“The Lord grows it, I just take care of it.”
That’s how Brad Bowers looks at what he does every day. Since 2011 Brad has been our man at Open Spigot Farms, growing all sorts of produce for us. But he has been a farmer all his life.
Brad grew up working on his family’s 325-acre farm in Tennessee, one that has been in the family for years and will be celebrating it’s 100th year in 2018. It became a dairy farm in the 40’s and he worked there all throughout his childhood.
Even when Brad left the farm, he never really left the farm. He earned a degree in agriculture from the University of Tennessee and got an office job. But, a couple years later he could not resist the fields and came back in 2004. So what drives Brad? What would want to make a person want to spend his life on the farm? It’s all about the satisfaction of the work.
“You put in the time and the work and at the end of the day you can see exactly what you did – the fruit of your labor. I like that a lot,” Brad said. “I’ve had office jobs too, and sometimes it is not so easy to do that. Working on the farm is more rewarding to me.”
After his return and hearing of the purchase of Randall Beans, he made a generous open invitation to help out, using another farm lot of 18 acres that had also been in the family generations. We graciously accepted. Since then, Brad has almost returned the land to its former glory, the way it was when Brad was growing up.
Brad is a busy man outside of the farm. He is a family man, a large fixture at his church and a hunter as well as a member of the county commission.
“Sometimes I do look back at the end of the day and say, ‘How did I do all that?!’,” Brad said. “It’s a juggling act. But, it is very rewarding being able to run the family land, help the business and be involved and active in this community. The Keatings have been very good to me and have allowed me to do all this.”
Of all the different variety of crops he has grown throughout his life, his favorite to grow are pumpkins. An odd selection to some, but Brad says it is because of his brother. Brad and his brother have been growing them together for over 20 years and has always been a way to come together and do something they both love together.
Brad and Randall are hard at work planning the future of Open Spigot with plans to diversify crops and expand our organic selection. It will be challenging, but, like Brad, we enjoy the challenge and reward that goes along with such challenging work.
As for Brad, he doesn’t plan on changing his outlook or his “office” anytime soon.
“I just enjoy seeing others get enjoyment out of what I do,” he said. “It brings me joy in return.”