How I Saved the Ivan Tomato - It's all in the Story


| 10/27/2016 12:00:00 AM


Tags: heirloom gardening, Ivan Tomato, agricultural therapy, PTSD, Laura Flacks-Narol,

Firstly, this is not a story that can be told in one blog post, so you’ll have to come with me on this ride to hear pieces and part of the Journey.

 From Faculty to Farmer

When this all began, I was working as a professor for a local all-women private college, where I had been happily teaching for five years. My area of expertise was business and marketing. So why am I writing about gardening, you might ask? As a dear friend once observed, I was half boardroom executive and half homesteader and she was happy to know both of us. My executive side was unraveling the world of social media marketing and communication and teaching it to excited young minds. The homesteader side was canning food and growing record yields out of my backyard beds. 

I knew the Ivan was a great plant and I knew that I had not seen the family of its origin for several years now.  I had just finished teaching a class on Small Business Startups and figured Why Not Me, Why Not the IVAN!  I knew starting a business was no easy task — it took money, time, effort, etc., etc.  At about this time I found out my college was cutting our program and releasing all non-tenure track faculty. I had a few months left in the academic year and then I would be out on my own, pitchfork and all. 

This is when I decide I had drunk the entrepreneurial Kool-Aid not just talked the talk. Rarely when you consider doing a business venture do things fall into place naturally, yet the Ivan seemed to. Usually there are many hurdles and many compromises as you ride the waves. 

In the agricultural business world, we are looking at even more complications such as acts of nature and opportunities as well. There are grants, subsidies, legalities, regulations, taxes, and lots of other things to consider. The least of the issues were physical assets like greenhouses and land. 




elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

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