BORDEN – The day starts around 5 am for the members of the Book family, because that’s when they start milking the 96 cows at the farm in Borden.
Book’s Dairy and Produce has been around for at least five generations and its produce, along with its milk, has been feeding people in the area for years.
Oliver Book, 31, and Tim Book, 40, received the Next Generation farming award from the Clark County 4H Fair this summer.
“It’s an award to appreciate the next generation of farmers,” Oliver said. “They voted us as the best candidate for that.”
Their father, James Book, said he took over the farm from his father. James’ dad took it over from his father, who took it over from his dad.
“We’ve got six sons, so we were hoping somebody would (take it over from us),” James said, while packing cabbages with his wife Cheryl Book.
The family is warm and friendly. They’re also responsible for helping to keep local produce in Southern Indiana and Louisville grocery stores and restaurants.
Getting crops prepared at the farm starts around 8 am
“Summer time, after milking, we’ll be out here to start picking something,” Tim said.
Workers come and help the family and they pick the crops for a few hours.
Book’s Dairy and Produce has a variety, including cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins, fall squash, eggplant and tomatoes.
“Most of our (produce) goes to Kroger,” James said. “It’s through the Stanley Bros. Produced over in Louisville. They sell it to restaurants and small stores.”
There’s something special about local produce.
“You know where it came from,” Cheryl said.
Local grocery stores and restaurants aren’t the only place where people can pick up products from the Book family.
“Most of the times when we take the pumpkins out of the field, we actually take them to Huber’s,” Oliver said. “We help them out there, because they can only grow so much.”
The day ends for the family when they milk the cows a second time. Usually Sunday is everyone’s day off.
Both Tim and Oliver said they started helping out on the farm at around 8 years old.
“You start doing stuff when you can do something,” he said. “Make boxes, or whatever…I didn’t start driving tractors or anything until I was maybe 8 or so.”
Tim said he was doing things around the farm at that age, too. There are videos of the pair working as kids.
If anyone is interested in becoming a farmer, the brothers said they have advice.
“The best thing to do is come and work for a while and see if you like it,” Tim said.
He said he enjoys being outside all day for his job.
“I think the (most rewarding part) is watching your stuff grow,” Oliver said. “You plant something, it grows, you get a good harvest.”