Hard But Good – Our Upcoming Transition

We’ve been quiet.  Really for some time now.  What we want you to know is that our voice and presence, although absent in recent weeks, months, and maybe even years, has not been lost.  It has looked differently for us and we have not been able to commit to the same sort of consistency with Creating Sustainable Roots you may have come to know in our opening acts of 2016-17.  We can assure you that creating the posts and content that defines us has not ceased… it just has not translated to pen and paper, keyboard and screen.  The conversations surrounding our core values and our Family Mission Statement still pervade our home and the avenues of relationships, skills, and adventures we have chosen to invest ourselves in.

So, what have we invested in?

One – our family.  We see these early years as just too precious, and too paramount to our children’s development and livelihood to let them slip by as anything other than our utmost attention, care, and even our own learning and betterment to be all we need to be to them.  Eloise came not too long before launching CSR and Abram joined us in 2018.  Breaking commitment to them to devote time and attention elsewhere would mean compromise of the very values that shape us, and that would be a disservice to everyone – you included!


Two – our farming pursuit.  From the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018 we took a class called Stateline Farm Beginnings, geared toward launching a new farm or food business.  With so many different ideas and possibilities roaming our brains we just needed a community and place to belong and explore these possibilities.  This class was just that.  Through it we launched Sustainable Roots Food Co. the spring of 2018 and took our micro-scale suburban farm in Wheaton, IL to the local community and sold our produce at a weekly farm stand that lasted 10 weeks that summer.  Both the class and the farming took a great deal of commitment and time to pull off.  But both were immensely valuable in our development and pursuit of the next big thing for our family…. And we’ll get to more on that!


Three – our current reality.  This was quite possibly the most underrated barrier in our own minds to going all in with the things we felt an ever increasing calling to.  Cutting ties with your main source of stability and framework is not easy.  Our one-income, stable life supported by a 9-5 career level office position made all the sense in the world.  At a heart level, however, we longed for something different.  The 40+ hours a week being devoted to work and brain capacity far from where our passions lied, not to mention our desire to work together as a family unit and the separation this lifestyle translated to, just became too daunting and began to make little sense with the larger story being written of our lives.  Even when leaving felt costly and scary.

Which leads us to where we are…

Now – today – this very moment.  If you know our full story, you know that prior to living and working in suburban Chicago we were on staff full-time with a campus ministry in Central IL.  This ministry had greatly impacted our lives during our college years and we wanted to devote our lives to seeing the same spiritual change and impact in others lives.  We did this for 5 years and this is core to who we are today.  The call to “go therefore and make disciples” and followers of Jesus is at the utmost of all we do.


Our other calling is food.  There is no doubt that our food system has strayed from its intended design.  We saw the ramifications of this with various health issues in our own lives.  But food – when grown, prepared, and eaten the way it is intended to be – can and will change us for the better.  We have seen this played out in our own lives in nothing short of miraculous ways; ways that defy anything our minds could have dreamed up before seeing food and its power and purpose in this light.  And thus, it is a worthy calling in the feeding and nourishment of our family, and the feeding and nourishment of our community – wherever that may be.


Much like we believe our spiritual reality to be entirely important, our physical health and vitality is as well.  In fact, we believe the spiritual and physical to be intertwined.  That God created both, and desires us as his creation to function optimally both physically and spiritually.  We were just not yet aware of how the two could exist side-by-side.

What’s this big change?

To not leave you in suspense too long 😉… our big transition is that we will be joining staff at Harvest Home Farm!  HHF is a 160-acre, diversified family farm nestled in the driftless region of west-central Wisconsin.  On one hand, it is a Christian ministry working to reach the surrounding community with the light and hope of Jesus and teach of God’s character through the context of the farm.  On the other hand, it is a full-functioning farm with pastured animals, gardens, an orchard, berry patch, maple syrup production, beekeeping, and much more.  If you imagine the two hands firmly joined together, much like an old married couple, well – now you’re on the right track!  The farm and the ministry, they exist together.  A perfect marriage in our book as we see both as spiritual endeavors.


Guys, we are excited!!!  God is faithful and so clearly led us to this opportunity that is beyond anything we could have dreamed up ourselves.  We will be living out our passions every day and we get to do it together as a family.  We hope you will stay tuned for wherever this wild adventure takes us.  And there is so much we have in store for Creating Sustainable Roots in all of this; new thoughts, how-to’s, recipes, meal planning, farm life, and so much more!  All the while staying true to our values and for us, our Family Mission Statement, as we view the world through a lens of sustainability – a better tomorrow through minimal, natural, and local living.


With this transition, the wheels are well in motion and we expect to be settled into our new Wisconsin home by the end of June.  Until then, our voice will still remain quiet but not lost.  We see this as the beginning of something great for our family.  It is scary for sure.  We are leaving a lot.  But history has not proved well in avoiding ones calling and we, though still at times foggy and unforeseen, look forward to the immeasurable gain lying ahead of this one specific call.

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  • Jim Overmyer April 18, 2019   Reply →

    Jim & Joelle!

    Man! You guys are doing some crazy cool things! We should talk sometime. Alanna and I are moving to Southern California to live in our bus on a retreat center in Cleveland National Forest. I am excited to hear about your new adventures. I don’t know why I never thought to connect you with a ministry in Kodiak, AK. They do mostly day camps and they have preschools (including a completely year round outdoor preschool!), but they have some land and are breaking into sustainable farming which they use to support their ministry financially, aid their community food shelter, and teach their preschool children!

    Look up Kodiak Baptist Mission. Let me know what you think.

    • Jim April 27, 2019   Reply →

      Hey Jim! So good hearing from you and Alanna! You guys are doing some crazy awesome things of your own… what’s the best way to stay up to date on where you’re at and what you’re up to? Connecting sometime soon would be great also! It’s been a while since we’ve seen you guys and I know a lot has taken place in both our lives since. I did check out the Kodiak Baptist Mission site and it looks sweet! So fun to see sustainable agriculture being valued, taught, and used to nourish communities. Kodiak might have been a bit far for us though 🙂 Hope we can catch up more soon!

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