By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The Parsons Advocate
For 34 years David Simpson has travelled around the world during his service in the Army. From two combat tours in Kuwait and Iraq to being stationed at The Pentagon and the White House with President G.W. Bush, but he has always wanted to come home to Tucker County. Simpson grew up with his family in Hambleton, he recalled helping his Dad in the garden after school while other neighborhood boys were taking off to football practice. “My Dad liked to farm so I grew up doing that,” he said. As he reflected on his past, he stated, “Jim Propst had a big influence on me.” He explained how Propst had a store in town that sold produce and he would dig ramps and other produce that he would take to the dock on his bike to sell to Propst as inventory.
After spending his school years in 4-H and FFA, Simpson graduated from Parsons High School in 1978 and shortly thereafter enlisted in the Army to serve our great country. He said he would come home on the weekends, when his schedule allowed, to work with his Dad in the garden before returning to his assignment in Washington D.C. While in the armed forces, Simpson enrolled in college courses where he successfully earned his Associates Degree in Business from Northern Virginia, a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts and Religion from St. Leo College in Florida, and a Masters Degree from Waylon Baptist in Texas in Management.
In 2012, Simpson retired after over three decades in the Army and returned to Tucker County. Once he found himself adjusted to civilian life again, he bought a bass boat and decided to spend his days fishing. After about a year, he said, “This is boring!” He found a parcel of about 10 acres in Sugarland that had a little garden and decided to work that property to its fullest potential. Each year, Simpson expanded his garden and started planting fruit bearing trees.
Simpson started participating at the local Farmers Markets and eventually expanded into operating the former Country Market in Davis for around two years. On July 26, 2017, he and his sidekick Fido founded Country Farm Market, LLC. This is where he had been operating from on Fridays from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. before loading up his wagons behind his John Deere tractor for a weekend of selling at the 93 and 32 intersection. However, he has decided to expand his selling days at the intersection to include Friday, therefore he will now be set up all three days from 10 a.m. until dark each evening, or until he runs out of produce.
Country Farm Market, LLC is composed of 10 acres in Sugarland where he grows his tomatoes and root crops, three acres owned by his daughter in Holly Meadows used for corn, beans, peas, and potatoes, and a quarter of an acre owned by his mother used for zucchini, squash, and cucumbers. He chooses what to plant wear based on the soil type, and drainage and temperature differences between the locations.
“I don’t grow everything myself,” he explained. He also supports the Farmers Markets by buying their surplus to add to his inventory on his weekend ventures. In addition to the produce, Simpson also offers plums and peaches he purchases from Romney, brown eggs from the Texas Mountain area, and fresh baked goods from the Amish in Garrett County Md. “It’s all West Virginia or in the vicinity stuff, that’s my pride in selling this,” he stated.
Big plans are in the works for Country Farm Market, LLC. Simpson is working with the USDA and NRCS on getting a greenhouse. This would extend his selling seasons, which are currently July 4 through October 1 all the way to April through December. Plans are also to sell started plants to individuals wishing to transplant into their own garden. When asked what other plans he had for his business, Simpson said, “My whole goal is to set my farm up as a pick your own and add an orchard.”
Simpson also provides garden plowing and tilling services, hauling of backyard and garden materials, as well as hauling and delivering gravel, dirt, lime, and much more. “It’s a one man show pretty much,” he chuckled when asked if he had any employees. Simpson is dedicated to carrying on the skills he had engrained at a very young age for years to come. If you happen to be in the Thomas or Davis area on a weekend, stop by the intersection of Route 93 and 32 to pay Simpson a visit and try for yourself some of the offerings he has from local farmers.