Growers here in the Southeast live and farm on roads, streets and lanes with names as picturesque and soothing as Southwind Lane, Friendly Baptist Church Road, Shady Lane, and Waxhaw-Indian Trail. There are farms on NC 801, County Road 15, and Highway 81. So many farms… so many flowers all the way from Owensboro, Kentucky to Eustis, Florida to Biloxi, Mississippi and many points in between.

Patty and I live on five acres of land, part of an original farm that had been in my family for over 100 years. When my grandmother became ill, my grandfather sold off a large part of the farm to pay medical bills. What is left is rented out by my mother to local farmers to grow corn, soybeans and presently to raise beef cows. I think my grandfather, who was a tobacco farmer, would be pleased to know that I am living and farming here, although he would probably scratch his head that our crops are flowers, maybe in disbelief that people make a living at this (or try real hard to).

Our farm is located near two secondary roads in a very rural area, 25 minutes from town. Sometimes when we are cutting in the garden early in the mornings, we hear the most interesting sounds that make us perk up our ears while we cut. What are the sounds of your farm? Here, we might see and hear a truck loaded down with laughing teenagers, maybe on their way to swim?  (Or who knows what). We might hear the faint sounds of our brother-in-law practicing his piano and songs for his next gig at an area club (we laugh because it seems like we are being serenaded). Or, we hear our young nieces and nephew playing as they ride their bikes up and down our dirt lane (sometimes they stop to see what we’re up to). Or, we hear our neighbor crank her car to leave for work at exactly 8:00 am, which is our signal that it’s time to get hoppin’ to start the day’s route. If she sees us, she will wave, or yell over a friendly reminder “Don’t get too hot!” Or, we can hear our sons’ childhood friend as he is approaching from about 5 miles away in a truck with a very loud exhaust system. (We laugh because this young man is so likable and goofy.) Or, we hear the big dump trucks go by on their way to deliver sand from the sandpit down the road.

These descriptions might make it seem like it’s noisy around our farm, but it really isn’t. We hear lots of cars go by, but mostly it’s pretty quiet. It’s just kind of interesting to hear the sounds of the world around us and wonder where all those people are going. What kinds of interesting things do you hear and see at your plot of earth?

We are excited about the upcoming Regional Meeting in Charleston on August 15th. We look forward to reporting back on how it went, what we learned, and what we saw.  We hope to see many of you there!

I will end with an email my sister sent me titled “Old Farmers’ Advice”. Here are some pearls of wisdom that might help you too.
l Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
l Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
l A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
l Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. 
l Every path has a few puddles. 
l  Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
l Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. 
l  Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
l Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
l The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’. 
l  Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment. 
l  Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.  Leave the rest to God.

Charles Hendrick

Yuri Hana Flower Farm, Inc.

Charles Hendrick Yuri Hana Flower Farm, Inc. [email protected]