Priceless gifts create lasting traditions

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Photo courtesy of Katie Lester

Tom Borchard never believed he would be able to stop the spread of an infectious disease that could have killed him, but thanks to my dad, Mr. Borchard was saved from paralysis and potential death. This was the start of one of the most special family traditions I could ask for. 

Each fall, my family and I visit Borchard farms, and Tom Borchard gifts us with as many pumpkins as we can carry as a token of his appreciation for my dad saving his life. Many people don’t understand the importance of homeopathic medicine, but the difference in medical understanding made it possible for Mr. Borchard to be cured. 

Aside from loading our van full of pumpkins, Borchard Farms has many more memories that I cherish. When my siblings and I were younger, our favorite thing to do was travel through their corn maze. Instead of following the path, we would cut through the strawberry fields nearby. As a ten-year-old, this way seemed much more effective to me. As a bonus, we could stop for a snack if we were hungry! 

I am the third out of six kids, and my siblings are my closest friends. Growing up with six kids, outings like going to the pumpkin patch were equally chaotic and a straight-up blast. The mischief we would get into anytime we were together made everything all the more fun. Mr. Borchard always loved having us over just to watch the bedlam unfold;  now I see that we brought him joy by just being there. 

Out of all the great memories I have from years of going to Borchard Farms, my favorite thing of all is when Mr. Borchard picked out the biggest pumpkin he had for my family to engrave. Each fall, next to our jack-o-lanterns, sits a beautifully designed pumpkin that reads “The Lester Family”―my mom never fails to brag about it. The shared generosity of my dad and Mr. Borchard created my all-time favorite family tradition. I’m blessed to share this beautiful moment every year with the ones I love the most.

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