Berries, berries, and more berries, please! This week on the blog we're sharing the background on a family business that's been passed down through the generations. We spoke with Hunter at the market representing Kelley’s Berry Farm.
The farm is located in Castalian Springs, TN (just North of Lebanon). The business was started in 1978 when Hunter’s grandfather bought the property located on the riverbanks of the Cumberland River. The farm began as a nursery for trees and plants, but Kelley Sr. eventually planted berries and blueberries came first. Eventually, more berries were added as Hunter’s father and uncle took on the business. The plan is for Hunter and his cousin to take the reigns when they're ready. This business will continue to pass down through the Kelley generations.
A Day In The Life...
A typical day on the berry farm starts around 5:30am. They start by picking all of the berries until around mid-morning. Next, they sell the harvest at farm stands and markets. Did you know you can pick berries yourself? If you head out to see the Kelleys, you can pick all the berries you’d like for $3 a pound.
The farm itself is 180 acres, including 8 acres of strawberries, 12 acres of blueberries, and 5 acres of blackberries. The Kelleys offer multiple fresh products, including berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. The planting of the produce begins in September, then come May, it's time to harvest the strawberries. During the first week of June, the blueberries start to peek through, and finally, the blackberries are harvested in mid-June through the end of July. The Kelleys also have beehives and peach trees, allowing them to sell honey and peaches. To avoid waste, all the berries that aren’t used go into homemade jams that they sell - strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and peach jam. Yum!
We thrive off of homegrown stories such as these, and we love having Hunter and the Kelley family as a part of our market. Come see the berries for yourself next week at the market and don't forget to head out to Kelley’s Berry Farm to pick some!