Diary of Life on the Farm: Post September 11th, 2001

Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, Illinois. Southern Illinois Apple Orchard. Midwest family-owned orchard.

It was this same week 20 years ago our girls wanted to wear their American flag shirts to work. They helped sell apples off the end of the packing shed after school and on the weekends. We hadn’t yet built our Farm Market.

Hilary was 10 years old and Audrey just 5. Audrey had a little sales phrase she used and Hilary handled the money! ALL of the kids in our family, every generation was expected to help on the packing line or selling fruit. We didn’t really have to twist their arms at this age. They were eager to work and be part of it, plus all the grandparents were there!

They both continued to work at the farm while growing up. Now that they are adults, working professionally and on their own, they both have said many times they appreciate the childhood they had. They see the benefits in their careers now of being taught how to work at a young age and having expectations of them.

Everyone told me one day I’d miss going to all their ball games. (If you know me, I don’t!) But these are the days I miss. Spending so much time with them at home on the farm. Seeing them have so much fun being around everyone in the family all the time. Witnessing the pride they had as the next generation of kids to grow up on the orchards and help tell their family’s farming story.

🍎 This is our 148th harvest season at Rendleman Orchards.

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