by Molly Oberg, Co-Owner of Meyer Produce
It was the end of June, and I was just one month into my first summer season of working on the farm. Ben and I were newlyweds, and we were both working under Jeff Meyer – the owner of the farm at the time. We were taking a break under the shade of a wild cherry tree. Sticky with sweat from fieldwork, chatting about our past lives and how they did (or didn’t) relate to farm work. I was recalling all of the house plants I had ever owned as a teen & young adult…”Oh,” my words were laced with dry humor, “I’ve killed every house plant I’ve ever owned.” This was met with brief silence, and then a look and comment from Jeff that I will never forget. With big eyes and a slightly shocked – but kind – expression on his face, Jeff said, “Well. This is going to be interesting.”You see, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a vegetable farmer. In fact, I greatly disliked weeding and being in the humidity that Central Illinois is famous for. Alrighty, then how in the world did I end up being a veg farmer? I’m a sucker for true love & opportunity.
I fell head over heels for Ben, he was an old soul, creative, hard-working and kind. From our first date, I knew I could trust Ben with my whole heart. I had been in a previous relationship that ended with heartache and mistrust. When Ben came along, I knew he was the one I wanted to have by my side, through thick or thin. It didn’t matter to me where our path was going to take us, as long as we could walk it together
When I entered the picture, Jeff had been talking to Ben about slowing down farm production or even retiring. I can’t remember all the details, but Jeff approached Ben with an offer. He would sell us the farm & business – a 25 acre produce farm, complete with tunnels, sheds, and equipment. He named a price we couldn’t refuse. Yet, we wanted to move forward with caution. So, our first 2 years of newlywed bliss we spent working together under Jeff.
Today, our 7th season of owning & running Meyer Produce is on the horizon! We jumped in with both feet and haven’t stopped running. We are constantly trying to improve our growing practices and create a more balanced work-life. We combine conventional growing practices and holistic care with our growing regime. Sustainability is important to us on so many levels, and we strive for transparency with everything we do on our farm and in our lives. With true love to keep us on track and the blessing of a generous opportunity behind us, we’re excited to see what the future has in store.
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We wish you & yours all the best.
Molly & Ben too.