Produce, It's Who We Are And What We Do

I've had several questions about the greenhouse side of our life so I thought I'd devote a blog to it.

Now for some of you you've heard all this before so I promise there won't be any hurt feelings if you just skip over this post.

Mark's family has raised produce for as long as anyone can remember.

I'll go back to the 1800's when Marks great grandparents were farming in Polk Township, Washington County, Indiana.

They of course raised produce in the fields with their focus on tomatoes.

Mark setting this years plants.
Grandpa Herman often shared stories with us about taking the tomatoes by wagon to Louisville, Kentucky to sell at the market there.

This was before the bridges were built and they ferried across.

Sometimes they would stay the night in the wagon  along the road.

When Grandpa Herman grew up he married Ruby Fisher, Grandma Gray and they bought a farm in Pierce Township but still in Washington County.

They raised eight children on this farm.

Grandma Rudy said when the kids were little she would sit them under a shade tree near the field when they were really little she tied them in the high chair so they couldn't get away. Now I know that sounds awful but I assure you they were well loved and taken care of.

She said she would stop, sit under the tree and polish tomatoes for packing while nursing the baby.

Grandma had a farm in Wood Township, that's in Clark County.

I can't remember right now if she bought that place or inherited in but either way Mark's dad and mom bought it from her and that's where Mark was raised.

They started out with field tomatoes too.

Mark and his siblings have lots of stories about working in those fields of tomatoes.

One of Marks favorite stories is about how his mom would come out and blow the car horn when the noon meal was ready.

He said they listened all morning for that horn to echo through that field.

They built the greenhouses in 1976 and are still growing tomatoes today.

Mark's dad, Lowell turned 84 on the second of this month and his mom, June, will be 82 in May and they still grow three large greenhouses of tomatoes each year. This year included.

You would never know they are as old as they are.

In 1987 Mark and I rented one of his dad's greenhouses and had our first crop.

The next year we bought the farm where we live now and Mark got about the business of building our first greenhouse.

We cut the lumber from the place and built our first wood frame greenhouse.

A couple of years later we were able to afford  two more metal frame houses so we had a total of three house.

Mark kept working public work for several years leaving me and the kids to tend the greenhouses.

I found myself living Grandma Gray's life.

I watered, suckered, and pollinated tomatoes all with a baby on my hip and little ones around my legs.

So this is the story of how we came to grow tomatoes. It's the story of our people, who we are and what we do.

I'll post about the actual process of growing the fruit next time, hope you'll check back in for the rest of the story.


Popular posts from this blog


Great Aunt Dorothy