After working for 10 years as a technician for Verizon, Seay Minor was ready for a change. He enjoyed the comfortable benefits but he was tired of family time playing second fiddle to long work shifts out in the field. “In my heart, I wanted a business where I could work with my family,” Seay told me, standing in his renovated greenhouse on a blustery February morning.
Fungi Ally is located on route 47 in Hadley, close to the Sunderland town line. You’d never guess by looking at the unassuming exterior, but the inside is packed with mushrooms at various stages of cultivation.
“We’re a century farm,” says Joe Waskiewicz of J & J Farms in Amherst, which was purchased by his grandfather in 1909. Managed by Joe, 86, and his sons Mike and Butch, J & J Farms produces top quality sweet corn and vegetables, which they sell wholesale to local retailers and at their Meadow Street farm stand.
“I like being the best at what I do and I always like a challenge,” says Gary Gemme of Harvest Farm in Whatley. It’s clear that Gary takes a lot of pride in his work. He offers to take me for a ride around the farm in his truck, pointing out what’s growing where and talking about the relationships he’s cultivated during his 41 years of farming.