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60-Second Stir Fry: Gail Hepworth of Hepworth Farms

Monday, September 24, 2012

WNYC

Gail Hepworth of Hepworth Farms knew how to prepare for a stir-fry. She brought a big cardboard box to WNYC's studios, loaded with heirloom tomatoes of all stripes (literally) and white, deep purple, and lavender-and-white speckled eggplants.

My hard, inquisitor's heart was softened.  

I'll do anything for fresh heirloom tomatoes. I allowed Hepworth a re-do on the Stir Fry, so she could take a second crack at my first question about the best thing to appreciate about farming with your family. When you're talking about the twin sister you work with, you'd better say something nice.

 Farming has been in the Hepworth family for seven generations. But Gail bucked the trend. "I was a biomedical engineer," she told me before our interview. "I was always drawn to earning a living! And being guaranteed a salary with benefits. There's no guaranteed salary on a farm."

She reconsidered three years ago, she said, when sister Amy wanted to expand and asked for help. The deal clincher? "I get three months off," she explained. "I go to Jamaica because I have a house there."

Hepworth whispered this to me. Maybe she thinks Amy will take her luxurious, three month vacation away from her. (Then she'd have to change her answer to "best thing to appreciate about farming with your family" from "trust" to "blackmail is easy.")

Hepworth added that she's had her house in Jamaica for 30 years. That explains her guilty pleasure: rum.

Would you go into business with your family members if you got a three-month vacation?  Post your comments below!

 

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Gail Hepworth

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