Life happened in the 90’s. Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Our parents had an amicable divorce, and our mother, Kathy, bought our father, Martin, out of the farm. Mom started Farm Fresh To You and was proud of the business that had grown to 500 deliveries per week. Mom loved what she did. In the winter, she poured over seed catalogs making next year’s planting schedule. She was proud of the positive feedback she received from her customers. Mom passed on pieces of advice that we took for granted: quality and selection, be proud of the farm, work hard, be respectful to everyone, and above all – you boys stick together.
Between sophomore and junior year in college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I was back on the farm to help mom with the summer crops. I had just returned from a quarter in Guanajuato, Mexico, where I had learned enough Spanish to achieve communication with our invaluable team of Latino production, harvest and packing crews. I remember mom making a big point to show me how she put together the Farm Fresh To You contents a week before she passed. “Mom, I get it. It’s not that hard,” I said. She laughed and was relieved at my confidence. Looking back, I suspect she knew what I was in for, but I surely didn’t.
Fifteen years ago, the morning of July 2nd, our mother and founder of Farm Fresh To You ended her battle with breast cancer in the very room of our farm house that I was born in. My brothers and grandparents were there to witness her last breath. At that moment, we had no idea that our entire world had just changed.
Overnight, I inherited the full load of farm responsibilities, including the farm news. Freeman inherited the farmers markets and delivery of the Farm Fresh To You boxes. Noah inherited the financials and sales. Che looked on from his military base in Puerto Rico, where he was piloting Falcon Jets for the Coast Guard, offering moral support.
I am proud that we are still together. I know mom would be amazed at what has happened over the years. But most importantly, I am so thankful to all of our Farm Fresh To You customers who have tried our service and a special shout out to those of you who have made it part of your life. Thank you. We could not have done it without you.