So, when you don’t check your web site on a regular basis like you are supposed to, you find it has expired. I’m so embarrassed. It seems to be hit or miss with me.
Right now, we still have blueberries and blackberries to pick. Blueberries won’t be around much longer, but blackberries are abundant. The heat does not make it much fun to pick during the day, so I’m trying to get out early and that does help, but it is still hot. My hat is off to all of the pickers who have come out and endured the heat to pick gallons of berries. I have to admit, the end result makes it worth it. There is nothing better than a fresh blueberry you just picked. We tease the kids when they come back to the store after picking. We tell them to stick out their tongue so we can see if they ate any while picking. It’s hard not to!
We are at the Robertson County Farmers’ Market every Saturday with berries and frozen cider. We share vendor space with Dancing Cow Creamery. This is a company that, along with my daughter and son in law, we purchased last year. We make soaps, lotions, balms and lip balms using Jersey cow cream.
It looks like we are going to have a decent apple crop. Farmer Tom is still seeing issues with bitter rot invading trees. He has worked so hard to eliminate it, but it continues to be a problem. In spite of that, there are a lot of apples and some should be ready by the end of August, if not before.
The store is open Thursday through Sunday for berry picking and we will be open August 21 for the total eclipse. We will have a solar telescope for viewing and those disposable viewing glasses to purchase. It should be a fun day.
We have blueberries ready to pick! We are open Thursday through Sunday, 10 to 4 for pick your own. If you want them already picked, give us a call at 615-696-2915 so we can have them ready for you. Blackberries should be ready in another week.
The festival is just a few days away! The festival begins on Friday, May 5 at 4:00. The quilt show will be open and there will be a bluegrass concert beginning at 5:30 with The White Oak Boys who are sure to get your toes tapping with their traditional bluegrass sound. Our food vendor for Friday is the Adams FCE Club.
On Saturday, the festival begins at 9 with the pie baking contest judging and announcement of winners. Entry forms are available at the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce or you can call us at 615-696-2915 and we will get one to you. We have several vendors joining us including Willow Oak Center for the Arts. Music will be provided by Matt McCloskey who was here for our 2016 fall festival and we liked him so much, we invited him back. Our food vendor for Saturday and Sunday is Farmhouse Fixin’s and I highly recommend their pecan pudding. There will be activities for the kids including a bounce house and we might get Farmer Tom to take a few wagon rides throughout the day.
The festival concludes on Sunday, 11 to 4.
We will be accepting quilts for display and/or for sale on Thursday and Friday at the orchard store. We promise to take good care of your treasures!
The country store will be open, the slushy machine will be going and it’s free admission. Come on out!
We are just a few weeks away from the spring festival and quilt show. We have some good music lined up for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. We still have room for a few more vendors. We have a quilter, handmade bags, handmade soaps, just to name a few. If you are interested, give me a call at 615-696-2915. The quilts will all be in a large tent and we will have personnel to describe the vintage quilts and give some history. there will be quilts for sale as well as the vintage quilts that all have a family story. We are so grateful to the folks that let us display their treasured family heirlooms. We will have demonstrations, activities for the kids and, best of all, free admission. It’s going to be a great weekend. The dates are May 5, 6 and 7 and the hours are Friday, 4:00 to 7:00 PM, Saturday, 9 to 5 and Sunday, 11 to 4. Y’all come.
Farmer Tom continues to prune and the orchard is beginning to look like it just got a haircut. The apple trees are beginning to bloom and we are hopeful that the apple crop will be as good as last year.
The cows are calving and we have about 30 new calves on the ground. It is my favorite time of the year, watching them play in the pastures as their patient mothers tolerate their antics.
Life is good at the orchard.
Farmer Tom has been busy pruning trees. It is a hard, tedious job, but one that has to be done every year. We were so disappointed that the late freeze in March ended our hopes for any peaches this year; however, we have been pleasantly surprised to see some peach trees are now blooming. We may have a few peaches after all, but probably not enough to offer to the public. The weather is so fickle.
