A few weeks ago we got some delicious strawberries at the Pepper Place Market in Birmingham. What drew me to these particular berries was the fact that they are grown without using any chemicals.
So I got my new neighbor, Suzanne, to ride out to the country with me to pick berries at Mountain Meadows Farm in Columbiana. Owner Jim Suttle describes himself as an Alabama Dirt Farmer and his slogan is “It’s all about the soil.”
We took a lot of back roads, depending on my phone’s GPS to get us there. We were relieved and happy to see the sign for the farm and turned in. Farmer Suttle had us follow his truck back to the berry patches and provided us with baskets to hold our berries. (We also tasted a few as we went along the rows).
A brief history of the farm: The Suttle family acquired the farm in 1955. They moved into the 100+years old farmhouse a few years later when Jim began the first grade. Jim’s father taught engineering courses at the University of Montevallo along with putting in many hours on the farm. Jim returned to the farm after his father passed away in 2006.
After we picked and paid up, Jim explained a little about his methods of using a vinegar-based spray for weed control and an orange peel extract for insect control.
For our return trip we took a different route that was less country roads and more highways. I am looking forward to going back in June when the blueberries and blackberries will be ready. Hopefully it will coincide with the time when some of his vegetables will also be available . He even sells Christmas Trees, so I plan to go back in December, too!