2015 has come to a close. The planting for 2016 has already begin. By January 1st, 2016 we already have more than fifty varieties just starting to reach for the lights that hang above them. Although it might seem early, I am fairly slow due to ongoing challenges with my legs and feet. So I need the extra time. That is what I want to share, how things have changed with the new challenges.
‘Dad, can I help with the pepper business this year?’ – Baby boy Drew
Moving the family farm online was my daughter’s idea. I was facing a partial amputation of my left foot and already had very serious challenges walking. The idea of loading and unloading our trailer to bring produce to market seemed unrealistic for the 2015 season. Planting started shortly after the amputation. It was then that something amazing happened. Although it would later be difficult to convince my children to help me weed the gardens, during planting time I could hardly get them out of the garden. Never before had my little helpers helped so much.
Walking was not easy, but worse was getting up and down. At one point, I had casts on both legs. So I would hobble to a row and plant my self before planting pepper varieties. My son and daughter then brought tray after tray and ice tea after ice tea. At one point, they even argued over whose turn it was to help dad. In the past, the argument would have been who had to help dad. This past year the argument was more often who got to help dad. So when my son recently asked if he could help with the pepper business this year, he meant could he help more. That and I think he is itching for an hourly wage.
My daughter has taken a slightly different route. She started with video reviews of hot sauces on Youtube, had me set up a website called Milk Worthy for those video reviews, and is now looking into producing her own line of hot sauce. Did I mention she is only eleven years old? She tells me her line of hot sauces will one day be my largest customer, so I better give her a good price.
There is a popular expression: ‘God works in mysterious ways’.
Yes he does. I entered the 2015 season with much doom and gloom. How could I possibly keep things going if I can not walk. I left the 2015 season with the knowledge that not only are my children ready and willing to help their father, but that they have started to accept the work ethic of the traditional American family farm. Something I think will serve them very well in the years to come.
So what are we up to for 2016? The same thing as 2015, growing closer together as a family. Thank you one and all for the opportunity that you have given me to change my life for the better, to believe I will again be able to return to provide properly for my family.