Apple Season

The eclipse viewing was just amazing. We had such a nice crowd from, literally, all over the country. We couldn’t have hand picked a nicer group of people!

Apples are ready for picking. We were so overwhelmed last year by the number of folks who came out to pick, so we are putting a limit of one peck basket of apples per family. If you want more, you can purchase them in the store. We will always have apples in the store and we want as many people to be able to pick as possible.

The fall festival will be on Saturday, October 7 and the petting zoo will return for the 4th year. Molly’s Ark does such a great job and always has some fun and different animals for the kids.

Field trip slots are filling up, so be sure and call Sarah at 615-417-8628 to book yours.

Happy Fall!

Eclipse and Apples

The total solar eclipse is less than 2 weeks away.  It has been almost bewildering reading about all of the people that are expected to gather in a 70 mile wide strip across America for this phenomenal event.  My brother is a geek.  He has 2 graduate degrees in nuclear physics and is very techy and sciency.  He has been sending me messages about how we should do this and do that on the day of the eclipse.  He reserved our guest room over a year ago after determining that the orchard is an ideal location to get the full benefit of the eclipse.  He is bringing a solar telescope for viewing and has ordered a supply of those special sunglasses for viewing.  He has even pinpointed the best area on the farm for the best view.  We’re set.  I had not intended to make a big deal about this as everyone around us is having a viewing party.  I just thought it would be fun to be open that day and anyone who wants to come out, we’d love to have you.  Yes, the store will be open, yes, we will have souvenir cups for cider slushies and yes, the cafe will be open.  There is a good chance that some apples will be ready to pick by then, too.   That’s about it.  If you want a lot of hoopla, go somewhere else.  If you just want a good view of the eclipse and enjoy the orchard, come on out.


On another note, the apples are looking good and I think we are going to have a good crop.  We will open Labor Day weekend for apples.  Our fall festival will be Saturday, October 7 and the petting zoo will be back.  We are so looking forward to our favorite time of the year!

Catching Up

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.

It’s Almost Festival Time!

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!

Festival countdown!

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.

Spring looking better

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.