10 September, 2021

My Grandpa and Grandma purchased a small, nearly 144-acre family farm in the town of Lisbon, back in the 1930’s.  They worked, along with their four children (followed later by grandchildren), their entire lives.  I felt lucky to work and come to know my Grandpa Gross as we cultivated that farm. 

Farming, as a way of life, is hard, both physically and mentally.  Grandpa was up every morning, before dawn, to milk the cows.  To me, there was a ritual-type feel to it, one where diverging or missing a step would cause a cacophony, (maybe it should be called a “cow-cophony”?), in the barn.  There was that same type of order with cleaning the milk house or separating the cream, just with a lot less mooing. 

Planting in the spring also had that ritual feel.  The temperature had to be ideal, soil moisture at optimum levels and equipment well-oiled and ready.  Once those seeds were planted, we would watch them grow, taking care of any issues as they crop up.  Then in the fall, we’d harvest the wheat, hay and corn, which would feed the livestock throughout the winter.

Additionally, there was always something to be fixed or needed upgrading.  In fact, I was the last one to paint the milk house before my grandparent’s retirement.  Though even in retirement, work on the farm continued, just without the livestock.  My dad was the first to come off the farm and go to college, but my grandpa kept at it, dying with his boots on, doing what he loved and loving what he did.

After working and living on the farm for multiple summers, I developed a healthy respect for both the outdoors and growing things.  My high school graduation speech to the Arrowhead class of 1977 began with, “High upon the seat of my grandfather’s John Deere tractor…,” relating those experiences to the future for my classmates and myself.

We here at Gross Automation are constantly working to grow our points of culture, specifically looking for engaging (non-food) ways to celebrate our achievements.  Paul, our president and Amie, our purchasing manager, got together and brainstormed which events to follow and celebrate.  When “National Plant a Flower Day,” on March 12, 2021 was quickly followed by “National Flower Day,” on March 21, 2021, they decided to cultivate these events.  Online, they purchased one kit with 24 seed packets, black dirt and clay pots, for about $70.  Amie wrote up, on small pieces of paper, some inspirational messages, personalizing each kit and giving one to each of our team members to take home and to grow.

Just like my grandpa on the farm and just as we do at Gross Automation, we watched over our seedlings, nurturing the plants to various successes.  Many had their plants survive and thrive.  Even with the greatest care, some went awry, lost during storms, high winds, or the current drought.  Overall, it was an incredible team-building experience.  Pasted above is a picture of my mature sunflower plant.  Full disclosure here, even with my farming background, my wife is the one with the green thumb!  

Now, let me ask, what seeds did you sow this year?  How are they turning out?  Better yet, what seeds are you growing now to sow for the future?  Will you nurture and care for them as needed until they bear flowers?  Remember, nothing happens until that seed is planted, so get started today.

Your benefit will be a successful harvest, in whichever industry or business you choose. 

Come grow with us!