Our own movement!
What started out as a curiosity turned into a way of life. Where does our food come from, and who was involved?
We’d like to share some of our inspiration behind starting JarJoy Goods and why I now work on an organic farm in Oregon!
After living in LA for seven years, our main goal became apparent: learn how to be much more self sufficient and work our own piece of land in the world!
This gradually emerged for my wife and I after becoming just so plain tired of paying top dollar for top notch food and having to go into a busy store to buy it! We valued expensive food- we spent a lot of our paychecks on it! So, we naturally started to think… growing and raising animals is a natural process that we could take so much pleasure in if we did it ourselves.
We wanted to feel that spiritual growth by connecting to the processes and abundance of nature and we also knew we would be saving a lot of money going with those feelings- a win – win if we were willing to work. And after years of working in LA – we were fine with working in nature.
For my wife Celeste and I, that meant taking baby steps because we didn’t have much farming or gardening background. It’s an overwhelming feeling to start a new business or a begin a career change. It feels as though your world is being torn apart and you have to face fear, and doubts.
Although I do feel like I have experience in my genes- my great grandfather was a farmer in Los Angeles. Robert Lyans and even wrote farming editorials for the Los Angeles Times Farm and Garden. I do really feel his spirit with me here in Oregon. I also did some dabbling in bucket farming on the side of our West Hollywood apartment! But I never dedicated myself. Now I feel the dedication.
What is health? The personal and loaded question!
The word “health” is so loaded these days with multiple meanings. On a personal level it means choosing healthy nutrition that we want for our bodies.
But, because a food is healthy doesn’t mean it is healthy in all areas.
Did it come wrapped in 10 pounds of toxic packing materials?
Is that packing material damaging our food and the planet?
Another big question for us was and is: what is the business like that produces what we are buying!?
These two mentioned factors were the inspiration for learning homesteading and starting JarJoy Goods- our family’s small business.
1) Less plastic and healthy packaging means less toxins for our bodies and the planet.
2) What does the company put out for the world to see concerning who they really are and what they value.
I did have experience working in a small business before starting JarJoy Goods with my wife. I helped launch a Kefir beverage business- we were the first to bottle and sell a freshly cracked coconut water kefir to stores. I with some help did the cracking of the one thousand coconuts a week and I also did the day to operations. I knew what the trials were of a small biz and it was a challenge I loved. The beverage got into seven states back when Whole Foods was smaller, but it wasn’t the right gig for me long term. It turned out the right gig for me at that moment was my wife and staying home with our newly born children.
We needed a miracle!
Celeste brought in most of the income as a dental hygienist working in LA where that work is in demand. But, that was starting to be a stress on our marriage because she wanted a break from that work. She was well aware she married an entrepreneur and it was time for my next entrepreneurial move and Celeste was game to be involved.
We loved our life in LA, with all different types of businesses to be inspired from. California can be a fun place to be. From our life and what we loved, sprang JarJoy Goods.
The problem with LA was- we didn’t see a future there. We came to realize we honestly didnt want one there either. We dreamed of having an A-frame cabin home in the country and growing vegetables, then canning them for the winter. A place our kids could run around and not worry about the cars speeding down our street escaping police with sirens blaring.
I constantly did research on the best places to homestead or country living. As much as I planned and researched I couldn’t come up with a plan to get out of the rat race.
We had to find a way that I could work and fund our dream in a place that met our homesteading goals.
At this point I was praying all the time for a solution. We were getting very stressed out by the city life, the traffic, smog, EMF, politics, and caddy neighbors. One night we were visiting my parents in Ventura California and were FaceTime’ing with my sister in Portland Oregon. She had just moved there with her family. She was selling us on the idea that we should move closer to them. I was determined to take the role of income provider from Celeste.
Celeste teased me about always hearing about different jobs that Ive had, but none were truly me. Until I had the thought of having a homesteading dream means farming: I want to learn to farm. Then my my varied work experience came to be an asset, as farmers where many different hats in day to day life.
That call to my sister put everything into drive. As soon as I got off the phone I looked up on Craigslist Portland and Searched “Organic farming”. I was so happy when a farm near Eugene Oregon did actually pop up! I emailed that night right away. Celeste and I knew on that drive back home to LA from Ventura that if that farm hired me, we were moving. It would be our ticket out and starting the life we had grown to want. They did hire me, because the next week when I flew up to do a working interview I worked my butt off for them!
The rest is history as they say. A blessing to our prayers. We moved our world to Junction City, Oregon and began my career as a farmer at the Deck Family farm.
Hard work and steady change
It’s taken time and experience to learn and unlearn what health means for us and what food and security is. Standing in an aisle at the health food store reading labels, it’s tough to determine what you’re actually investing in. For us, it’s about more than just eating the appropriate ratio of carb, protein and fat. It’s about voting with your dollars, and your energy. It’s about getting to know your farmer, and ultimately it’s about becoming your own farmacist(not a typo).
Our hope is that through example we can offer simple solutions to find lasting health that eliminates toxins and creates a more sustainable future. To be truly healthy we have to be honest about the products that nourish people and the planet.
Be the change! Enjoy the movement!
Chris & Celeste, Jar Joy Goods