Hi ya’ll. Here’s a post that may be a little gushy, so stop reading if that’s not your thing :).
As many of you already know, I think that there man to the left is pretty freakin amazing. There’s no way I can go into all the ways he amazes me – and I’m sure most of you don’t want to read that much anyway. So, what I want to do with this blog is explain how “Ben the Farmer” is amazing (and not “Ben my partner”). In effect, I’ll be sparing you from even more gushiness :).
First, let me tell you a little bit about Ben’s work ethic. He gets up between 5 and 6 am, drives to the farm (it’s about a 30 minute commute), works all day, gets home sometime between 7 and 9 pm, we eat dinner together, then it’s time for him to get in front of the computer and do research, purchase supplies, return e-mails, re-stock the online store and a number of other things. Then it’s time for bed only to wake up and do it all over again. Everyday. EVERYDAY. Well, except for the brief break he took when we went to Tennessee to see my folks and other family during NC State’s spring break.
I have to admit, that I can be a little selfish and get to harping on Ben that I don’t see him nearly enough and try to get him away from the infernal computer at night. So I guess I’m not especially helpful in letting him get his work done. But I like to think of it as helping him relax ;). It wasn’t until our first day at market last Saturday that I was able to actually SEE what he’s been doing all that time behind the computer. When Ben and I set up the stand, I was amazed at how much thought and effort he’d put into the presentation of Ben’s Produce.
Doesn’t it look BEAUTIFUL?! The price cards, the white cloths, the checkered table cloth, the baskets, the beautiful banner (thanks to our friend, April), and there’s also an awesome sandwich chalk board (constructed by Ben) that’s not in the picture. He even got fruit and veggie stickers to give to the kiddos (thanks to Tom). Our friends Tarah and Emily volunteered to help us at the stand – and given the huge crowd we had that first day, we certainly needed their help!
We first moved to Raleigh almost two years ago. I don’t think we even knew how far we’d come until we got there. Ben quit his job at the Smithsonian Magazine in NYC to move to Raleigh with me and to begin farming. I quit my full-time teaching job at Middle Tennessee State University to come here to work on my PhD in Sociology at NC State. We both hit a number of rocky patches in that first year. But we got through it. And I know we got through it because of each other. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive, caring, kind, and beautiful partner. Now I’m almost finished with classes (although there’s a whole lot of other work ahead of me: 2 preliminary exams, defending my dissertation proposal, conducting research and writing my dissertation and then successfully defending it) and Ben and I (mostly Ben) have successfully started our first CSA (with a TON of help from Tom and Theresa of Double-T Farm). And of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the support of all of you. Thank you so much!
Thanks for stopping by. And if you get a chance, please stop by to see us at market this Saturday.
(4/26/10) It turns out a lot of you e-mailed me or talked to me in person, reminding me how very valuable my contributions are to this partnership. I was reminded that I almost always have a home cooked meal ready for Ben and I. We haven’t gone out to eat, since well, I can’t remember when. We live on a very limited budget. And I do not have any debt (and I’d like to keep it that way!). So we live within our means (and even below, so we can do a little saving along the way). One thing that really helps us do that is my contribution to cooking and prepping meals, grocery shopping, and of course, Ben’s veggies. Of course, we both do more to support each other than engage in work (whether it be on the farm or in the house) – we also talk over our ideas, fears, concerns, hopes and dreams. Ben has helped me get through the stresses associated with graduate school – and I’d like to think I’ve alleviated his stresses as well.
So, thanks for the reminder folks :). And thanks for everyone’s support.