Richard Davis of Venus started out seven years ago just taking care of his grandmother’s garden – and it has turned into a business.

Richard is in business with his mother, Janice, and he bounces back and forth between his 1 1/2 acres in Venus and six acres he farms 75 miles south in Lorena.

“When he was 14 years old, Richard started taking care of his ‘Nanny’s’ garden on some land just out of Venus that my family farmed for years,” Janice said. “Now he’s expanded his operation to 7 1/2 acres.”

She said Richard put up a sign and offered fresh produce for sale roadside and realized there was money to be made.

Due to a bumper crop of beets, Richard and Janice discovered they had to take measures to prevent waste of lots of good vegetables, and that’s when she came up with the idea of canning pickled beets.

“One day, a fellow stopped by to buy some watermelons from Richard and he saw the pickled beets and asked if he could buy some,” Janice recalled.

They found out that the Food and Drug Administration had some stringent rules for selling canned goods out of a private home.

“So I went to Arkansas and took a course in food processing,” she said. “I got my license and we built a kitchen behind the house and started offering canned goods.”

Richard and Janice have begun canning chow chow, salsa, jam and jellies in addition to the beets.

Asked what future plans Richard had, his mother said she could see him farming for a few more years.

“He’s working now to get his degree online,” she said. “He wants to get a business degree. He really loves farming, and he has had thoughts of opening a produce store, either at Lorena or Venus.”

Janice and Richard have been bringing their produce to the Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market  for the past four years, and they have featured their produce in Burleson and Mansfield.

For further information, visit the Web site at www.richardscannedgoods.com

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.