For Jesse Larkins, consumers’ rising interest in local food not only gave him a second chance at farming, it gave him a second chance at life. 15 years ago, Jesse and his wife Jera had given up farming. Although he had farmed all his life, just like his parents before him, Jesse and his wife both now worked full-time jobs off the farm, the kids had graduated college, and retirement was around the corner. His farming days were over, or so he thought.
That was before the triple bypass heart surgery.
At just 59 years old, Jesse’s doctors told him that he had to find a more active lifestyle, or he might not live past 60.
Active? What’s more active than—you guessed it—farming.
Larkins Produce farm was reborn. The idle farmland was put back into productive use. And so was Jesse’s healing body. What they found in the marketplace when they returned to farming was a community of people hungrier than ever to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Poignantly, the recuperating couple purchased an out-of-commission ambulance to transport their food in. The “Produce Ambulance,” as it’s called, is a daily reminder to the Larkins about why they farm.
Local food transforms not only our diets, but also our communities and the people in them. You can support Jesse and Jera at local farmers markets around Evansville, and online at MarketWagon.com. Order peppers, tomatoes, and a beautiful mix of squash, gourds, and pumpkins every fall.