Lamon Farm produces a taste of summer
by By BETTIE MARLOWE, Banner Staff Writer and William Wright, Lifestyles Editor
May 22, 2011 | 1772 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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When a hobby can also serve as a business that you love, you know you have the best of both worlds in the summertime, when the living is easy. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the 12-acre spread on Michigan Avenue at Lamon Farm — the summertime playground for owners Franklin Taylor and Randall Lamon.

A retired air-conditioning expert, Taylor is thrilled to have summer calling him to his favorite pastime — farming. At almost any time, one can find Taylor or his partner-in-soil Lamon planting and reaping the rewards, or just enjoying the sites cultivated by their own hands.

“This is something we do because we enjoy it,” said Lamon. “It’s a hobby but it’s also a job.”

It’s the season for strawberries now and the finest can be found ready for the picking — right off the vine is the favorite way to eat the sun-ripened juicy fruit. Their acres of produce include long rows of vegetables grown from their own seeds.

“We don’t sell anything we don’t grow,” Taylor assured.

Their 12 acres of scenic farmland is a complemented with neat, weed-free rows of vegetables — tomatoes, potatoes, corn, beans, squash, cabbage, watermelons, pumpkins, beets, cantaloupes, sunflowers, cucumbers, okra, onions and all kinds of peas and beans.

Beyond the watermelon and pumpkin patches, hives of honeybees are kept — not only for the honey but also for pollination of the produce. Randall Lamon, a third-generation official beekeeper, said the honey is collected twice a year and will be collected later this month.

The original barn on the old homeplace is a perfect venue for welcoming old and new friends, and engaging in “fruitful” business. Its location offers a tourist views of the fields, and it houses some of the antique farm implements which add interest to the rustic spread.

To make it easier to access the various sections, Taylor provides a “hayride,” but you might want to put on your hiking shoes and take a walking tour, journeying back into yesteryear just to experience real farm life.

One year, Taylor said, he was surprised by the knowledge that people had and didn’t have about produce. He learned many people didn’t know peanuts grew underground until they saw a handful he pulled up.

So now he takes time to demonstrate — especially to children — just how people get their food and how it’s grown and harvested. Classes are welcome to visit the farm so schoolchildren can have an up-close view of where their food comes from.

The two farmers said they are proud about their farm endeavor. Although they talk about the hard work and the summer heat — for them, Taylor said “it’s the best thing of summer.”

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The Lamon Farm Garden is located at 3175 Michigan Ave. and is open for visitors throughout the summer months. Produce is available at the fruit stand onsite.