When your world revolves around the farming calendar, some memories are forever with you. It was 1994 and I had begun my career in the produce business. That was a long time ago! During these early years, before Joelle and I started Klesick Farms, I worked in specialty produce in Portland Oregon. It was here that I met my first organic farmers. Hard working folks that were working outside from sun up to sun down and making their own deliveries, because that was their only option.
It was inspiring! We didn’t have any land, but we did have a beautiful Purple Lilac in the front yard. It was full of blooms, and I harvested some stems and sold them to my work. Lilac blooms were my first agricultural or floral sale! And every spring since 1994 I get to pause and smell the lilac flowers and reminisce about those early days.
Last week Joelle harvested some white lilac blooms that beautifully adorned our table. Once again, lilacs will hold a special meaning for me. Our son Andrew and his wife Abby have decided that Pittsburgh is where they want to live. I am excited for them, but sad at the same time. Andrew wasn’t born, though he was in the “oven,” when Joelle and I started Klesick Farms. Now 21 years later he and Abby are finding their way. As our families gather to say good bye, pray for them and send them off, lilacs once again signify that a change has come to the Klesick Family.
His older brother Micah lives in Michigan, and Abby’s grandmother also lives in Michigan, which is comforting. Technology softens the move with messenger or facetime, but the sadness will persist. So far, all the grandbabies still live near us, but that too will change. Not sure when we will have all nine of our children together again, probably weddings and funerals. I do know that when we see them again, the embraces will be long and teary, much like the night before they left. Tears filled with excitement and mixed with sadness as we will now watch from a far.
Change is hard and it is good. Now every spring when the lilacs bloom purple I will remember how Klesick Farms began and when the white lilacs bloom, I will be reminded that another Klesick is making their way in this world.
For many of you, our lives through a box of good have been intertwined for those same two decades. And for you, too, the agricultural calendar has created many memories. Spinach and peas, raspberries and cherries, nectarines and blueberries. We have a rhythm to our menu planning, and it is heavily tied to local food. And for the next several months, Klesick Farms and my local farming neighbors will begin to share our bounty with you. Stay tuned, the box of good is going to get a lot more local!