Robert’s Family Blueberry Farm
Not too far away, in the foothills of the Appalachians is a snapshot of southern history and culture. There’s a magical farm where grandpa’s prize-winning tomatoes sprout from heirloom seeds and blueberries taste like candy.
Robert’s Family Blueberry Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm in Clermont, GA, owned by Terry & Kelley Roberts. If you’re up for an excursion, the farm is open to the public and offers an education in organic farming as well as the opportunity to procure fresh vegetables from recent harvests.
Terry, an engineer by trade, spent years designing wheelchairs and helping those with spinal and brain injuries adapt to their new realities. Now, he uses his skills and knowledge to grow incredible crops.
On Tuesdays, Terry loads up his trusty vegetable truck with the week’s bounty and comes directly to Chateau Elan and the Reunion Community in Braselton.
Sun Realty Group’s own Associate Broker, Beverly Williams was instrumental in having Chateau Elan added to Terry’s route. When word got out how good the produce was and his visits were a success, top agent Patti Curtis arranged for Terry to visit the Reunion Community too. Residents of Chateau Elan can select their veggies or pick up Terry’s fabulous honeys and dressings at Mulberry Church across from the Chateau Elan gate on Thompson Mill Road at 1 pm. From there, Terry makes his way to Reunion by 2:30 pm and parks near the grand lawn by the Athletic Center. Be sure to look for Beverly, Patti or Sun Realty Group Broker, Ben Harrison to pick up a free reusable bag to carry your produce in!
Terry’s visits have been so popular with residents that many arrive early to ensure they get the pick of the crop! In fact, the microgreens he grows are wildly popular and are usually sold out in just a few minutes.
On the farm, Terry grows those microgreens (which are often kale or spinach), in a ventilated building in trays. Young tender greens need more protection than the great outdoors offers. Many of his beautiful tomatoes are grown in containers, proving that anyone can grow tasty and delicious vegetables anywhere. What might be missing is Terry’s ingenuity.
At first glance, Robert’s Family Blueberry Farm looks quaint, it’s the epitome of Grandpa and Grandma’s garden, though super-sized. The grass is freshly mowed and the blueberries light up like purple jewels when the sun hits them just right. Around the farm is a simple split rail fence made of locust. The densest wood in the Southeastern region, locust isn’t prone to rot like other species. Terry’s split rail fence will be there for decades. Like the fence, all aspects of the farm have thought and reasoning behind everything from the layout to the irrigation.
Rainfall alone can’t keep up with the irrigation demands of the hundreds of acres Terry and Kelley actively farm. So, sitting by nearly every structure is a water tank that is engineered with a rainfall catchment system. Terry filters the rainwater to ensure its purity and then pumps the water to the areas in need of a drink.
In addition to purified rainwater, the only fertilizer is organic as well. Terry only uses emulsified fish fertilizer. Fish as fertilizer has deep roots in Native American culture but those who grew up around gardeners may well remember burying fish parts under or around plants after a successful fishing trip. Fish fertilizer is a natural way to improve soil health and fertility. It also offers a source of burn-free nitrogen and other vital nutrients like phosphorus and potassium. This grows a much healthier plant that is more resistant to pests and disease. This is important at Robert’s Family Blueberry Farm because the only spray used to ward off weeds, disease and ever-present aphids and other vegetable loving pests is a mix of non-synthetic vinegar and salt.
Terry explains that even when the area around his farm is sprayed for weeds the crews use huge blocks to prevent chemicals from settling on his crops.
Terry and Kelley have a little country store where customers can get out of the hot sun for a few minutes and pick up cucumbers, tomatoes or whatever Kelley has just recently picked. There are a couple of rocking chairs on the front porch to sit a spell and listen to Terry tell you about the blueberry picking apparatus he’s invented. There are countless innovations on the farm but somethings are happenstance. Each year, an amazing crop of tomatoes grows right out of the compost pile.
A plant growing on its own may not seem very impressive but more often than not, the vegetables we pick up from grocery stores are genetically altered to have non-plant producing seeds. That’s the test of an heirloom tomato you might have occasion to pick up. Terry explains that true heirloom vegetables will sprout plants with fruit from their seeds. A little science experiment is to dry out a few seeds from a vegetable and plant them to see what happens. It’s also a way to see if there is truth in the advertising!
In addition to grafting plants together to create healthier, hardier, tastier vegetables, Terry also experiments with honey. Scattered around the farm, nestled in with wildflowers, among the blueberries and patches of blackberries and raspberries are apiaries. Terry pulls and jars the honey himself, so getting a bottle of the liquid gold goodness is a luxury. There tends to be a bountiful supply, however, from time to time, it’s necessary to wait on the bees. Terry almost always has honey on the truck when he visits Chateau Elan and Reunion, but it does go quickly!
To learn more about Robert’s Family Blueberry Farm visit their Facebook page Facebook.com/RobertsFamilyBlueberryFarm or call the farm at 678-316-3598
If you are looking to buy or sell Real Estate in or around Braselton, call or text Ben Harrison 770-318-7973, Patti Curtis 678-687-6280 or Beverly Williams 678-754-7552 today
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