The beauty of farming is that is it open to everyone. Old, young, experienced or a novice, anyone with a plot of land has the opportunity to see their hard work pay off in the harvest. Knox County native Andrew Modica admits that he did not grow up on a farm, but on his 17 acres in Woodbine, he has begun tilling the land and selling what he reaps.
“But my papaw farmed,” said Modica. “I remember he used a horse-drown plow. They didn’t have a tractor back them.” Modica chose a career in the armed forces.
“ I did 20 years in the U.S. Army, I’ve served pretty much everywhere.” said Modica. “I was deployed three times, I’ve been to Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan. Retired in 2015.”
After retirement, Modica looked for a hobby to fill his time and he set his sights on farming. The Modica Family Farm is new to the Knox County Farmers’ Market this season. At their stand, Modica and two of his four children sell a variety of crops, including tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumbers.
While most vendors at the Farmers’ Market are Kentucky Proud certified, Modica Family Farm has a special certification. Homegrown by Heroes is a program through Kentucky Proud that promotes veterans. The Homegrown by Heroes emblem lets customers know that the products were locally grown by a veteran. The program attempts to help veterans in Kentucky market their product. This allows the customer to know that they are supporting a veteran when they purchase their goods.
While this is just his first season with the Knox County Farmers’ Market, Modica already has plans to return.
“I enjoy it, I enjoy the camaraderie with the vendors,” said Modica. “And it gives me peace of mind when I’m working in the garden.”