Thursday, June 18, 2009

Newspaper article and family ties.

We were featured in the Joplin Globe today! If you didn't get a chance to read the article you should get a copy of the Globe and read it. Anne Hershewe did a great job of spotlighting the blueberry farms around the Joplin area. Our thanks to her for including our farm in the article. It's always fun reading about local farms that sell fresh produce. Each farm is unique and offer a variety of experiences for their customers.

The article mentioned that we are a family-owned and run business. We are certainly all about family here at HFF. It's great to see families and friends come together in groups for a fun outing to the farm! It's a great summertime tradition and we know that many of you are regulars and have come to the farm for many seasons to get your fresh-picked blueberries and enjoy the experience of the farm first hand! No pun intended.

I am the granddaughter of the owners Ted and Donna, and I truly love being a part of their business. I enjoy working along side my family members including siblings, cousins, an aunt and my parents.

Each person works to keep the farm running smoothly in their own way. Let me introduce you to my family and give you an idea of the work that goes into the farm.

Farm owners: Ted and Donna - known to me as Granddad and Nana. Besides managing and overseeing farm business, Grandad keeps the property mowed, the irrigation system running, and weeds, prunes and fertilizes the bushes. He is also caretaker of the bees and honey production. My cousin is working with him this year as his assistant. Nana does anything that needs to be done around the farm. You'll see her in the office or out in the field. She loves to visit with customers and gets to know a lot of them.

Office: Laura, my Mom, runs the office, keeps the orders running smoothly, and makes sure everyone is doing what they need to be doing! My aunt is also working this year helping in the office and picking berries.

Field Workers: Three of my sisters are regular pickers and work hard to keep orders filled! They also help in the office from time to time during the season.

Field Service: My youngest sister, who is 9, sometimes helps customers out in the field by bringing their full bags of berries back to the office to be stored in the cooler, allowing them to continue picking. She really loves her job and I love to see her with her red wagon walking through the field, chatting with customers and collecting their bags.

I (Hannah) help out with managing the email accounts, the blog, sorting berry orders, and general office work.

In the winter months many of us work together to prune the bushes. It takes about 3 months to get it all done before spring!

Last year, our first year in business, was a big learning curve for us. We made some mistakes but we've learned a lot along the way. We really appreciate the patience of our loyal customers, many of whom have been coming to the farm since the Chism's owned it. They've been patient with our blunders and given us encouragement when they saw positive changes.

I'm so grateful to be working for my grandparents, helping them sell healthy blueberries to the community.

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