It is really hard to believe that our family has been serving our local community with organic goodness for that long. One crop of garlic leads to another and before you know it 21 years have snuck right up on us. Joelle and I have had the privilege of serving many of you for 2 decades. Some of you even remember us when we opened the Organic Produce Shoppe at Manna Mills in 1998.
I met my first organic growers in Portland Oregon in 1994. Who knew that meeting a farmer selling lettuce would have such an impact on our life? We still buy vegetables from that farm today. Ironically, lettuce is my favorite crop to grow. Really, I just love to grow food and I love to serve people.
It was hard to start our little farm business back in 1998. Home delivery was so new, only a few of us were doing it. We transitioned to home delivery in 1999 full time and started with just 50 customers, but I believed it would work. Absolutely crazy! Our first crops were garlic and sugar snap peas. We still grow those today plus lettuce.
I remember one time when Andrew, who was 3 at the time, went missing. And so was Chaps, our golden retriever. At this time, we had a much smaller home and farm in Machias. When I look back on that first farm it was really just a big backyard, but we were farming! It must have been the end of June or so and the search was on! We wandered towards the pea patch and found him and Chaps. Chaps was laying down in front of him with his head up, crouching down, but ready to jump at a moment’s notice. And Andrew had not one but two handfuls of sugar snap peas, which he was sharing with his “babysitter.”
Fast forward a few years and we had finally found our farm, 39 acres in the beautiful Stillaguamish River Valley. Chaps made the trip, of course, and while we were remodeling the old farm house he continued his babysitting duties. Like most dogs, he loved us, and we loved him. One day the kids were tired from throwing the ball for Chaps. Like any retriever, if you took the bait and started throwing the ball…Let’s just say you would wear out before he would. One time, Micah decided to put the ball in the Walnut tree out of jumping distance. Wouldn’t you know it, Chaps climbed that tree.
A lot of life has happened in these last 21 years. When we started, we had 5 children. Now we have had 5 weddings and added 5 grandkids. We have been blessed to journey with so many of you for so many years.
Thank you for allowing our family to serve yours,