So how did Jack Sprout come about? Well, he probably was born when my dad named me Jack. Or maybe he came out of the genes I inherited from both sets of grandparents, who were Iowa farmers. Their horsepower came from real horses, and their lights came from candles and kerosene lanterns. Their bathroom was an outhouse across the yard that featured icicles in the winter months and wasp nests during the summer!
I've shelled corn for the chickens, slopped hogs, and hand milked the cows with my Grandpa Frank. I've listened to my Grandma Ermal's stories about the day trips with her father into town on the buckboard. While he was getting supplies she would be trading milk, butter, and eggs for material, thread, and maybe some penny candy.
Anyway, I found myself selling soil-grown sunflower sprouts in Portland, Oregon in 1977. As I walked into the stores people would say, "Here comes Jack with his sprouts." Soon their greeting was a hearty, "Here comes Jack Sprout!" I registered that name and grew and sold sunflower sprouts until 1984. I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii and continued growing until 1991.
I was inspired by my upbringing and my life to write several stories that incorporate my views about nature, farming, and the land. The first was Meet Jack Sprout. In these stories some of the names of the characters are made up and some are the names of family and friends. I got permission to use their names, of course. For those already passed, I hope I captured the spirit they showed when their feet were planted firmly on the earth.
Jack Sprout Inc.
PO Box 2103
Kamuela, HI 96743