This episode is a quick overview of “who” Yoders’ Farm is as well as “what” we do and what we offer to the public.
Intro: 00:00 – ::Music::
Eldon: 00:12 – Hello everyone. Eldon Yoder here and Lowell is with me. Say Hi.
Lowell: 00:17 – Hi.
Eldon: 00:19 – Uh, we are here with uh, conversations with Yoders’ Farm. Um, it is our new attempt at a podcast. This will be a biweekly podcast. At least that is the idea right now. And we’re going to talk through…
Lowell: 00:34 – At least by annual.
Eldon: 00:36 – …biannual at least. Yeah. And we’re going to talk through kind of what’s going on at the farm, um, in the past two weeks. That’s in future episodes. Uh, and in this first episode I think we’re going to talk about a little bit around who we are and how we got here, uh, as far as the farm and maybe some, um, somewhat of an overview of the current staffing here at the farm. So Lowell, you want to start off, uh, just tell them folks who we are, what we do.
Lowell: 01:08 – Sure. Yeah, we’ll probably quite a few of you already know that if you are, um, you know, following us on Facebook or Instagram or, or have visited the farm. Um, we are a fourth generation farm. We, uh, we’re a dairy farm. Um, my granddaddy moved here and grandma, grandmother obviously, and on 1952, they started a dairy and, um, we had cows here on the place and we’re primarily dairy farm until 2011 when we transitioned away from that due to volatility in the dairy industry, uh, in the, in the years before that, um, my, my grandfather had actually retired from the dairy, had put up a, a tomato greenhouse sort of as something he could do in his retirement. And, um, yeah, we ended up putting up several more greenhouses, uh, starting a pick your own strawberry patch, which morphed into a pick your own pumpkin patch, which morphed into adding a corn maze, uh, to that. And, uh, yeah, that’s kind of where we are now.
Eldon: 02:23 – So we’ve been here was 70 some years, 60 some years. I’m not good at math. I shouldn’t have even started down that road. Um, but yeah, the last almost 10 years have been a transition away from dairy, uh, the dairy industry towards more agritourism and produce. And that’s kind of what our focus is these days. So what else, let’s see, we were going to talk about some of the staff here on the farm. Is that kinda the next thing.
Lowell: 02:56 – Yeah, so you come out and visit on a, on a Saturday. Um, we, we describe ourselves as a family farm, but what does that actually mean? Well, full time. Uh, we have working here, uh, Dad Delvin. Um, and my mom, Barbara, um, many of you know them and um, yeah, they do many different things on dad is uh, sort of the tomato guy. We, we uh, dub him that on Facebook. Uh, he’s in charge of tomato nutrition and so forth. And uh, of course he does lots of things outside of that.
Eldon: 03:35 – Him and mom do a lot of the store, running I guess. They run out to see customers and take care of folks. Most often. Sometimes other people do that, but they’re generally the… (ones who do that)
Lowell: 03:48 – They enjoy interacting with, the customers. They have a lot of friends and they enjoy taking care of that. Mom does a lot of the store, stocking. She makes many of the jams and jellies that we carry as well as ordering and those that, that she can’t make herself. So they are two very crucial parts to the operation. And then the other full time employee or, uh, I guess, what am I? I’m not an employee. I guess I’m just one of the partners when full time partners.
Eldon: 04:25 – Human…
Lowell: 04:25 – Yeah. Human most days, uh, would be me Lowell. Uh, I sort of take care of the strawberry end of things.
Eldon: 04:35 – He’s the one we call the strawberry guy if you’ve ever heard of that term.
Lowell: 04:39 – Yeah. So I kind of worry about those, uh, details on nutrition, those kinds of, uh, things, the pumpkin’s as well. Um, so sort of dad does the inside stuff. I do a lot of the outside stuff and we go back and forth and yeah. Help each other out. But, uh, and then I also do a lot of the vine work on the, in the tomato greenhouses. Um, which means I work with the plants every week their different chores that need to be done. So I do a lot of that during the winter months. And those are the only, that’s the extent of our full time employees of course, or staff.
Eldon: 05:26 – Yeah. I mean I’m sure the technical term…
Lowell: 05:27 – Family members, family members. Then, uh, obviously during busy times, uh, during the spring strawberry season, during the fall, corn maze season, there is no way we can do everything ourselves. So we, um, we have other family members who help out. Uh, you would be one of them…
Eldon: 05:49 – That comes into generally that’s extended family, not just more of us.
Lowell: 05:55 – Right.
Lowell: 05:56 – Just to be clear
Lowell: 05:57 – We’re not that big a family.
Eldon: 05:58 – That’s what I mean.
Lowell: 05:59 – Yeah. So what do you do?
Eldon: 06:01 – Let’s see. I do a lot of the social media stuff. I keep the website up to date and things along that side of the business, I guess. I generally am the one that gets to interact with you guys on Facebook and Instagram and across the interwebs. Um, and then I am the one who is at least partially responsible for figuring out the design for the corn maze and, cutting that into the corn sorghum mix or whatever that ends up being for the year. And so that’s kind of where I come into the picture. But I also have a full time job, so this is not something I do every day, all day, every day. It might be every day, but not all day, every day.
Lowell: 06:52 – Right. And then we also have a two other sisters and a brother and two of them are married. And so, uh, the inlaws help as well as our other siblings.
