Kelsey has been around the farm for so long, even she's not exactly sure when she transitioned from being a guest to an employee. She thinks maybe it was seven or eight years ago that she started working strawberry season, picking berries for orders; driving people around in golf carts; and weighing buckets of berries, trying to operate the iPad cash register with dirt-covered fingers.
It's funny that she started working strawberry season, because strawberry season is when Kelsey first came to the farm as a guest to pick strawberries with her mom. She still lives three miles down the road in the home she grew up in, and since that inexact hiring date, she hasn't left the farm. But since then, she has done ALL the jobs, short of driving the tractors and supervising the zip line.
For Kelsey, this farm family has a special place in her heart.
"I LOVE THE VESPERMANS. Kyle, Bruce, and Judy are the BEST. They are the definition of hospitable – literally opening up their home to thousands of people throughout the year to make their own memories."
Kelsey has also been Kyle's partner in some of his more creative endeavors, including wrestling Christmas trees into some custom-built tree stands, selling kettle corn at Country on the River for a whole weekend of prime people watching, and helping to coordinate a surprise proposal at the farm!
Her newest title is the secret weapon behind Kyle's Instagram and Facebook posts. She not only "pesters" (in Kyle's words) him to remember to post things to keep our guests updated on farm goings-on, but she is also the secret editor behind the posts. If there's a typo, Kelsey is on it!
Kyle calls Kelsey his "Wikipedia" employee - if it needs fixing, she'll fix it.
For Kyle, it's been really fun to watch Kelsey go from a guest to an employee to a well-loved friend and co-worker. Kelsey, too, has transformed in those years, going from a college kid working summers to an adult with a child of her own.
After years wearing a Vesperman Farms bright yellow (now blue) shirt, green apron, and kitchen hat, Kelsey finally had the opportunity this fall to be a guest to the farm with her then 9-month-old daughter, Fiona. And it was a blast.
"It was so fun to watch my daughter pet the goats, play in the corn pit, and gobble down an apple cider donut. I am so excited that now it’s my turn to make my own family memories at this magical place – just like I’ve watched others do for years."
Kyle doesn't know it yet, but there will be another generation joining his farm family soon. "Fiona's first job will most definitely be scooping Vespermans’ ice cream or endlessly dunking apple cider donuts for six weekends every fall."
Because those cider donut roots run deep in these farm families.
Fun on the farm...in blog form!