Sometimes something small can change the course of lives.
In this case, a handful of tiny seeds.
Last week I visited Meadowbrooke Gourds Farm in Carlisle, PA and learned the story of those seeds.
The farm’s brochure starts with these lines: “Our story begins with one farmer and the seeds from two gourds he found by accident. This accident turned into a dream that has lasted more than twenty years.”
So meet Ben! Not only is he a talented artist but he exudes a casual, friendly manner that makes you feel as if you’ve known him your whole life. And really, doesn’t he look a bit like Robert Redford?!?
Ben planted those seeds, grew gourds, tried to sell them and was successful for a while but then the market got saturated and his gourds laid in the fields, unharvested. Most of them rotted over the winter but not the goose neck gourds, which dried and hardened, giving Ben an idea. A carpenter by trade, he started using his tools on those hard gourds to craft bells, birdhouses and snowmen. Gradually a company was born.
On this windy, late autumn day, over twenty years later, not only did I have the pleasure of meeting Ben, but to my delight he invited me into his fields to make some pictures. These are images from that afternoon but they only tell part of the story. I invite you to visit the Meadowbrooke Gourds website to read the complete story and to see the whimsical, wonderful creations that started with just a handful of seeds: https://mbgourds.com
Did I mention they also have sunflower fields? Customers are invited to pick them for free when they’re in season. How can you not love a company that just wants to make people happy?
“We have a very simple business philosophy – happy employees, smiling customers and a trusting relationship with our suppliers. If all three of these are well taken care of, the game of business is fun and success is easy. We hope a smile crosses your face when you see what our team at Meadowbrooke Gourds creates.”
I’m pretty sure one of my most favorite daily Instagrams to date came from those fields.
And Santas…..a few Santas most definitely made a smile cross my face and may have come home with me.