Students at Liberty Elementary School got an October treat on Halloween Day when “Farmer Jon” delivered a trailer full of pumpkins to their school. Jon and Teresa Clarke of Purple Tree Farm in Shelbyville are farmers at the Franklin Farmers Market. Every year they bring their most beautiful and unique pumpkins and mums to the farmers market, and this year they shared their bounty with Liberty Elementary School for their annual Fall Fling. Children in grades 1-4 chose their favorite pumpkin to take home. “Farmer Jon,” as the children lovingly referred to him, grew pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors and drove them from his farm in Bedford County.
This season has been a wonderful one for TN pumpkin growers. The weather has been just right for the perfect Halloween decoration. Purple Tree Farm owner, Steve Grace and farmers Jon and Teresa grew many varieties that one can only see at the Franklin Farmers Market and not in stores. After the peak market season they were left with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes that did not sell at the market. The neighbor’s cows usually look forward to October’s special treat, but this year Jon wanted to give back to the community that has supported his business for many years at the Franklin Farmers Market, and what better way than to bring his farm to the city of Franklin’s children.
Principal Dr. Cheryl Robey called each class outside to meet their farmer and choose a pumpkin. Turks Turban, a unique heirloom pumpkin, was the choice of many of the happy students. White pumpkins, colorful carnival acorn squash and tiny orange pumpkins that fit in the palm of their hands were the delight of the smaller children. Over 500 children went home with a pumpkin of their choice from Farmer Jon and the school Fall Fling Day was a success.
For more information about Farmer Jon and other vendors at the Franklin Farmers Market, visit the Franklin Farmers Market every Saturday at the Franklin Factory, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 9am-12pm November-April and 8am-1pm May-October.