A Father's Day Tribute
Fathers leave a legacy for their children in what they say, how they act, or what livelihood they provide their families. When you are a part of a farming family, there is a sense of pride that resides in your bones, as integral to your entire being as roots are to your favorite oak tree.
My husband Bradley did not become a farmer, but did grow up as one. His father Rod Jensen is a third-generation agricultural specialist and the farm, notably called Porker Valley, originated in the 1920’s by Great-Grandpa Fred. The 240-acre homestead expanded through the years into a 1500-acre farm that raised hogs, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and alfalfa.
“I loved the freedom of the outdoors, loved being with the livestock and driving 4-wheelers and tractors around with my family,” Brad fondly said. Rod agreed, saying that working the land was memorable, “Riding and spraying weeds in the soybeans together was a favorite.”
Even with the namesake as Porker Valley, the farm did discontinue their hog division in 2010, but the name was already etched in the hearts of the surviving family members, Grandpa Kenny, Rod and his sons Michael and Brad, as well as Randy, and his children Taryn, Jaime and Brett. So, when Brad left the farm to start his own business, The Chocolate Season, with wife Erika, they both knew they needed to honor Brad’s roots (literally) by incorporating the Jensen legacy, Porker Valley, into the new family business.
Erika went out of her way to custom create a line of products utilizing bacon, and went on to name the collection Porker Valley. She made a chocolate bark with caramelized bacon, pecans and smoked salt, toffee infused with bacon, chocolate and pretzels, as well as a lunch wrap, and a few artisan chocolates, like a nostalgic caramel with bacon, and a bon bon featuring bacon, maple syrup and bourbon. Yum.
Throwing homage to his family’s farm was really important to Brad, “I loved telling my dad and grandpa, I think seeing their name on something that could be appreciated by the next generation was really neat.”
Now that Brad’s a dad, he loves remembering all the Father’s Days in his past, and already has traditions he wants to instill in his own children. “I love teaching our kids the way of life I grew up with, treating people with respect, really working for something,” Brad said. “One of my favorite ways to spend my Father’s Day is with a great BBQ, riding bikes and hanging out with family.”
The apple didn’t fall far…because some of Rod’s favorite activities seem to be the same thing! “I love being able to go golfing together or having them over for a family cookout or swimming pool time,” Rod remarked. “Just visiting and doing activities together with family is one of my favorite parts about being a dad.”
Of course, no holiday cookout is complete without the perfect side of sweet, or in this case…sweet and salty! “I really love their caramel apples, toffee and peanut butter and jelly bars,” said Rod. Brad couldn’t agree more, “I love to snack on the Porker Valley Toffee, Rocky Road Popcorn, and PB Jam Bars.”
Well, that makes Father’s Day pretty easy on this mama…luckily just by picking up a few of their favorite desserts, both dads will rest easy with a full heart, full belly and a big smile.
The Chocolate Season has always been about family. Whether that’s a reflection of our family and our legacies, or a reason to create new memories and traditions with yours, we hope that you’ll always find new reasons to shower each other with love and appreciation. (And we are always honored when you invite us to help!)