GAC recently hosted a Facebook chat with Lisa King, matriarch of the King family from the hit series Farm Kings. From the first episode of Season 1, which introduced Lisa and her family, fans have wondered about her farm life, her immaculate flower gardens and of course, her relationship with her nine sons and one daughter.
Before moving on to Season 2, we wanted to let fans spend some time with “Mama Bear” to ask her some questions. As expected, Lisa’s answers were as genuine and honest as we’ve come to know her to be on the show. If you missed the chat, we’ve got all the questions and answers for you right here!
How do you stay in such great shape and look so young after having 10 kids?
Lisa King: You are so kind! I never sit and eat. I try to eat all healthy, meat & veggies. Sorry to say, the older we get the less we eat and the more we active we need to be. Being pregnant for 9 years total was enough weight to carry, with some of the babies weighing up to 10 1/2 lbs!
Mama King, what’s it like to have such a large family that lives, works together and has ever-growing success? And now that y’all are on TV, is it hard to get any real work done?
LK: I have to be honest, I don’t think we think about it. And success will be when we are out of debt! In regards to the show, we had pause in our working day but it only made us make up for lost time & work harder. Frustrating, but worth it!
How did you instill such a strong sense of work ethic, responsibility, and family in your children? I have a hard time getting my kids off the couch and would love some advice.
LK: It has to start at a young age, that is the key, but my advice is take away all hand controls and hide them. If they can use a computer they can do laundry. Even Ben Does. America is losing its work ethic. Try to get them involved with people like elderly and disabled people, at least once a week. Please be strong and use couch time as a reward. Your kids will always remember your strength.
What’s your favorite family tradition?
LK: Christmas Eve is our happiest time to be together with the outdoors brought in and simple candles, lights, and a great meal. We have a longtime tradition of grab bag gifts with lots of hugs and kisses always shared with my brother John and family. We laugh and enjoy a whole lot of life that night.
What is a favorite memory you have of your kids when they weren’t doing something farm related?
LK: My fondest memories came after I became a single mom. They are: 1) Bonfires; 2) Floating on rafts down a wild rock stream; and 3) Driving for the first time to the beach with everything & everyone on a truck like the Beverly Hillbillies minus a rocker. The truth!
Why are you and Tim more competitive with each other? And, if the Freedom Farms Games was Tim vs Mom, who would win?
LK: Tim and I are more competitive with each other because I think our personalities are strong and determined to do our best. Remember, healthy competition is good for your soul. Keep productive. In my younger days I would’ve given Tim a run for his money but sad to say, I think the only think I could win now is flower picking.
Prepared foods and baked goods aside, what is your best-selling item?
(Norman J Michaud)
LK: By far, Tomato Basil Pie. It just won’t die! I think I might rename it Bruschetta Pie. Yum!
How do you relax? When you aren’t working, what do you like to do to blow off steam?
LK: Relax? What does that mean? I weed my gardens in the summer and clean in the winter.
How did you keep the peace while the kids were young?
LK: With an iron fist! No… really they wrestled then I put them to house cleaning. They made the mess, right?
Lisa, a lot of our viewers have one big question: Where do you get all your energy? Are you slipping energy bars into those tomato basil pies?
LK: Ha ha ha… good one! The more work there is to do the higher my energy level gets. Also debt helps with energy. But the joy of customers also helps me move faster when I know they need or want something.
As a parent of a DS child what words of knowledge could you pass down to a new DS mommy. We are in the NICU at CHP. My son was 6 weeks premature and is scheduled for heart surgery. I stop at your farm market for lunch when I see things posted on Facebook on my way to the hospital.
(Melissa Conti Frederick) [Ed. note: Rebecca Fitzgerald has a similar question, as her friend has recently adopted two children with special needs]
LK: Treasure every moment as hard as it is. It is a dance. Don’t read too much about DS. You’re a mother, he’s a child. Massage, talk and kiss nonstop. Ben is the greatest gift in my life. I truly will be thinking of you, send me your angel’s name.
Do you start your flower garden from seed, or do you purchase the plants? Your gardens are beautiful!
(Christy Houser McCown)
LK: 90% is from seeds, 10% bulbs. I dig every year and thank you. The garden is only 4 years old, looking forward to years to come.
Do you have any words of encouragement for the families out there who struggle working a farm as you and your family do?
(M Liles Keena)
LK: Remember that this is what our forefathers did as pioneers. Imagine their struggles. Personally I wouldn’t want those times. Believe in yourself and the earth. Remember, NO FARMS, NO FOOD! Keeping American farmers alive is our goal. Best wishes, keep farming!
One thing everyone wants to know is how to get their hands on Lisa’s recipes — so she generously shared one with us! Watch Lisa, Joe and Bitty tell you all about Lisa’s Pumpkin Pie Cake and get the recipe HERE.
If you’re new to Farm Kings, learn more about the show and watch some highlights from Season 1 HERE. And while we’re busy getting Season 2 ready, we’ve got plenty of episodes from Season 1 airing soon to get you caught up! Find out each episode’s airtime for the Farm Kings marathon (starting January 1) HERE.