Dad has been having sleepless nights. These days, I often find him awake in the wee hours of the morning. He has been mulling over the continuity of the orchid business. Our 20-year land lease has just run out and he has decided to renew for another 20 years. At 70, he’s worried about the future of the farm, one that he and mum had painstakingly built over the last 3 decades.
Investing another sum of money for an unforeseeable future is no laughing matter. He and mum will be 80 in ten years time. Mum is still running the farm but none of the kids have been involved in the operations from day 1.
Seeing my dad looking worried, mum finally appreciates his business acumen and perseverance. She recalls now, how he first introduced her to the idea of orchid farming and how resourceful he was in procuring exotic orchids and how he helped her set it up while he continued to bring home income to feed the family. She remembers how he would come back from his office job, have a quick meal and head straight into the farm with his hammer and tools. He single-handedly built the rows and rows of wooden stands, working till mid-night, until mum had to make him go to bed.
When the farm was finally up and running, he spent nights after dinner strolling amidst the rows of potted plants with a big torch light, thinking of ways to improve the farm. Mum, being the workhorse that she is, did a great job and started making profits soon after. Though dad’s a man of few words, we always knew he was proud of their little orchid farm in the backyard.
When they decided to go commercial in the agrotech park 20 years ago, I am sure he had sleepless nights too. I was then too caught up with my work to notice but I soon saw the new farm taking shape. He must have invested a lot more money for he built our house and a large warehouse within the premises too.
Time flies and 20 years have gone by. At this juncture, he has decided it’s best to continue for another 20 years. Living in that old familiar environment is of utmost importance to them now. They’re so used to the big, open space, moving to another place is unthinkable.
Though my brothers and I have no interest in their orchid business at this stage, I can only encourage my folks to stay put and spend their golden years in a place they cherish most. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen 10 or 20 years down the road. I’m sure we will find a way to deal with it when the time comes. Who knows? I may become a farmer and continue the legacy.