CARBONDALE, Ill. — The farmers who run Echo Valley Orchards in Jackson County believe in God, hard work and avoiding temptation. The result is a successful venture, despite some struggles along the way.

Three Amish families who operate the farm don’t have a web page, aren’t on Facebook and don’t even have an Internet connection. But they get by just fine, thank you.

Joas Troyer, Vernon Yoder, Warren Yoder and their respective families purchased an established orchard in Jackson County, moving to here from their roots out East. They were forced to deal with adversity soon after taking the reins.

When the families moved to southern Illinois in 2007, they were forced to deal with the worst season in 50 years for fruit production.

A hard Easter freeze in April followed record highs in March and wiped out virtually the entire peach and apple crop in the region. But the families soldiered on, bolstered by their steadfast faith in God.

“We trusted in a higher hand. He brought us here, so we knew he’d provide a way to make it happen,” Troyer said. “We had to keep working and searching.

“He takes care of us in times of trouble — maybe not always in the way we prefer, but he provides a way if we’re open to his leaning. He blesses us as we strive to do our efforts. I think we’ve got our part to do.”

Echo Valley Orchards has electricity and a telephone, but that’s about as modern as the owners plan on getting. Troyer and the others especially avoid the Internet.

“We feel there’s too much evil on there,” he said. “We decided to keep ourselves away from it. That way we don’t get exposed to it. I’m not condemning anybody who uses the Internet. We just think there’s so much garbage there it’s hard to keep your mind and your focus on what’s good if you’re exposed to it all the time.

“That said, that’s becoming one of the hottest marketing tools there is. We just simply have chosen to separate ourselves from it. You can’t eat garbage and not get dirty.”

Troyer has no plans to build a website, though the farm and its produce may be found there.

“I leave that up to my wholesalers. They’re welcome to do that if they want to, using our product,” he said. “We’ve concentrated our efforts toward wholesaling at this point. Probably if we ever go retail, we’ll still just go by word of mouth.”

They also eschew television and radio for the same reasons. Not all technology is avoided, however.

Landline telephones, electricity and tractors are used regularly. But vehicles designed for traversing long distances are off-limits.

The community has provided support. A nearby Walmart installed a hitching post especially for Amish shoppers.

“We just use the tractors, though we couldn’t operate without trucks coming in here,” Troyer said. “We do hire guys to deliver stuff for us. It comes back to keeping us from becoming assimilated into the rest of society. If you have to hire them (for going to a farm meeting, for example), it’s a little more inconvenient, but that’s how we operate.”

While work on this farm may not be punctuated with GPS or other modern technologies, it is wrapped in faith.

“When you have faith in God, you also associate with brothers who also have it,” Troyer said. “There is a communal effect of supporting, encouraging and helping each other where we can.”