational mentorship happening.
[00:52:27] Curt: How hard is it, how much money, capital startup expenses, does it cost? How much formal education? So I did all these different rankings and came up with this list. And it's not like the all inclusive list, it just happens to be these are the ones that are the most durable according to these criteria.
[00:52:42] Curt: So certainly those are options. One of the reasons why we're here farming and learning to farm and raise animals is because historically shepherding and farming are the number one and number two most durable trades in history, and the farm lends itself to a family economy unlike no other. I [00:53:00] mean, it's just, it's not that you have to farm.
[00:53:02] Curt: I wouldn't say that, but I'm just saying that there are more opportunities for kids and families to, to provide for themselves together on a farm than there are in any other vocation out there, bar none, which is why 90 percent of the country was farmers before the industrial revolution came along. So yeah, what I would say to someone who's asking me this question, like you are Kurt, is I would say, first of all, start with worship.
[00:53:29] Curt: Start with worship in your home. Reclaim the economy of worship in your home. Begin practicing that and begin seeking God for a vision for your family because what worked for me and what worked for our family I wouldn't sell it say go start writing a family newsletter And then parlay that into a book and then start some doing some events I wouldn't say that because I would not have even been able to conceive it That's how it would have worked out for our family either but God has a vision if he puts this on your heart That's the first thing I'd say.
[00:53:59] Curt: If God, if [00:54:00] God hooks you in and you're like, this is for me, what do I do? You, what you do is you get on your knees and you start seeking God for a vision. Where, Lord, am I supposed to bring this into my family? And then you got to start taking those steps of obedient faith. And that starts with worship.
[00:54:17] Curt: Get together with your family, get on your knees, cry out to God, ask him to show you what the next step is, and then trust him. Right. He leads by faith. So trust him in those steps. He will. Answer those questions for you. The second thing on a very practical level, just look for opportunities to start working together, whether that's growing food, whether that's setting up a, a farmer's market booth with some handcrafted items, whether that's helping your kids get some like lawnmower business off the ground.
[00:54:48] Curt: Actually, I know, I know whole families. I know multiple families that have found a lawn care and some kind of, landscaping businesses be very viable enterprises and they've been able to leave other vocations. Some of [00:55:00] those side hustles will turn into viable vocations for you, or you might have a mix.
[00:55:05] Curt: Traditionally, families engaged in multiple side businesses. That's what made up their family economies. It wasn't one thing. Oftentimes, you'd see 3, 4, 5 businesses operating within the same family. So, I would just attempt to find ways that you can work together, that bring the family together, make relationship the priority, not the economics of it.
[00:55:27] Curt: If that makes sense? I mean, you gotta have a, you gotta have a model. I'm not saying that it shouldn't have any plate, but I'm just saying, don't make that the justification for what you're doing, make the fact that this brings us together as a family, make that the goal and then see if God blesses what you're doing and you may end up finding yourself with a viable home economy.
[00:55:49] Curt: Excellent. That's really good. Thank you for that. And that's, man, that is just the right answer. It's so much less with the tactics and then just trusting because at least for me, and I'm being [00:56:00] reminded of this by God constantly right now, I want to know every step of the way, obviously, because then I can control it.
[00:56:07] Curt: And I've tried that for a long time and every time I do, God's like, Okay, what does it look like in your little world world there where, every little thing that could possibly happen and it's like, I leave no room for him to work and that's not served me as well as I wished for it. So I'm really trying my best now to just, like you said, trust, have faith and then take the next step.
[00:56:28] Curt: And one of the things that I was thinking about for my kids. Is here, at least in BC, they only have to be quote, unquote, educated for up to 16 years or up to their 16th year. And my thought was, we're getting through all the academics like you. I don't think that's a huge priority. They're going to learn what they learn.
[00:56:47] Curt: They read a lot, they do stuff. It's fine. And I'm like, well, when they get to 16, I, maybe God will have put this sort of family economy. Maybe this, we've got to. Family thing going on. And that would be great for them to learn. But [00:57:00] as it looks now, I'm like, maybe I should set them up such that they are expected in a sense to go find an apprenticeship in a trade, even if they want to start a business, even if they want to go to university.
[00:57:13] Curt: I've just been thinking like it, wouldn't it have been amazing to have something to fall back on? That is, it gives you the confidence because you have competence. Have you thought about that? I mean, you guys are doing the farming stuff, but is that.
[00:57:26] Curt: Absolutely. I think everyone, so your role as a father is to discern the patterns in your children and then to try to steer them towards the productive capacities that you think God has.
[00:57:39] Curt: Design and put in their hearts now. Ultimately, it's up to your kids to do what they want to do with life, but it's up to you parents to provide the education and training. And so, absolutely. I'm, I'm always trying to think through different ways based on the personality traits of my kids, what I think they might be suited to and then experimenting with some of those [00:58:00] energies in different ways.
[00:58:01] Curt: And so, like, I'll just give an example. My oldest son is he loves the farm. Uh, he is primarily in charge of the livestock right, right now, which we raise hair sheep for meat. And then we also have some goats, although we're, it's kind of a love hate relationship there. So, but, but when we're in good moods, we have, we keep the goats around too.
