We raise a little bit of everything from tomatoes to strawberries on our family farm. It’s a few miles east of Nashville, Tennessee, just outside of our home town of Lebanon on 180 acres along Coles Ferry Pike. Like Nashville, Lebanon is a fast-growing urban area, but the drive out to the farm takes you back to a time that seems to be fading away — green gardens, cattle, verdant pastures, fresh cut hay, and, of course, acres and acres of strawberries.
Our farm’s history as “Lester Farms” begins with me, Mitchell Lester. I was just six years old when we moved to the farm in 2000. My parents wanted to raise their children in the goodness of the land. I remember warm evenings spent with my dad walking behind the tractor in freshly tilled soil, or the crisp air of morning while picking the very vegetables that Mom would cook for dinner that night. These experiences embedded a love for the land and the farming way of life.
One fine summer day at the ripe old age of eight, Mom suggested I setup a little table at the end of the driveway to sell some of our garden’s produce. Within minutes, a customer stopped and bought every bit of inventory I had. I was hooked! With that one sale, a love for agriculture and business was born.
Throughout the years, the gardens have grown bigger and so have my ambitions. I’ve foregone the normal path to college and am working full time pursuing a career that will allow me to work the farm, make a living, and share with others what the farm means to me.