Honey Brook Twp, PA—Andy Kramaric was born in the Garden City section of Wallingford, Delaware County, PA in 1927. His parents, émigrés from Croatia in the early 1920s, raised their two sons on the land and maintained gardens that blessed their dinner table throughout their lives. Three years ago, Andy became a resident of The Meadows at Tel Hai where his lively character and love of life shines through every day. His daughter, Margaret Kramaric and her husband, David Tschachler, have become his arms and legs in his continuing love of the land. Living with physical limitations has not changed his enjoyment of the outdoors and interest in growing things.
Throughout his life, Andy kept a vegetable garden and cheerfully shared what he grew. No one ever left his home empty handed! While getting settled at Tel Hai, Margaret and David would take Andy out to tour the surroundings—rolling green hills, surrounded by established Amish farms. “We joke about the magic soil…Andy’s brother kids us that we are benefitting from over one hundred years of Amish manure,” Margaret says with a smile, “but the soil is magic!” Margaret credits her husband David for coming up with the idea to plant THEIR vegetable garden at Tel Hai so Andy could enjoy the thrill of seeing vegetables planted, watered and growing—and enjoy being a part of it all. In May 2011, Margaret got the garden started—planting as Andy watched. They were encouraged by fellow Tel Hai gardeners Tom Tracy, Pete Collins, Dave Paton and John Stager. Attending the 2011 Goshen Fair, Andy’s brother, Charlie, remarked that “Andy’s vegetables are better looking than any of the prize winners.” It was Charlie’s encouragement that planted the seed that in 2012 Andy’s vegetables would be entered in the fair.
At the 2012 Goshen Fair, Andy Kramaric was the proud winner of 9 ribbons—5 first place; 2 second place; and 2 third! The highlight was his trip to the fair to see his vegetables on display—his first car trip in a year. The family has expressed their appreciation for the support they received from the Goshen Fair committee, Tel Hai staff, fellow residents and volunteers. Margaret said it best—“The real prize has been watching my Dad continue to be a part of something he always enjoyed.” The bounty of their garden finds its way into the hands of many people—and Andy once again shares his blessings with others.