Published September 07, 2009
BELGRADE, Maine – Mary Perry and her three children operate Winterberry, a 40-acre organic farm -- and the last of its kind in Maine.
The farm, located in the town of Belgrade, is a historic gem, with it's 1870's Victorian farmhouse, old tin roof barn, and breathtaking view. It makes for a pretty good "day at the office."
"I can not think of anything else that I would rather be doing, with my life, as a job," says Mary.
Under Mary's direction Kenya, 13, tends to the sheep and collects the wool that Mary then knits into socks and sells to customers. Gilbert, 9, is responsible for the steer and picks tomatoes and helps feed the barn animals. Sage, 3, is a farmer in training but does her part by feeding the turkeys.
The family grows eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and onions, over 70 types of vegetables. They also raise their own pigs, chickens, and turkeys.
On this Labor Day, FOX News celebrates the small business owner in our The American Worker series.
There are no iPods and no television to interfere with the organic farm's main tasks: growing vegetables and raising animals in an effort to be self-sustaining.
"To see us all down here planting, even Sage. She's good with her finger. She's poked all those little holes with her finger, and then Gil comes along and separates the hole and then Kenya pats them together," says Mary.
Beyond the backbreaking work, it hasn't been easy keeping the farm going. Mary is petitioning the state to keep this property a working farm, and out of the hands of developers, forever.
"I'm totally passionate about this, it's my life," says Mary.
Mary says farming is no easy task, she wakes up sore, and goes to bed with her feet throbbing, but the fruits of her family's labor make it all worth it.
"I feel like I'm in control of my destiny. I feel like I'm doing a really good thing for my children," says Mary.