M’sian Man Runs Successful Vegetable Farm In Switzerland After He Lost Engineering Job

He left his job in 2014, travelled the world with his wife, and settled in Switzerland with their own vegetable garden.
In the scenic village of Sorens, Switzerland, there’s a remarkable sight—a 5000 sprawling garden bursting with a variety of vegetables.

But what makes this garden truly special is the person behind it all: Eryzal Zainal, 41, a Malaysian expatriate whose journey from corporate life to European farming is nothing short of inspiring.

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Ventured to Switzerland in 2017

Eryzal, once an engineer in telecommunications and oil and gas, ventured to Switzerland with his wife, Zsuzsanna and daughter, Inez in 2017, seeking a closer connection to nature.

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Eryzal zainal, zsuzanna and inez, a family working in switzerland
Photo via Berita Harian

What started as a desire to understand where their food comes from turned into a passion for sustainable farming.

Eryzal’s journey into agriculture began with a small plot next to his home, which he expanded with the help of supportive neighbours, reported Berita Harian.

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They adopted organic practices and aligned their planting schedule with lunar cycles and seasons.

Starting with manual labor and recycled tools, Eryzal’s commitment to sustainable farming has paid off.

“I just used whatever was available as a start, slowly we upgraded farming equipment to better ones,” he said.

Now, with the help of a two-wheeled tractor, he manages a diverse array of vegetables, including salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli, and radishes.

Transitioning from engineering to farming

Although Eryzal started in engineering, his move to farming wasn’t just about changing jobs. It was a big lifestyle decision driven by his love for nature and conservation.

Eryzal zainal and his daughter, inez
Photo via Berita Harian

After leaving his corporate job in 2014, he worked on conservation projects in Malaysia. Then, he and his wife traveled the world, volunteering on farms in different countries.

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Their travels eventually brought them to Switzerland, where they put their farming skills to work by starting their own vegetable garden.

“In most European countries, Switzerland is the most stable country. I like this country because it is clean, beautiful, and has a good administrative system.”

“We learn how to manage plants and animals. After a few months of wandering, we arrived in Switzerland and decided to try practicing the farming knowledge we had carried all this time.”

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How do they sell it?

This marked the beginning of their successful venture, supplying fresh produce to the community using models like Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

Eryzal zainal, a farmer in switzerland
Photo via Berita Harian

With CSA, people sign up in advance to receive seasonal vegetable baskets, creating a direct link between farmers and consumers and building a sense of community and shared responsibility.

Besides CSA, Eryzal and his wife sell their produce every week at local markets, connecting with customers who value sustainable agriculture.

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Eryzal believes in permaculture, a way of farming that focuses on sustainable design. By creating diverse ecosystems and reducing dependence on outside resources, he not only grows more but also lives in harmony with nature.

Sometimes, the sky isn’t always clear

For Eryzal, farming is about more than just the crops. It’s about the friendships in the community, the happiness of seeing his family enjoy the harvest, and the lessons in patience and toughness learned from nature.

Eryzal zainal and daughter at a farm
Photo via Berita Harian

Sometimes, the sky isn’t always clear as Eryzal faces the inevitable ups and downs of farming. Plans change unexpectedly, and unforeseen situations arise.

“I believe that striving for and enjoying clean, nutritious food is a noble pursuit. Gardening teaches us valuable qualities like patience, generosity, and resilience.

However, farming isn’t always smooth sailing. Challenges like storms and hailstorms are common. Despite this, we press on because overcoming obstacles is part of being human.”

“In the end, even a small garden can provide immense satisfaction,” he concluded.

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