So... Why should we care about Jam??
Because what is in our foods today should scare the crap out of us!!! Have you read any labels on your food lately?? Chemicals you can’t pronounce, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives... It's downright terrifying!! In 2016, we formally established the business, but it has been a way of life for me since, well always!! As a kid, I grew up growing produce for not only our family but to sell as well.
In the 80's, only poor people grew and preserved their own food. It was something of a badge of shame to have to spend time in the fields while my friends did what other normal kids did (whatever that is LOL) and I spent my free time during the summer and after school in the garden. By garden I mean five full acres of various vegetables and a 2nd garden of almost seven acres that we exclusively grew purple hull peas and okra for my Daddy’s many customers. My formal education in commercial crop growing began at the tender age of eight! And how I HATED it as a child and teenager. But as an adult, I’m so incredibly grateful for the tremendous work ethic and drive it instilled and cemented in me... I love you Mom and Dad for all that you have taught and continue to teach me!
As a young adult, I was so burnt out on farming that I didn’t even try my hand at growing a small family garden until 2009 when my husband and I bought 30 acres in Southeastern Oklahoma. I started with the basics: tomatoes, green beans, summer squashes and corn.
Over the years, the size of the garden grew exponentially some years where smashing successes, others dismal failures. But it was something of a hobby and not a way to actually earn a living.
My life took a turn for the worse in 2013 (the year I turned 40 my body fell apart) and by 2014 I was unemployed and spent hours of the day either in bed or motionless in agony. Multiple diagnostic tests revealed severe spinal arthritis, multiple lesions on the nerves in my neck and arms and my once large and vibrant world became very dark and small. I fell into an abyss of depression and wondered if this was going to be my life for the next 30-40 years… then it got worse… it was as if I had a traumatic brain injury. My speech became slurred, I stuttered frequently… my once extensive vocabulary shrank and I could barely communicate clearly with those I loved.
Employment or working at all was something that felt like a faraway dream a life that I knew had once existed but seemed like it had happened to someone else. It was the absolute darkest time of my life to date. I remember thinking or wondering if I would ever be able to think clearly again, it felt as if I was thinking through mud, I’m not a vain person but have always taken comfort in my intelligence, my ability to reason, plan and take action… all of those things where stripped away and I was left less than and completely bare.
Looking back now, I realized that I needed that time … a time of stillness and darkness in order to be able to become who I am today. I firmly believe that God decided to crush me so that he could remold me into a better image of myself.. without my time in the dark and that of being helpless and afraid that something far more beautiful was created. Every person’s life is not a destination, it is a beautiful journey… By 2015, my health had improved to point where I realized how dismal our financial situation had become, we were on the brink of bankruptcy and I still couldn’t work a regular or full-time job.
So, I started asking myself, what are my gifts, what are my talents, how can I use those to generate an income and do my part. So, I had the idea that I would put my home canning and preservation skills to the test. I began producing small quantities of jams and jellies and selling them via Facebook. I learned very quickly that there is a real demand for high-quality preserves and other food items that are made from REAL authentic food without artificial flavours, colors or other additives. I have literally had customers call me and tell me that they have cried after eating my products because it tastes like a memory of long lost Mother or Grandmother. What a beautiful honour to be able to recreate a childhood memory for someone! I was encouraged by a fellow food entrepreneur who has a highly successful family business to take a workshop but I couldn’t afford it at the time our mortgage was in default and we were facing eviction!
Without the Grace of God and the tremendous support from our families, we would have lost our home!! At that point in time, I could go back to work part-time and put my fledgeling business on hold. So I worked part-time throughout the winter of 2015 and spring of 2016. My health slowly improved and I was able to take on more and more regular work. By the summer of 2016, I was working almost full time outside the home and had successfully grown two wonderful home gardens that also supplemented my income. I lost my job in July 2016 and with my $460 severance check, I relaunched my home preservation business.
It was a smashing success!! I sold over $10,000 in gourmet jam & jelly in just three short months… then I got a phone call out of the blue that has changed my life…. I got offered my dream job I have an extensive background in Logistics-Transportation and Distribution and once again, after a lot of praying put my business on hold once more. I worked there a year and 2017 has been full of family health struggles, so after many hours of prayer and large number of tears, I resigned. SO that brings me to the present here with you dear reader… my dream job has allowed me to save up enough funds that I can relaunch this business yet a 3rd time. The 3rd time will be our charm. We already have orders in the pipeline, I’m working out a marketing strategy, if you are reading this you are on my new and improved website. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for going on this wild and exciting adventure with us.
My commitment to you is that I will only create and produce foods that you can feel good about feeding your family. When you buy from Kayterra Farms, you are purchasing a quality product has less sugar, more fruit and is an all-natural product… from the pure cane sugar, to the natural fruit pectin that holds it all together… That’s what I do, I connect people to a more simple time in history, when things were still made by hand. When food was still REAL, authentic and DELICIOUS!!
So, from my family to yours!!
Peace and Much Love,