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Barren Co. Teen Receives USDA Grant to Expand Garden

BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) – Nestled in a holler in Finney, Kentucky, grandfather and grandson Billy and Bodie Janes reap a bountiful harvest from the garden for today’s sale at their stand in Glasgow .

“Nobody else is really there. It’s just me. So everybody leaves me alone and I do my thing except him,” Bodie said.

Bodie Janes dubs himself the “Barefoot Farmer”, a nickname he earned from the start.

“I gave him a tiller for Christmas. And he wants stuff like that for Christmas, not video games. So that’s what we do,” Billy said.

He is now turning this gardening hobby into a career.

“Last year he started selling and then boy, it’s really taken off since then. He’s been growing some great produce I have to say,” Billy said.

Although Billy is one of Bodie’s biggest fans, he might also be his most influential teacher.

“I grew up on a farm in Cumberland County. And that’s what we did – we raise everything we eat. We didn’t go into town to buy stuff,” he said.

At 79, Billy travels south every two weeks from northern Indiana to help Bodie with the garden.

“And it’s a four-hour drive. While the trucks have traveled nearly 300,000 miles.

However, all the miles and early mornings pay off. Her 15-year-old grandson was recently one of two selected from that area of ​​the state to receive a $16,600 USDA grant for a 30-by-96-foot greenhouse. This will allow him to have tomatoes and other produce available by the end of April next year.

“We’re going to be able to produce a lot sooner,” Bodie explained. “It’s quite important to buy local. People don’t really want produce grown in three countries rather than the same community,” Bodie said.

From the ground up to a business, with the possibility of more growth.

“We planned to have a lot more fields next year to grow so we could get more produce to people,” Bodie explained.

A barefoot body leaves behind an imprint in the dry earth between the rows of the garden. This impression is made possible by a grandfather who instilled self-sufficient values ​​through the generations.

“And how he does it anyway is more important than how he gets away with it. And maybe he’ll get rich and make me rich,” Billy jokes.

” It’s him. It’s the cat’s meow”

Bodie and his family sell produce from their garden on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Wyatt’s Oil on South Green Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also sell on Saturdays at the Bounty of the Barrens Farmer’s Market in Glasgow Square.

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