EP #70: Reinventing the Family Farm for Midlife Happiness with Andrea McFadden

What You’ll Learn from this Episode: 

  • Why it’s important to look to your childhood for clues about what really brings you joy.
  • How a “midlife funk” can be the push you need to find more fulfillment in your career.
  • How a family farm and farm experience can get in your blood and be hard to ignore.
  • How taking a 10 year break to start your family can help you take a fresh look at your career options.
  • How certain professional requirements can seem ridiculous and become a turning point when you’re a midlife gal.
  • How working in a beautiful location can become inspirational when crafting a business plan.
  • How the weather helped Andrea make a decision about the how the future of her business would include Lavender and Tourism.
  • How “going back” to the family farm helped preserve a rich agricultural family history.


Welcome to another episode of the Women in the Middle podcast!

Going back to your family roots can be surprisingly rewarding. This week my guest did this quite literally. Today’s episode features another interview in the Getting Real with Women in the Middle Series.

I’m thrilled to welcome Andrea McFadden to the podcast. Andrea went from being a teach of special education to running a vertically integrated herb farm specializing in lavender.

Basically, she reinvented her family farm. Her family had a long history of farming in the Kelowna, British Columbia area, which is called the Okanagan region. It’s known for its rich history of fruit packing and growing. You may have enjoyed some delicious wine from this area of Canada.

Andrea grew up on her family’s apple orchard. She pursued a career in teaching, specifically, Special Education. However, after she took at 10 year break to raise her young family, she decided to make a big change.

She moved back to the farm and back to agricultural roots.

It took some time to settle on the focus of the farm. Eventually, she shifted her business to growing lavender and herbs and opened up The Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm.

One of the big changes was to make plans to grow her business, which included taking on some debt to realize her dream. Also notable was the shift from teaching, where you have summers off, to farming, where you need to embrace a vacation in November.

Andrea’s story is one of following your passion. She shares advice about the importance of always having an end goal in mind, which is really important as you take steps to regret-proof your life.

It’s fun to see how much the planting cycle influences everything in Andrea’s life and business, including developing strategies to overcome business obstacles. It’s easy to see how important it is to identify your strengths as you grow your business and live intentionally, exceptionally inline with your passion.

Join us as Andrea shares what it was like to make this a big, scary decision like this and live her new agricultural lifestyle.

Enjoy the interview!

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