[00:58:23] Curt: But he is primarily responsible for rotating sheep on pasture and, and just do the general. Oversight of them and he loves it. And that's probably something he'll continue with, but it probably won't be a career for him. , one of the things that he is very interested in is woodworking. And I think he has particular, uh, aptitudes for it, attention to detail and, and kind of a, a very good eye for.
[00:58:45] Curt: For these kinds of things. And so in the, I'm in the process right now of trying to get him hooked up with some kind of informal apprenticeship, because a lot of places aren't going to take a 12 year old on in any kind of formal capacity. So if I can find some mentors for [00:59:00] him to start getting him started, so he can get some real experience under his belt 16, he could potentially have a craft that is, an option for him.
[00:59:12] Curt: As a family centered career. Now, I'm in process. I don't, I don't know. I'm doing what I can, but I'm not a master woodworker. I don't have those skills to teach them. So I'm at the mercy of whoever God will bring along to provide this, this kind of knowledge. But the same thing would go for each of our Children.
[00:59:27] Curt: All of the younger ones is that that I take that very seriously. And I would just say this to apprenticeship, just like what we were talking about with the family economy. Apprenticeship was the historical route for careers. It always was through apprenticeships. You were placed in relationship again.
[00:59:45] Curt: There's that, the primacy of relationships. You're placed in relationship. With a master of some kind of skill set and you learn for a period of years under that master, uh, and then not only did you graduate, so to speak, with the skill, but you [01:00:00] graduated hopefully with some kind of integrity, based on the qualities of that master that you were learning under.
[01:00:07] Curt: That was the mentorship. That's the discipleship model. And you see that all through the scriptures and you see it all through history. People always learned from masters. And so, Over in, Europe, it's still actually quite common apprenticeship. You have, Austria, Switzerland, even Germany, you have upwards of 70 percent of high schoolers, enter the trades instead of college.
[01:00:31] Curt: And, that's their first route and you'll have. Incredibly successful apprenticeship programs. You'll have kids coming out of high school at 18 years of age, skilled in trades that are, some of these are pretty advanced manufacturing trades at this point. I mean, it's not like what we think about necessarily.
[01:00:50] Curt: You know some guy leaning over a broken toilet with his butt crack hanging out These are like some pretty advanced skill sets that these kids are learning and they're like 18 years old And they're making 70 grand a [01:01:00] year coming out of high school now when you're 18 and you have that kind of earning potential You can, if you want, continue on to, to college and you can get a degree and many do do that, 30 percent of them go on, but the vast majority of them find very rewarding careers and very stable, professions going right into the trades right out of school and they, they start learning at right around the age of like 13 or 14, they start putting them into an apprenticeship track.
[01:01:26] Curt: So I think there's a lot to be said for that. And I think that America is, as far as we're concerned, they've kind of looked down their noses on the trades for so many decades that everyone just prioritizes higher education as the panacea for everything life and career. But it's really not. I mean, there's so many, white collar professionals that are losing their jobs right now and will probably continue to do so due to AI, but we're always going to need people who are skilled in the trades.
[01:01:55] Curt: Yeah, no, I'm I'm grateful for my university education because I got a wife out of it [01:02:00] and that's about it. And I'm wondering if in your book weapons maker is still a reasonable career because my son will Like it's incredible. He'll he'll make like working bow and arrows and he'll make Swords and all that kind of stuff.
[01:02:14] Curt: So anyway Yes, our armorer is in there. Is it seriously? Oh man. Okay. I'm going to get the book. I'm going to read it to him. Thank you. Is there any last thing that you think would tie this up or you just want to give people a way to find you? We'll put it all in the show notes, but what, what would be the sort of last word?
[01:02:30] Curt: I just think, what comes to mind is what you, you already touched on is that we are in a very counter cultural mindset right now, but if you look at the long view of history, I think this is the more stable way, , to conduct family life, to pass on. Our heritage to our Children, which is really what's happening right now in the Western world is we're failing to pass on the values that matter to our Children.
[01:02:53] Curt: And so I really believe in the family economy as the vehicle. The work is secondary. The profits are secondary. [01:03:00] To the relationships that we can have with our children and that impact that we can make. And so to the degree that you can do it, I don't want to leave anyone with like some, , feeling unable to do something if they're bound to a desk job.
[01:03:11] Curt: You still have ways that you can interface with your family. You can have worship every day. Everyone can do that no matter what your job is. Or you can do something in the weekends together. That would be a viable economy that you can begin at home So I would just really encourage everyone to take one step and then just see if god blesses it Then I think he will
[01:03:31] Curt: gather and grow.
[01:03:32] Curt: us the grovestead. com anywhere else.
[01:03:34] Curt: , no, that's it And if you want to come get our newsletter, it's free to sign up for it So you can just sign up on either one of those websites has the link over to it Amazing. Well, there'll be something to look forward to in your literal mailbox rather than your email inbox.
[01:03:47] Curt: Excellent, man. Rory Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it. You're very welcome. I appreciate the opportunity
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