How rich are we?
Having spent most of my life on the farm there are many recurring themes that come and go as the seasons. Among them is the perception of financial abundance that emerges every Fall as thousands of families come to visit the farm to pick apples, eat donuts and take in the energy of the harvest. Ever since I was a child I have encountered this perception from those that may not fully understand the immense undertaking it is, to get to, and through, each harvest. From the pruning in the Winter to the non stop mowing and spraying in the Spring and Summer, there is always work to do. Long after the apples are picked and the customers have moved on to the next seasons traditions we are busy every day working towards the next season. I often work 12 hours or more a day for months at a time – no PTO, no paid vacations, and still never get it all done. Beyond the arduous nature of farming there are all the normal challenges and expenses of running a small business – liability insurance, workers comp insurance, disability insurance, unemployment insurance, taxes, equipment repairs and maintenance, etc. The fact is, once the dust settles there’s not much money left over to backup that perception of financial abundance. However, the abundance we do have can not be measured in dollars and cents.
The glaciers have blessed us with fertile soil and beautiful rolling hills. We are blessed with a tremendous ground water resource that transports nutrients to our trees. We are blessed with prevailing winds that help pollinate our orchards. We are blessed by trees that withstand the snow, ice, wind and rain with vigor and persistence. We are blessed with generations of families that make their pilgrimage to the farm each year. And we are blessed by the dedication and hard work of all the people it takes to make the farm fruitful.