Let’s talk about the past….
Although our farm is new in its current incarnation as Huckleberry Trail Farm, we do know that the land has a rich history. We keep learning more and more about it each day.
We purchased the land from the Bowers family, the same Bowers in Bowers Store Road. When we took possession of the land, there was a farmhouse, a chicken house, an outhouse, a milking barn and the most beautiful view. Unfortunately, the farmhouse, chicken house and outhouse were beyond reasonable repair. Instead of just tearing them down, we partnered with several local fire departments and allowed them to use the structures for a burn training exercise. That was quite an experience!! You can view some photos and video here. Luckily, we still have both the view and the milking barn.
We have begun working to restore the milking barn. It still has what we believe are most of its original structure. We’ve been told that the red brick in the walls is local terracotta brick that isn’t made anymore. The roof may be rusted a bit, but it is still solid and has lots of “farm charm”. When you walk into the larger room in the barn, you will still see the original milking stantions for the cow’s heads as well as what we believe is a hosedown trough used to clean down the barn after milkings. The smaller room next door has a large old zinc sink. You can see pictures of the barn here.
There is a depression in the land that runs along the whole property from east to west. We have it on good authority from more than one person that this is the old stagecoach road- the wagon trail that ran out west. If you look very closely, you can actually see that the base of the depression has two additional parallel ruts where wagon wheels would have worn down the ground even further.
We keep finding out more in bits and pieces as we meet our neighbors in the community or as people stop by to say hello and share a memory or two. Do you know something more about the farm that you can share with us? Do you know someone else who might know more of the history? We would be very grateful if you could share with us. As we make new memories, we want to work hard to try and preserve the rich history that came before us for our family’s future generations.
Over the years we have expanded our farming operations….
Hay. Each year the fields are hayed (up to three times per year), producing hay bails that a local farmer sells to other farmers around the state, as well as one of the cuttings are reserved for our fall festival. Yes, most, if not all the hay used during the fall festival comes directly off our farm!!!
Pumpkins. When Uncle Bob tells people about the farm, the first thing he tells them is that “we are a pumpkin farm”. Each year we plant more pumpkins than the previous year. We are also adding more varieties and sizes as time goes on. What do we do with any left over pumpkins at the end of the season? We barter with a local pig farm. He lends me hist corn picker, I give him pumpkins to feed his pigs!
Cotton. Why cotton? You would be amazed at how many kids didn’t realize that the clothes on their back were made with the same cotton we grow. We allow everyone to pick as much cotton as they want. Caution, cotton burrs on the cotton bolls are sharp. We courage everyone to where some leather gloves and goggles (provided) while picking.
Corn. We plant just about 5 acres of corn each year. What do we do with the corn after the season? We pick it and sell it as feed corn for deer, squirrels and other animals. In appreciation for the local farmer lending us his corn picker and wagon, we give a portion of out bounty to this farmer.
Sunflowers. We have recently started growing some sunflowers along our fence line. This not only serves as a way to beauty the farm, but provides a paradise for all sorts of pollinators to do their thing! Once the flowers dry up, the birds fly in and devour each seed, on each flower. It really is amazing at how much this is picked over!
New next year-Veggies. Next year we are planning a small vegetable plot that will consist of tomatoes, cucumbers (both the salad kind and pickling kind), summer squash and zucchini squash. We are also going to plant two plots of sweet corn. If all goes well, you may see us open a farm stand. Stay tuned!