Eldon: 07:05 – We should have mentioned that you’re married too…
Lowell: 07:06 – I’m married and my wife helps out. So yeah. Um, manning mainly, um, just whatever needs to happen, whether it’s pulling row covers, we pull in some help for that. We’re um, you know, running our clerking, our stands, uh, during the fall season, and snack shack and uh…
Eldon: 07:30 – Oh I forgot about the snack shack…
Lowell: 07:32 – …stands in the strawberry season as well.
Eldon: 07:37 – Yup, that’s pretty much the main, uh, family part of things. And we’ve mentioned that we fluctuate a fair bit over our two busy seasons, which is the spring strawberry season in the fall. Corn Maze, um, pumpkin season,
Lowell: 07:52 – Right… So we, yeah, we’re a family farm. Uh, obviously we can’t do everything. We’re blessed to have more extended family who can help us out. And then also we have, uh, quite a number of, of acquaintances, friends who have helped us out for years. A couple of dads, sisters, friends from Church, um, those kinds of folks. And we’ve been very blessed to have good help there over the years. So currently what we’re up to here on the farm, it’s, uh, spring, I guess early spring, but it’s starting to feel more like…
Eldon: 08:26 – It’s the middle of April.
Lowell: 08:27 – Mid spring as we record this, uh, everything’s getting green, the trees are getting leaves. Uh, everything is growing. It’s a, it’s a busy, busy time on the farm. Uh, we’re getting ready for strawberry season coming up here and just several weeks, uh, probably here towards the very end of April.
Eldon: 08:46 – The green houses are just starting to, we’ve been picking for several months, but they’re really starting to roll now that they’re getting plenty of light and longer days, I guess.
Lowell: 08:57 – Yeah. Or winter house is producing well or a spring house is just about to begin producing tomatoes. We have a lot of really big, big green tomatoes in there.
Eldon: 09:08 – Yeah.
Lowell: 09:09 – And then our early summer, uh, greenhouse, which is full of heirloom tomatoes, Cherokee purples mainly we have that transplanted and it’s beginning to grow. It will be while too are picking any of those tomatoes. So lots of activities, uh, lots of things to do, uh, where we’re weeding in the strawberries, working on the patch, trying to get things ready for customers. Uh, right now we’re trying to make a decision when to pull out our frost covers to get them out of the fields. Um, so we can, uh, work, work around the berries better. Um, we don’t want to do that before frost. So we’re looking at… Before frost is over for the year. And so I was a bit of a gamble because you don’t want to duplicate your work by putting them back out.
Eldon: 10:00 – Yeah.
Lowell: 10:00 – So we’re looking at some long range forecasts and trying to figure out, whether we pull them out this afternoon ahead of this weekend’s rain or we wait. We’re running the, uh, irrigation pump to the strawberries almost every day. Uh, they, they’re growing rapidly. They need lots of water and nutrition and, um…
Eldon: 10:21 – So are we to the point, where we have a bunch of green berries, a smaller green berries.
Lowell: 10:25 – Some.
Eldon: 10:26 – Yeah. But mostly blooms still at this point, I guess.
Lowell: 10:30 – That’s correct.
Eldon: 10:30 – Yeah. Very good. All right, well I’m not sure if there’s much more that we need to talk about in this particular episode. Um, unless I’m forgetting something.
Lowell: 10:42 – I don’t think so.
Eldon: 10:43 – All right.
Lowell: 10:44 – That’s us in a nutshell. Uh, we enjoy working together as a family most days.
Eldon: 10:52 – Most days. Yes.
Lowell: 10:54 – As in all family businesses. I think there are some challenges that come along with working with people that, you know, Purdue well, yeah, for sure. But also a lot of rewards and uh, and benefits. So yeah, goes with the territory. Uh, we are generally happy about what we do. We enjoy growing things and we look forward to uh, opening up here in a couple weeks with a lot of nice red strawberries and tomatoes. Well we are open for tomatoes.We should make that clear.
Eldon: 11:25 – Yeah. Yeah. We are.
Lowell: 11:26 – At the little farm store but looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends coming out to pick strawberries.
Eldon: 11:33 – All right, well that is it for this podcast episode. As always, you can find out more about the farm and what is currently available. Um, upcoming seasons, etc, hours. You can find that all over at our website yodersfarm.com. Feel free to follow along on Facebook or Instagram. Just search for Yoders’ Farm and we should pop up fairly quickly.
Lowell: 11:59 – Eldon is very persistent about trying to keep us posting there regularly keeping you in tune with little tidbits that happen here on the farm.
Eldon: 12:13 – Which reminds me, we need to be thinking about another post for today or tomorrow.
Lowell: 12:17 – Didn’t we just do one?
Eldon: 12:18 – We did. Just do one. But that’s how it works.
Lowell: 12:19 – Like I say…
Eldon: 12:21 – Uh, yeah. So follow along where it works best for you and we’ll be sure it update you once strawberry season opens or once we open for strawberry picking and whatever else throughout the year. Uh, the podcast. This is a new thing, you can head over to our website, yodersfarm.com/podcast and you can find links to subscribe to the show. Um, and hopefully we can keep up with our schedule of two weeks or so on new podcast episodes. Thank you all for listening and we hope you have a great day. Wherever you’re at. See you…
Lowell: 12:58 – Take care.
Outro: 13:16 – ::Music:::