August 25, 2004
Feels Like A Family Farm

The summer brings many joys, and one of my favorite things is picking vegetables and fruits. Our garden is filled with herbs, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, beans and peas, but we often head elsewhere to pick other produce.

Our part of the country (north Alabama) is known for its agriculture, whether it's cotton, soybeans or produce. Luckily, we have several farms nearby that let us harvest produce. Supporting these local farmers is as important to us as the fresh food we bring home.

Our favorite u-pick farm is Gin House Branch Farm in Priceville, Alabama (just off Interstate 65), about ten minutes from our house. A couple has decided to make a life of growing organic produce on a large piece of land. Earlier this year we picked strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, and the strawberries were possibly the best I have ever eaten. This past weekend we stopped by for tomatoes (ours are regrouping), melons and more raspberries. The honor system was in place, so we left a check in their lock box. Most impressive is Gin House Branch farm's commitment to exposing the public to interesting produce. This year they planted two varieties of raspberry, French and Asian melons and several exotic varieties of watermelon (exotic for north Alabama, at least). If you are ever coming through north Alabama, stop by the farm and pick up some fresh produce. The owners are more than willing to talk about their crops, their beehives, and answer any questions you have with true southern hospitality. These are people I am proud to call our neighbors.

Posted by david on August 25, 2004
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