I’ve never actually taken the time to add things up, but I think it’s probably safe to say that over the course of my career, I’ve grown 3 million plants. They’re all for you.

Oh, sure, it sounds impressive, but it’s really a labor of love. It’s what I love doing, and I simply can’t imagine doing anything else. For some people, gardening is a hobby on the side. For me, it’s a way of life.

The truth is, though, I haven’t just been growing plants for you during all of this time. I’ve also been growing and harvesting fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals for my own personal use and consumption.

It goes a bit further than that, though, and lest I risk the nickname “Johnny Appleseed,” I’ve actually been sowing millions of seeds on almost any patch of ground I can find. After all, I’ve had 800 acres to fill for years. It’s a bit tough to tell exactly how many plants I’ve fathered.

I planted 50 acres to help encourage wildlife reproduction of all kinds. Letting plants grow without interference means offering birds, small mammals, and other wildlife the chance to get food for themselves and nurture entire families. It’s literally the chance to build a self-sufficient ecosystem, a chance few people actually take advantage of.

I’ve also replanted former crop land with warm season grasses like prairie grasses and wildflowers, creating beauty where there was once only a clearing.

I’ve already told you that part of the reason behind this planting frenzy is that it’s just who I am, but it’s probably more than that. My plants mean that we have healthier soil and more bountiful wildlife. It means that we have the native pollinators we need to replace the dying honeybees.

We’ve even gone so far as to be part of the CRP program, a federal program that helps farmers use environmentally sensitive land for the benefit of conservation. In fact, we were the first to be 100% compliant with the Chesapeake Bay Act. We took poor cropland out of production and replanted it as a buffer to the James River.

When you take the time to make your next order, it’s fine to imagine me as Johnny Appleseed. I’m endlessly collecting and planting seed all over the farm, and I guess I always will be.