The Boucherie Grandchildren
Photo by Mandy Sue Glaser
The grandchildren of the Boucherie family at Boucherie Winery started learning about what it takes to start, manage and work a business from the help of their grandfather when he helped them create E.M.C.O. Epic Growers. Emma, Memphis, Christian, Olivia, Claira and Violet work together in their farming business and several of them have shared a little bit about their local business below.
Tell us a little about E.M.C.O.
Emma Mayes (20) – E.M.C.O. is a farm that the grandkids started on our grandparents farm Summer 2013.
Claira Bell (7) – We do a lot of planting, and we plant in the spring. We sell in the summer, and then we plant pumpkins in the fall, and we harvest in the late, late fall.
How did the idea to start E.M.C.O come about?
Emma Mayes (20) – We went to our grandparents farm during the summer and wanted to earn some money over the summer, the two ideas went together!
Christian Mayes (15) – Our grandfather wanted to find a way to spend time with us and teach us about farming.
Does every grandchild have a different job/responsibility? If so, what are they?
Emma Mayes (20) – We mostly do the same jobs. The older kids do more physical labor while the younger kids do more of the selling; as the oldest though I did both.
Claira Bell (7) – All the grandchildren, they all really sell sweet corn. I plant pumpkins, and I harvest pumpkins and sell pumpkins and corn, too. So you do all of it? Yes! Plant, pick and sell.
Violet Pullum (5) – Memphis, I don’t really know what his job is but like all of the kids’ jobs are to pick corn and sell pumpkins and sell corn, too. What is your job? What do you do? Do you help with everything? (Nodding).
What do you currently grow at your farm? Do you plan to expand in the future?
Emma Mayes (20) – Right now we grow pumpkins and corn. We used to grow more but found it wearing ourselves too thin and needing to downsize and focused on the crops that made the most money. We don’t currently have plans to expand again.
Christian Mayes (15) – Pumpkins and corn. I am not sure if we are going to expand any time soon.
Claira Bell (7) – We sell corn and pumpkins. Do you plan to do more in the future? Umm…no.
Violet Pullum (5) – Corns and pumpkins. Do you want to do more in the future? Yeah!
What do you enjoy most about farming? What do you find most challenging in this business?
Emma Mayes (20) – I enjoy seeing plants I planted grow and produce crops as well as seeing other people enjoy them! The most challenging was enjoying it every second. Sometimes those corn fields are just so hot!
Claira Bell (7) – My favorite part about farming is I get to help with some of the equipment that we use, which we barely use it. Like the seed planter? Yeah, and I try to do it as fast as I can because it’s really hot outside. And – that’s all that I really kind of like. The most challenging part about farming is probably doing some of the steps and when it’s hot out we have to try to hurry. But, whenever we hurry too fast we might mess up so we kind of have to do it slow and fast at the same time.
Violet Pullum (5) – The things that I like to do is probably like some pumpkins and corn. And – what’s it called again? So, selling is your favorite part? Yeah, because I get money! The hardest part about farming is picking corn in the summer because it’s so hot, and we have to do it so fast.
When does your planting season begin, and how many days do you work?
Emma Mayes (20) – Our planting season begins in April where we buy seeds and decide where to plant them. How many days depends on how much we grow and how fast we sell them. You have to work the field, buy seeds, plant seeds, put up electric wire to deter deer, move vines to make room, pull weeds, spray the plants, harvest, and go to market.
Christian Mayes (15) – We plant in early May and how many days we work varies from year to year.
Claira Bell (7) – We plant in the spring, and we harvest corn in the summer. Then we plant pumpkins in the fall and then we pick pumpkins in the late fall.
What have you learned from starting and working in this business?
Emma Mayes (20) – I’ve learned about working hard and where my food comes from. I’ve also learned about the value of money from a young age, how to talk to customers, and how to grow my own food.
Claira Bell (7) – I learned that we can’t always do it by ourselves, and we need help sometimes with selling some of our stuff.
Violet Pullum (5) – I’ve learned how to be nice to people and help people and be kind to people and learn how to count money and learn how to sell.
What advice would you give other kids interested in starting a farming business?
Emma Mayes (20) – Grow your favorite plants! Seeing your favorite flower, vegetable, or fruit grow is so exciting. Plus, it’s really easy to sell! Being able to talk about what you’re selling is so important when you’re at market and people can tell when you like the product. You can tell them your favorite way to show flowers or cook your favorite fruit or veggie, and they are more likely to buy it.
Christian Mayes (15) – Start off small to get a feel for it and slowly expand as is necessary.
Claira Bell (7) – Start by buying some of the materials. You definitely need wire because your corn could be all gone. What kind of wire? Electrical fence wire because it keeps animals and stuff away from the corn. What do they do to the corn? They knock it down, and they eat it and a bunch of worms can take over after that.
Violet Pullum (5) – The first thing that I would do is probably show em’ around where the vineyard is, and where we cut and where we should do all of that stuff. Probably next, I would give them supplies and then we will go into the vineyard and mark all the way over to that barn and go down the hill – probably go past the bee nest. We would start putting up the electric fence and probably after that we would probably turn on the fence so no one can eat. So deers can’t eat the corn. If deers hop over the electric fence then they would take over and then after that the worms would take over because they’re tiny enough they can fit through that hole in the bottom.
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