Most people notice nice houses, fancy cars, clean streets, rolling hills, distant mountains, soaring birds, and other wonderful things as they move through life each day. But, give me a fresh-plowed field of dirt to smell, tromp through, and go lay in and I’m as happy as can be! Don’t get me wrong…all those other things are certainly great to see. I’ve just always had dirt running in my veins… As they say, “you may be able to get the boy off the farm, but you will never get the farm out of the boy.
Being an innovative sort since the time I was a young lad, I arrived home from school with a great idea one day in the winter of 1972…growing apple trees. Pretty good, don’t you think? So…I called up my local nursery, ordered some rootstock, cut some grafting wood, and retreated to my grandmother’s basement where the process began.
After much effort, looming uncertainties, and a thumb-under-my-suspenders sense of satisfaction…I admired the little trees huddled in the corner healed in sawdust. Not fully knowing what to expect, I checked on them each day looking for signs of progress. Finally, buds began to swell and it was time to plant them in a new area of my dad’s orchard. Now, some 37 years later...dad and I still walk through those trees that grew to become his most profitable block.
It’s interesting how some hair-brained ideas we get as kids grow to become part of one’s life work. Likewise, it’s equally satisfying to realize that one also enjoyed the rare opportunity to work with his dad in the process. Sadly, most people never get the opportunity to grow up on the farm to chase dogs, build stuff, or grow things able to reward them with parents, purpose, and passion necessary to change the world. So, next time you’re driving by a fresh-plowed field…pull over, get out, and go lay in the dirt. It will change your world forever!
Greg Benner – Owner