We are looking forward to the next few weeks! We have spring field trips and then our spring festival May 5, 6 & 7. Friday, May 5, is VIP night and we are planning a special time that will be fun for everyone. The pie baking contest will be on Saturday morning. I’m trying to figure out how to make a link to the pie baking entry form. Hope to have that figured out in the next day or so. There is prize money: 1st place – $100, 2nd place – $50 and 3rd place – $25. Entry fee is $5 and the proceeds will go to the Robertson County Historical Society. Thanks to our sponsor, Fleming Law Firm and Mediation Center!
It’s time to get busy. We are looking forward to another great season at Shade Tree.
So, we have been grousing about the weather and it has not gotten any better. Farmer Tom is pretty sure we won’t have very many, if any, peaches this year. The trees bloomed and then the temp dropped to below freezing. Sadness indeed. Maybe, just maybe, we will have a few peaches.
The cold weather has not affected the apples yet since they do not bloom as early as the peaches.
We have our first big spring field trip on April 19. We will be hosting 170 first graders from the Clarksville area. Since it is spring, we will be talking about bees and how important they are to an orchard. The students will be making bee’s wax candles. We are excited and eager to see how this adventure will go. It will certainly be a pretty time to be in the orchard if all goes well.
Our spring festival/quilt show/pie baking contest will be May 5, 6, 7 and we’re looking forward to that. We still have a few vendor spaces available. The pie baking contest should be a fun addition to the festival. Judging will take place Saturday morning.
Farmer Tom will be out pruning trees later today when the temp is above freezing. Let’s hope things wil improve from now on!
The warm weather continues to haunt us. A few of the peach trees are in bloom now. Farmer Tom is busy pruning trees and pushing up old trees that have not produced good fruit for the past several years. We are trying to stay positive and enjoy the warm days. We’re getting a lot of yard work done anyway!
Our spring festival is 2 months from today and we are so excited for this first big event of 2017. We have live music lined up, vendors, food vendors and lots of fun for the kids – free admission, too. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer.
We were honored by the Young Farmers and Ranchers of Robertson County as the Agri Business of the Year for 2016. Awards like that always make you proud and want to work harder to deserve it.
We are planting a garden for the first time in many years. I think I’m up for it and look forward to playing in the dirt. I visited a pick your own garden in Williamson County a few weeks ago, so we are toying around with that idea, especially if we don’t have plenty of fruit this year.
I have to say, we have enjoyed the warm days working outside, having the windows open, but, at the same time, we are very concerned as we see fruit trees beginning to bud six weeks early. We can only hope that we will still have fruit this year. We know that we are totally at the mercy of the weather – goes with the territory and every farmer has to deal with it on some level every year. You just have to play the hand that is dealt to you and hope for the best. Fingers crossed and hope endures for a good 2017.
There is nothing ripe right now. Our first crop of the year will be blueberries and blackberries, usually beginning the second week of July.
After being raised on a Robertson County farm, Tom Head fulfilled a life-long dream in 1983 and bought a farm. In the early years, he grew dark-fired tobacco, corn and soy beans. Eventually, corn and soy beans were deleted and beef cattle were added. In 2003, Tom added Sarah, a city girl, who was able to fulfill one of her life-long dreams of living on a farm.
Today, the farm produces feeder calves, apples and other fruit. They strive to be as efficient as possible and produce a high-quality product whether it’s beef or fruit. Sarah and Tom both appreciate and love the land. They still marvel at watching new life unfold every day on the farm.
Every season brings something wondrous, showing God’s handiwork in different ways. Calves arriving in the spring, the fruit trees blooming and bearing fruit in the summer and the smell of tobacco firing in the barn in early fall. Then the winter months are spent getting ready to do it all again. That’s life on the farm.
Today, Shade Tree Farm has grown to 140 acres. It is home to 48 mama cows and 2 bulls. The original orchard had 90 trees, mostly apple. There are also 50 peach trees and 3 pear trees.
In 2009, Tom planted over 100 more trees as well as blueberries. In 2010, about 300 more trees were added. Another passion is day lillies and you will see them scattered throughout the yard and around the orchard.