August 10, 2015

How I wish I could spell…

From the Fields - Thaddeus

Sitting in my office on the farm, I found a break from the sweltering summer heat that was pounding the farm outside. With the chill of the air conditioning rumbling in the background, I cranked out a Farm News about the bustle outside and our new son. Several days later, after the letter was formatted, printed, packed into our box and delivered to our home (yes, we get a Farm Fresh To You box delivered to our house; it’s just so easy), I got a text from my wife: “Misspelled Julien’s middle name in the newsletter! Boy Francis (“is” ending not “es”).”

Sorry Julien. I should know how to spell your middle name because it’s my middle name, and I should know the difference between the girl and boy spelling because my mom’s middle name is Frances not Francis like mine.

I didn’t let it get me down. Spelling is something I have struggled with my entire life. As a child, I once put a fake note about a child in trouble in a bottle while camping and tossed it down the stream. My younger brother and I spent the afternoon chasing the bottle down the stream, freeing it from any snags it found. The note made its way to the authorities who said, “The spelling was so terrible we figured it must have been a foreign child not a joke from a domestic child.” FBI showed up at my friend’s house – whoops.

In the early days of Farm Fresh To You before we had customizations or a good database, when we were short on items, we would make a change that would result in the already printed “included sheet” no longer being accurate. Instead of reprinting the “included sheet,” I would type up a quick note and add it in the box with the substituted item. One week, we ran out of cucumbers and had to replace them with green zucchini. I made a quick little note and someone printed up hundreds of them, and they were put in each box. The following morning I walked into the office and Georgette, our longtime Farm Fresh To You office help, started chuckling as I walked by and said, “I have been getting calls all morning about your note!”

I was so confused. Georgette showed me one of the notes. “Our cucumber harvest fell short today, so we are replacing the cucumbers you were supposed to receive with zucchini. Sorry for the incontinence.” I blame spell check for that one and until then I never really considered how similar inconvenience and incontinence were. Those close enough to poke fun at me would waste no time gleefully pointing out that they really aren’t that similar.

Sorry Julien Francis! Enjoy your boxes this week, and enjoy the summer produce!