The amount of friends I have made through the years in the farming community are too many to count. When I was younger as a dairy farm there was always a salesman, vet, or random contractor visiting the farm. During those years my dad would spend hours visiting and spending time with his friends that would stop by. Even when he was in the thick of his busy season he would always made time to talk. I have found this to be true at our farm but also true for most all farmers. The farming community is not like any other industry you will find.
Today there are many friends I have met through Swans Trail Farms. There is of course all the other pumpkin farms in the Snohomish Valley which I have mentioned in past blog post. I will not keep talking about these fellow farmers. These families are dear to my heart and I feel blessed to be part of their community.
There are always the salesman. I hesitate even to call them salesmen and women because I consider them my friends. Our pumpkin and corn seed guy is a young good looking dude who has a family like myself that I always enjoy hearing about. He has more knowledge about pumpkin plants that I can even hope to have, the time he talks I am mesmerized with information. Our equipment salesman has been with us since our dairy farming days. It is a time span of over 30 years. The guy can fabricate just about anything out of steel. With this long relationship we can trust everything he says which is rare in that business. Unfortunately this year is his last year and will be sorely missed. Our fertilizer saleswomen is young and intelligent. I can’t tell you how many times she has figured out what we need to apply make our crops the best they possibly can be.
Mick is our reluctant tractor mechanic. I say reluctant because each time he comes out he threatens to retire. At the ripe age of his early to mid seventies I can’t image not being able to call him when he is needed. Most every time there is a solid 1 hour catching up and visiting with each other.
Then there is Snohomish County and yes they are our friends. I have been lucky enough to get to know Linda Neunzig whom is the Snohomish County Ag Coordinator. She has been friends with my parents since they were teachers (they had her as a student in the eighties) some 40 years ago. Since I have come to the farm full- time I have gotten to know her and appreciate everything she has done for agriculture in the Snohomish Valley. She truly cares about our industry and the people she works with. We are very lucky to have such an advocate and friend in our industry.
For years my dad’s high school basketball coach Jack Dekubber who has been planting his famous Dutch potatoes in a small patch near our apple orchard for the past 20 years. He is 83 years old and still comes down every season to plant the potatoes his family has been planting for generations. Each harvest season his kids come and help him dig them up and wash them clean. Although he is known for rototilling, driving and who knows what else to our crops we cherish the time he is down here with us.
Frank the pickle man makes the best pickles you have ever tasted. He is a long time community guy who also drives tractor for us during the fall season. He grows his cukes out here and prepares him for canning with his wife Marsha. He is quick to hand you a homemade burrito at any time of the day and makes the best salsa. I enjoy the time I get to spend with him in the fields.
I am very lucky to have such great people in my industry and life. I can fully appreciate all the different friends we have came into contact through the years. As my dad would always welcome everyone who visits Swans Trail Farms, I find myself doing the same.