Am I a Lunatic? Introduction: Part II.

As I read the bios of some of the most wealthy men and women of business, finance, and yes even farming, a common thread seems to stand out. They are a little bit crazy, dare I say, a lunatic. Yes, I saw an ad for a famous farm on Instagram that used the word lunatic. But it got me thinking, am I a lunatic? Have I always been a little bit crazy? Let me start with when my wife and I met.

I was a Sophomore (Third) at the Virginia Military Institute in 2011. My grades were the best they had been during my 3rd year at the Institute. I even had the crazy idea to double major not only in History but also International Studies. If I remember correctly, I was taking about 18 credit hours, along with giving tours once or twice a week, and competing in the Pistol Club. I was busy and enjoying my time in Lexington, VA.

Then, she came into my life… I still remember the first time I saw my wife, Megan. Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 11 in the morning. I was visiting the church in Verona that I attended while I was at VMI during the year. Her family was visiting that Sunday. (She does not remember that). Fast forward to October 2011, her dad is setting us up and we start talking. February 2012, we officially start dating. A few months go by, we decide to elope in October 2012. I resign from VMI a few days later, because a cadet could not be married. (Yes, I knew about this before hand) I had too many credits to transfer even if I finished the semester. (I was scheduled to graduate in May).

Why do I mention, what some would call a bad choice? Because I believe I would not be here now writing this if I had not made that crazy decision to marry my wife. Nor would our 5 children be here today.

Fast forward to July 2013, I was working at Dish Networks at the time while looking for another job. I just happed to take a wrong turn down a drive way and struck up a conversation with a gentlemen who was getting into fiber optic splicing. I went on to work with him for 3 years and excelled in fiber optics. A door opened up to take a job at Lumos Networks in Daleville, VA which allowed us to move back to Roanoke, VA in 2016. Megan and I rented and ultimately bought a house. We knew that it was a good investment in a safe neighborhood on a dead end road. It would also be an easy property to flip. We lived there for 3 years, and slowly upgraded things along the way.

Then 2020 happened. (You all know what I mean) Megan and I had always thought about moving to the country. With the housing market exploding, we knew that we could get a good price for the house, but where would we move to? The house still needed some work to wrap up the random projects that I had started. My sister-in-law happened to mention one day in August that the house next door to them had come up for rent. I told Megan on the way home that we should move. Why not? I called my brother the next day to see if he could call his neighbor and if he would be willing to sell it. After all, my brother lived right next door. The gentlemen agreed to sell it to my wife and I at a good price. But remember the Roanoke house was not ready to sell. Megan agreed to my crazy idea to finish flipping the house in 8 weeks. 8 weeks! Well 7 really because we had a week beach trip planned right in the middle of the flipping schedule.

When we hired a relator, she was not too confident that we were going to be able to finish all the things I wanted to do before putting it on the market. Did I mention that Megan and I, with a lot of help from my family, did all the work?! New floors through the house, new doors, paint, new base shoe, new toilets, new vanities, and the list went on. We got it all done. Only 1 day later than the goal we had set 8 weeks earlier. The relator was shocked we completed it. The house was on the market 2 days. Sold.

Fast Forwarding again…. (No more moving for us). This brings us to 2023. I am still doing fiber optics but working for a contractor again. The pay is nice. I enjoy working with my coworkers, but there is the farm… Megan and I had started the farm to be a resource to the community and our friends. I had always wanted to make money on it these last few years, at least to pay for the toys. I just did not have time to keep up with the farm and my day job. The two were incompatible. So back around the first of the year, I went downstairs and asked Megan, “What if I sell 100 shares, can I go full time?” She looked at me like I had 4 heads… Well we talked about it some more and agreed to sell the shares and see what happens.

We have been floored by the people that have come out to support us and to even market our shares. We are not in this alone, our community and friends are working hard to make sure we succeed. Have we sold 100 shares yet? No, but we decided to go forward with it anyway because we believe we are being called to do this. Why did I provide all that backstory? To show you all that yes, I am a lunatic. But I will work hard for my family and those depending on me. This does include our members. We are growing, slowly, but I do believe that we are offering products that people desire: community and good food.

It is pushing midnight as I write this. I started the day building chick brooders, ran some errands, drove out of town, and now am writing. They say farming is hard work. Yes, it is, but it is satisfying work. This is not how many people would have went about this, but I am not most people. God has guided my path thus far and I believe that He will guide it going forward.


Jeremiah Deborde

-Jeremiah Deborde

Passel Hills Farm is a family owned farm located in Union Hall, Virginia on Smith Mountain Lake. Shifting careers from a fiber optic splicer to a farmer, this is our story of life on the farm and a few tales from years past as we have time to tell them.-

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