AUBURN, Maine — He might not be able to drive a car for another four years, but 12-year-old Brayden Nadeau always knew he wanted to be behind the wheel of a tractor.
He started his first farm stand two years ago.
"I've been farming my whole life. As long as I could remember, I've been on his lap, steering the tractor, running the bucket," Nadeau said pointing to his grandfather, Dan Herrick.
"[I'd] turn around and trip over him, he was right there," Herrick added.
Herrick always had a farm at his home. But until now, it didn't serve as more than just a way to feed his family.
Nadeau essentially runs the family farm himself and has opened a farm stand to help feed his community.
He sells homemade zucchini bread and zucchini relish made by family and community members with vegetables straight from his garden.
Nadeau also raises livestock and turkeys for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, and pigs for meat and breeding.
Nadeau works 12 hours a day, seven days a week in the summer. During the school year, he picks vegetables in the morning and sets up the farm stand before heading to school.
He outgrew the original farm stand he and his grandfather made two years ago and earned enough money to buy a new one. He also invested in tools for the farm and learned how to fix things if and when they break.
"There ought to be more 12-year-olds like him," Herrick said.
Nadeau said he's learning a lot more out in the fields than he would have sitting in front of a TV playing video games.
"I think it's better because you get more of an experience and life preparation," he said.
"It teaches him business, it teaches him how to work, it teaches him to stay out of trouble, it teaches him where food comes from, and it teaches him that without farmers, there's no food," Herrick said.