Joyce Brown - Brown's Family Farm Market

Diary of Joyce Brown – Brown’s Family Farm Market -Week 1

March 1, 2011

Here we are back in the greenhouse starting a new season. I love the seasons. It is a New Year, new weather, and new crops. The weather has been pretty much what you expect for Jan. and Feb. The cold, snow, ice, and wind all play a role in growing our plants even in the greenhouse. I can control most of those factors with fans and furnaces, and keep it cozy in there. I have been starting my plants later in the season for the past few years to save money on fuel. The timing of the plants seems to work out fine. I like for my flower plants to be just right for Mother’s Day!

March 2, 2011

The truck with my supplies that was supposed to be here on Monday finally got here today. Of course it is Wednesday. I was going to take my daughter to the airport but had to stay and unload the truck and get the supplies into the right greenhouses.  Jessica was leaving for London, England; Geneva, Switzerland; Luxembourg; and Paris, France. I will just keep my feet on the ground here in the good old U.S.A.  After unloading the truck, I took off for Holmes County. I got there just at dark but had time to stop in and visit my Amish friends before going on to our place. I will go to Troyer Cheese tomorrow and go over my opening order for the farm market, then to Yoder’s supplies for more greenhouse supplies that weren’t on the truck, then to a plant and plug auction to see if I can pick up something unusual or something that I think would fit into my plant program. Before heading home, I will stop and pick up some fry pies for the Hamilton store. The customers wait for the fry pies. They are one of the most asked for items at the store.

March 3, 2011

The day went as planned. I was on the road by 6:30 a.m. to get all of my stops in. Everything went well. I only bought a few plug flats. The prices were plenty high for the product today. Some days auctions are good for the grower, some days they are good for the buyer. By 1 p.m. I was ready to head home. It takes me between 4 and 4 1/2 hours to get home. It depends on traffic, and how many bears are out. I got home and went to the greenhouse to check on the plants and seedlings, then went home to feed our pets. We have goats and miniature horses. I need them in the fall when I do an educational farm program for the school classes at the farm market. The children love the animals, especially when they are small cute animals like the horses.

March 4, 2011

One of the most fun parts of my job is planting the seeds or small plants, nurturing them and watching them grow. It is so great to see the beautiful blooms and combination planters mature. I am surrounded by the beauty of nature. We start some of our plants by seed and some of them are plug flats that I buy. So far we have started cabbage, cauliflower, and peppers by seed. Cabbage is one of the crops that we can plant outside early when it is still cold. We use a vacuum seeder to plant all of the seed flats. It goes pretty fast that way. We usually try to have our cabbage plants out in the field by the end of March. Most of the time it is the first week of April when we get them planted.  Had to get our mechanic to come in and work over the fertilizer injector today. It wasn’t working properly. It is a big problem if you cannot feed the plants when they need it.

March 5, 2011

Besides our pepper and cabbage seeds so far this season we have planted our combination hanging baskets and our plants that take a longer time to grow. Jody and Jonathan came down and helped me with the combination baskets. Jody has a talent for arranging the colors and making them look great. Jonathan’s talent was just getting dirty. He always wears his mud boots down on the farm. I am glad that the weather has turned so mild. I guess the groundhog was right. It looks like it may be an early spring. The furnace went out in greenhouse #3 this afternoon. Fortunately one of my employees called me and told me. I had been gone picking up the dog at the vet’s. Once again, had to call Russty our mechanic to come and fix it. Russty can fix just about anything. You really need someone handy like that on the farm. It seems like repair things is all we do some days.

March 6, 2011

I went out early to feed the miniature horses and the goats. I wanted to go down to the greenhouse early to check on the furnace, and make sure that the heat was on. Everything was cozy and warm. The plants are looking good. Went back home to get ready for church. My granddaughter Jenna wanted to go to my church today with me. It was nice having her along. In the afternoon I went to the Hamilton store and helped out wherever I was needed. Sometimes that means office work, sometimes that means wrapping antiques at the check-out counter, sometimes it means “clean-up in aisle 4”. I don’t mind, whatever is needed to be done I do. Sometimes I tell my workers that their job description is “if it needs to be done, do it!” Today was an auction day. I ended up helping at the auction check-out and helping at the concessions. A few years ago, my husband John became a certified auction house at the Hamilton store location. He is just crazy about auctions and really has tried hard to build up that part of our business. It is a very interesting business to be in. The auction turned out to be a very nice one. I didn’t buy anything! We got home by 6 p.m. and settled in for the night. It is so good to be home.



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