Life Achievements

May 18, 2009
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Buckhannon, West Virginia, is the county seat in a primarily rural setting where hard work and self sufficiency are valued. A favorite pastime for many citizens is the local farmer’s market featuring homegrown fresh produce, jams, jellies, and honey. Approximately seven years ago I began accompanying my father to the market to sell vegetables and honey we harvested from our farm. In the beginning I did what I could to help him in his endeavors while also conversing with the other participants of the market.

As time continued, I increasingly enjoyed the people and the craft of gardening, so I began raising a garden of my own to become a vendor myself. The farmer’s market soon became my job for many summers to come. The vendors at the market are kind and more than willing to share their gardening knowledge. Many of the vendors are descendents of farmers and have acquired knowledge through the experience of their ancestors. The years I participated in the farmers market helped me grow as a person, learn many new skills, and open doors I never imagined.

Responsibility came rather quickly as I learned to manage my own gardening business. There is an enormous amount of work being self employed. I have to do everything myself. I learned that self discipline and time management were essential in order to raise a productive garden. Rising early in the morning at 4 AM to arrive at the market before daylight with my fresh produce and homemade jams ensured I would be there to greet early customers.

The farmer’s market opened a door of opportunity that I never dreamed would be possible. The President of the Upshur County Farm Bureau invited me to become a member of the board.
I have greatly enjoyed this opportunity. The Farm Bureau has opened my eyes to how many farmers there are in this state, especially when I go to the annual state meeting. The number of farmers who are members of the Farm Bureau is astounding and a large proportion of them are professionals. I am beginning to learn the inner workings of the bureau and I have met many amazing individuals.

The farmer’s market has made possible other avenues of opportunity. It allowed me to gain the finances necessary to start a greenhouse business. I now supply some of the local Southern States Cooperatives and also sell to individuals. It is an amazing feeling when I see the seeds emerge and nurture them as they continue to grow until ready for sale. I have learned patience because there is no way anyone can rush Mother Nature! It takes time and work to make the plants healthy and mature. It is not an overnight process. Several weeks are required for the plants to be ready, but the wait is worth all the time I spend.

The customers at the farmer’s market represent different age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. The diversity of the people there has taught me to respect the uniqueness of each individual. I view others in a positive light, because I firmly believe there is good in everyone. I enjoy all their different personalities. Some of the customers and vendors are very calm and easy going, while others are more intense and passionate about verbalizing their ideas. I enjoy all the different people I have met, but the elderly customers are the most intriguing. I find it interesting to hear about what life was like when they were children growing up in rural West Virginia and how much it has changed since then. I hope that if I can learn enough about the past and how they lived I can try to preserve that little piece of history.


It is essential to pass on the knowledge that I have gained through my experiences to the next generation at the market so that knowledge will not die, but live through the people and hopefully make them successful in their gardening endeavors. I am very thankful for the gardening knowledge that has been bestowed upon me over the years. This year I was able to pass some of this knowledge onto others as I was questioned about the different varieties of plants and how to raise them.


I will bring my work ethic and strive to succeed at everything I attempt. I hope that my education at any university will be like my experiences at the farmer’s market. I want to share the knowledge that I gain at Washington University with others that I meet in my journey through life and be a positive influence. I think that knowledge is worthless unless it is shared with others so we can grow as individuals to contribute positively to our world. I am a very determined person who believes in putting forth the extra effort to achieve. I will give my best in order to reach my full potential as an individual which will contribute to being a productive member of society.





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