Lakeview Farms

July 30, 2010 Email from Monica Lieser (Boll)

Monica is a former employee of Lakeview Farms and a member of our Hall of Fame

Hello, it's Monica (Boll). Several months ago, I found my self reflecting on my time at Lakeview Farms. I felt such gratitude and fondness when thinking about those 4 years spent in the fields. I decided to journal my reflections and would like to share these with you. I have attached them to this email.

Reflections on Lakeview Farms

St. Peters, MO Age 12-16 (1990-1994)


~Group of kids – coming of age- Saturdays were our days- most unusual place – Strawberry fields….

~Witnessing each others’ lives, sharing secrets, dreams, fears, and asking questions

~Pride of hard, earned money; rewarding

~Developing a sense of self – competent, confident, surprised by our own strength and endurance

~Cold, heavy, wet straw bales

~Transplant buckets

~My favorite tree

~A sense of family

~Endless memories: mice under shed, the rock pile, being separated for talking, saving a young boy who fell in the pond during picking season, could give berry picking instructions in my sleep, falling off the tractor, swallowing a grasshopper while weeding

~Watching and being a part of the evolution of the farm (raspberries, black raspberries across the creek, PUMPKINS)

~Trips to True Value Hardware for candy

~To this day, I love the smell of soil, the process of gardening and learning the scientific names of plants

~A real feeling of being a part of something

~A safe place outside of usual peers

~Sadness and loss – Dennis

~Watching each of us taking different paths

~Identifying Oxalis, “tap root” weeds

~Certainty of lifelong connections

~Love in my heart knowing there are many “Lakeview Kid” families and knowing the gratitude they too feel for their fields

~Autonomy and respect Mr. Lask showed each of us…he trusted us

~All Star, Red Chief

~A respite from any turmoil in our families and homes

~Savoring the taste of a berry right off the vine, warm and juicy

~Bobby pin boxes – millions of them

~Talking inside the raspberry trellises…the mysticism, can’t see each other, but intimate conversations

~Full circle. Today I am blessed to make a living out of listening and learning from the stories of strangers and hoping that in my listening and own sharing I make a difference in their life as they do in mine.

~Thank you Mr. Lask for sharing your dream with us and for believing in each of us


With gratitude,

Monica (Boll) Lieser