It’s a long way from New Hampshire to Michigan and back, but that drive certainly goes a lot quicker when you’ve just won a John Deere Gator.
That was the experience of Richard Fabrizio, a fruit grower and farm marketer from North Haverhill, NH, whose name was on the lucky ticket drawn at the annual John Deere Gator Giveaway at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo held in December in Grand Rapids, MI. The giveaway is presented by American Fruit Grower and American Vegetable Grower magazines and sponsored by Wilbur-Ellis Co.
Fabrizio is the owner of Windy Ridge Orchard, located in the White Mountains of New England. The farm was started 45 years ago and has around 30 acres in production, mostly apples as well as some Christmas trees and blueberries. The operation also includes a farm market, an on-site restaurant, and the early stages of winemaking.
“This will be a nice replacement for the Gator we own now, which has a lot of miles on it,” says Fabrizio. There’s no doubt it will be put to good use; it’s about a 300-yard walk from Fabrizio’s house to the farm market. Both Fabrizio and his wife have had hip replacements, and “it will be nice not to have to make that walk.”
The Fabrizios are able to make the long trek from New Hampshire to Michigan every few years, depending on the weather, and Richard makes it a point to attend the apple, blueberry, and farm market sessions held at the Expo.
For more information on highlights from this year’s Great Lakes Expo, go to www.glexpo.com.