Friday, 14 August 2009 03:00

Labor of Love - the Making of a Business.

Written by 

 First the teaser photo:

On this 12 day trip I figured I might take a few snapshots of customer sites along the way and share them.  Day 1 started yesterday at 2:30 AM with a 6 hour drive and then 9 visits.  No time for photos.  Today started much later but 10 busy visits and a few photos.  The dilemma: how do I not offend some by not showing their sites along with the others?  After all, there are incredibly large, successful high end nurseries, and newer, smaller ones.  And everyone is working their tails off to be successful.

So with a little wisdom, I've decided not to attempt to post many customer site photos at this time.  Besides - I'm beat at the end of the day.  But I had to share this experience from today.

About the photo: I had an interesting visit with a couple that is new to the nursery business.  Last year Love Farms in Healdsburg bought a number of fruit trees and grapevines.  So I decided to stop by and see what's up.

I met Ron Love and his wife Bibiana.  They are Organic Farmers, eeking out a living by starting a new organic farm and working other jobs at the same time.  Some of the trees they planted and the others were or are being sold in their roadside nursery.

What I like about our industry are the wonderful people who are so down to earth and friendly.  Ron showed me his farm, and the new cleared land for the next planting.  Bibiana was canning tomatoes.  Life looked like it was currently lived on a shoe string.  Yet Ron bragged about his farmers market paying off his substantial start up costs.  A lot of melons moved by hand with sore backs accomplished that feat. 

After discussing tree care and the challenges of the nursery business, Bibiana wanted to give me a gift before I left.

Yesterday, their Ostrich layed this egg.  I've seen photos but never held such a humoungous thing.  Although I really did want to take it to show my grand daughters, I figured this large egg rolling around my hot car for 10 more days was not a very wise thing to do.  So I left the egg with the Loves to do with it whatever you do with eggs this large.  Omlette anyone?

And here is the big bird that layed it.   It was eating unsellable melons. 

Amazing to see quarter mellon sized chunks of rind bulging down its skinny long neck.



Amazing creature. 

I appreciate the work ethic of the Loves.  Over the many, many years, we have  developed long friendships with people who work hard to build a successful business and livelihood.  I wish them well.