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What I Know Now

A Farmer’s Reflection After One Year of Farming


As the berry season winds down, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what I’ve built. When you’re a first-generation farmer, an understanding community bands around you to help you succeed; without their help, there’s no way we would have opened our doors. We’re incredibly thankful for your presence, patience, and support. However, even with the support of a loving bunch of neighbors, nothing could have prepared me for one of the worst berry seasons in years. When I bring up our struggle to fellow farmers, their response is always the same, “You can’t beat Mother Nature.”


Now that I’ve endured my first season of butt-kicking Mother Nature, I can stand back and say, ‘wow.’ Were there highs and lows? Absolutely. Some days were grueling physically, mentally, and emotionally. When big chunks of hail pummeled our crops on opening day, I looked over the field and crossed my fingers that this wouldn’t also be our closing day. I faced some really tough moments. But I also learned that I love growing berries. I love watching them transform from tiny white flowers to these big, beautiful fruits. I thought I knew everything about farming strawberries. I knew when the first blooms were coming. I knew the size the berries would be, and how many would burst into ruby fruit. But, what I couldn’t comprehend was how elated I would feel watching all the smiling faces enjoying my berries.


When little kids came tumbling off the field in their adorable, grass-stained strawberry outfits with juice dripping down their chins, I felt so happy. When two sons bolted to their mom to see who had found the biggest berry or when my own three kids came out of the fields proud and giggling, I knew I had chosen the right path. All of a sudden the worst season in years didn’t matter anymore. Though financially we didn’t hit our goal, we were still able to witness a community that adores us and because of that, we’ll be back bigger and better next year.


Thank you, strawberry family, for all of your encouragement and support. Strawberry Run felt like running a marathon, but we thrived because of all of you.


Until next year,


Jon








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