So What has that Crazy Gourd Farmer Come up with Now?
So what has that crazy gourd farmer thought of now? If you can guess you must be clairvoyant because even he has no idea what will catch his attention next. Think millions of sunflowers and thousands of monarch butterflies. Then think the coolest wagon shaped like an old-time trolley pulled by a brand-new John Deere tractor. Add to that a slow ride around the gourd farm where there are countless pictures of one of Pennsylvania’s most picturesque landscapes. Wish I could tell you I planned it all, but I didn’t.
Tonight I took the maiden ride as my daughter drove. I live here and it brought tears to my eyes. How lucky and blessed am I to live this life with my family and friends. I never would have guessed that this farm I was forced to work as a child would be so beautiful and mean so much to me. Let me tell a little story as those that know me understand I love to do. We are all about growing and crafting gourds but sometimes the beauty of nature just steals us away. I don’t remember the first year that we planted sunflowers. It was maybe fifteen years ago when we were searching for cover crops to make the soil better. We tried growing all kinds of things, one of them was sunflowers. One day someone, I don’t remember who or when, asked me if they could pick some of our sunflowers. I said sure since they are just a crop that we are seeing if their roots and organic matter make our soil better for the next crop of gourds. If you pick a few I don’t need paid just enjoy them. Well the word spread that we were giving sunflowers away for free and over the years it has become an annual fall event. To my utter amazement a touch of generosity has been one of the best things we could have done for our retail gourd store here at the farm. I just meant to be generous and kind to one of our customers and it has benefited us and so many others as well.
We started this year with the dream to make this sunflower season something spectacular. How beautiful could we make this gourd farm if we planted many many more sunflowers than we ever had. If twenty acres of sunflowers was beautiful how cool would say maybe eighty acres be? So that’s what we did, planted eighty acres and decided to have a special festival to enjoy them. Like most of my crazy dreams I missed some of the Important details. How are people even going to see the vast fields we planted on the back side of the farm? If they can’t see them, how are they going to pick and enjoy them? This is what old farmers had a saying for, putting the cart before the horse. I do it all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I have done this over the years.
That’s ok because I think we have the solution, build the coolest wagon you ever saw and take you to those fields on a special tour that I doubt you will ever forget. A more organized person would have planned first and then planted all those sunflowers. That’s not me, I tend to make problems then find the solutions out of necessity
With the sunflowers in bloom I set out to build a wagon to solve this problem with the goal of making the wagon nearly as special as all those beautiful sunflowers. Needing help to get this wagon built, I asked one of our young farm crew to assist. Of course, I started building the wagon with only half of the picture in my head. This young guy Trevor started helping and started to make suggestions on how we could make it even better. Together we designed and built it at the same time. Some of the major ideas came from him so when you see it hopefully you will know that’s why we named it after him, The Trevor Trolley. He is only seventeen and is brilliant mechanically. It wouldn’t have looked like this without his help. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this project.
So please don’t wait for our sunflower festival on the first weekend in October. The peak of the season is right now. Come pick sunflowers for free, and if you feel like it takes a ride on The Trevor Trolley that I think you will always remember.