Hoping for the ice, not to melt, is new for local farmers. Those are the recurring comments we keep hearing from local farmers. Hank Delvin, Sr of Delvin Farms is serious as he inspects his organic blackberry plants and apple orchard. “We need for the ice not to melt before the predicted three below zero deep freeze hits Thursday morning.” Sub-zero weather is a new event for everyone in Middle Tennessee. Delvin Farms provides certified organic produce for thousands of local families. Protecting outdoor vegetation and animals is on everyone’s mind as Thursday morning subzero temperatures fast approach.
Charlie Hatcher of Hatcher Family Dairy spent much of the morning with son Charles breaking the ice frozen over a small pond his dairy cows use for drinking water. “We have to break the ice so our cows can have water to drink”. So goes the farm chores this week at Hatcher Family Dairy. Milking cows is an everyday process all year long; the cows don’t stop producing and the daily milking can’t stop. Cows don’t ever go on vacation, and local milk delivery for Tennessee families must stay on schedule, especially with the demand strong when snow and ice hit our state.
Farmers travel from all over Tennessee to the Franklin Farmers Market each Saturday for market. Ralph Cole of West Wind Farms has been driving over 130 miles each Saturday from Deer Lodge Tennessee to the Franklin Farmers Market for his customers. As the ice storm was covering roads in Tennessee Ralph was driving to pick up processed meats for his customers to have this coming Saturday.
Ralph and wife Kimberly have been keeping a close eye on farm animals making sure they are getting the food and water they need. West Wind Farms was one of the first meat and poultry farms in the U.S. to be certified organic. Hundreds of Tennessee families depend on West Wind Farms to be at the Franklin Farmers Market to buy meats and eggs each market Saturday.
Greenhouses are keeping tender vegetation from freezing at Kirkview Farm. It might be February, but Carl Thoni is watching his new plant growth springing up on his farm. Planting seeds early is key for supplying early vegetables for the long lines at Carl and Teresa Thoni’s market booth. Investing in well-built greenhouses has paid off for Carl during all the snow and ice we’ve had this week. All his new plant seedlings are happily growing in the midst what might be the coldest Tennesse winter day in over 100 years.
New market sponsor Randy Stubblefield of the Williamson Farmers Co-op says “local farmers have been coming in to purchase hay, straw, feed and bedding for their animals to protect from the sub-zero temperatures”.
If you would like to see pictures of how the ice and snow is affecting many of our local farmers, you can visit our Ice Storm Farm Pictures in our market photo gallery.
To keep current on all Franklin area news regarding this weeks ice storm and the hard sub-zero freeze visit the Williamson Herald.
Hatcher Dairy Farm, Moonshadow Farm, Flying S Farms, Delvin Farms, Bloomsbury Farm, Kirkview Farm, Noble Springs Dairy, Triple L Ranch, Purple Tree Farm, Tottys Bend Farm, West Wind Farms, Beaverdam Creek Farm, Earth Advocate Research Farm, Legacy Acres Alpacas and Bear Creek Farm all contributed pictures from their farms for this article and website photo gallery.
The Franklin Farmers Market is a year round, every Saturday, farmers market located behind the Factory in Franklin Tennessee.