There were hundreds of little experiences with my grandparents, parents. aunts, uncles and in-laws, that when taken as a whole, have led me to where I am today. My father liked to grow tomatoes and camp. On those camping trips we somehow always ended up at a farm. One of my earliest recollections was with my father stopping to buy eggs, I remember him talking about the freshness of the eggs coming right from the farm. He would buy fresh corn, tomatoes and whatever else they had. That night my mom would make dinner with what was purchased.
My grandfather owned a restuarant for awhile and then sold fruits and vegetables in the city. I can remember the smells the fast driving as he was picking up or delivering cases of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Then there was my father-in-law who put a garden in every year and every year it seemed to get a little bigger. He had perfect rows and would tend them daily often imparting bits of wisdom. I love to cook but at the time I was still in college and didn't have a thought of growing anything. But I loved his daughter and I wanted him to like me, so I helped and listened to him all the same.
There is this paradox with what we do. It is incredibly hard physically, mentally, emotionally and fiscally. by the end of the growing season we are drained in every aspect of being. Yet each year as winter turns to spring I start to get anxious. I can't wait to hook the tiller up to the tractor and turn that years production garden under. I'll hook up the water tanks to collect the spring rains and torture some poor plant by planting it early and trying to keep it warm in the frigid air. Always testing ways to get things planted earlier then planned.
I'll dream of the corn and tomatoes to come while testing the soil temperature and waiting for the slightest change in weather. But there are the long, hot, humid, sweaty days that will come with all this anticipation and the back breaking labor of planting, weeding and re-weeding. I'll look back at what we earned last year, what pains we went through, how much time we spent and logically tell myself it just is not worth it.
Then a small voice inside will say, "This is the year. This year will be the year that we really make a profit. Our name will get out and people will come to the farm and purchase". I think of all the little simple acts that have taken place in my life and I know I'm where I'm supposed to be doing the things we do. Besides who is to say, maybe this will be the year.
Buy Local - from a farmer not a chain hard selling the word.