Hometown Focus // Hornsby Farms

This week I am really excited to share with you one of the coolest businesses I have encountered. When I was at Auburn, I was an Agriculture major and actually received a minor in Fruit and Vegetable production, so farms are my favorite businesses. While I was in school, one of my classes took a field trip to Hornsby Farms. After our visit, we decided to do a community service project where our class helped out at the farm. We split into groups and each group helped with different things such as delivery help, planting and picking weeds, and my group helped Beth make some jam! It was such a fun experience with such a wonderful family, I just had to reach out to them when I decided to do this blog segment. Enjoy!

All photos were provided by Hornsby Farms and all info was retrieved directly from the family.

The History Of Hornsby Farms

“My husband and I both grew up watching family grow and preserve but as we got older this turned into a distant memory. It wasn’t until we began a family or our own we realized the value in knowing how to be self sustaining and as a way to supplement our income we started growing our own fruits and vegetables. We watched as our first born learned and imitated our work in the garden. As each year passed our garden and family grew and we are now entering our fourth full time year farming and have three beautiful children who love working alongside us. What started as simply a way to make ends meet turned into a full time career and life change for my husband and I in 2013. We now grow over 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables year round. We also have a commercial kitchen where we preserve sweet jams, pepper jellies and pickled vegetables. We offer affordable weekly produce baskets to Auburn/Opelika residents, work with some amazingly talented chefs in Auburn and Opelika, sell our canned items in retail stores and farmers markets throughout the state, have a farm store open during the summer where we work with the local farms and artisans, travel all over the southeast for arts and crafts fairs, vintage markets, food festivals, and more. We offer canning classes, farm workshops and speak at schools, community events and agricultural events about our farm, how to grow fruits and vegetables and how to prepare them.”

About The Family

The Hornsby Family is comprised of Josh, Beth, Sully (7), Levi (3), and Stella (1).

“We are active in our church, local community arts programs, we work with Auburn University, our local extension agency and many other community organizations. We are active in our county Young Farmers Division through the Farmers Federation. I was chosen for an Agricultural Leaders Program for the State through the Alabama Farmers Federation and was recently nominated to the State Horticulture Committee. My husband, Josh loves teaching those new to farming, or aspiring to farm on day, how to use equipment, planting techniques and tips, seed selection process and weed and pest management techniques. He provides demonstrations for local extension services, new and existing farmers, master gardeners groups and students. “

“In November 2016 we joined forces with our pediatrician, Dr. Katie Wolter of Pediatric Associates of Auburn to create non-profit, Nourish, AL. Nourish is a hunger initiative created to address food insecurity in families with young children. Each week we deliver baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables to families in need in our community. Since the programs launch Thanksgiving Week we have been able to provide over 120 baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables to families in our community, We host fundraiser dinners at our farm featuring dinners prepared by our talented friends at Acre Restaurant in order to provide these families with healthy nutritious foods each week.”

The Product

“We grow on plasticulture, a hoop house and row crops year round. Some of our favorite things to grow are cherokee purple tomatoes, pink eye purple hull peas, butter crunch lettuce, peaches and cream sweet corn, patty pan squash, watermelon radishes, strawberries, okra and hot peppers. We also grow oyster mushrooms and have wild edible mushrooms on the property we forage for like chanterelles.

In addition to fruits and vegetables we have chickens, ducks and a heritage breed hog {#okrathepig} that we will begin breeding for meat. We also have beehives on the property and are super excited to begin selling our very own honey this year.”

“We create a variety of sweet jams, one of our most popular ones is called Blackstraw where we blend sweet strawberries and tangy blackberries for the perfect taste of early summer! When season collide we are able to develop fun flavors like Blackstraw which came about when we planted over 2000 strawberry plants and had more strawberries than we knew what to do with. That first strawberry patch was also when our soon to be famous Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly was born as well. A blend of super sweet strawberries with a nice kick of jalapeños, we call it the gateway pepper jelly because its blend of sweet and just the right amount of heat makes for the perfect flavor to get you hooked! With so many delicious flavors we are constantly experimenting with new ways to enjoy them. For instance our pepper jellies go great with cream cheese and crackers but for something different try them as a glaze for pork and chicken, use them as a topping for chicken and waffles or pair them with smoked salmon. With each new season we begin experimenting with things grown on our farm and have so much fun trying new ideas and creating fun new additions to our lineup like pickled watermelon radishes and our twist on candied jalapeños called Farmers Candy. We also offer more traditional items like Blackberry Jam, Pickled Okra and Pepper Sauce.”

“In addition I create what I like to call farm inspired soy candles. Each candle fragrance is something the reminds us of our farm like Southern Magnolia. On our farm is the house where my husband grew up and beside that house are beautiful magnolia trees. When his mother, Nannette was alive she loved having friends and family over for meals and would place outdoor lights in the magnolia trees. I remember many evenings spent visiting with her under those beautiful trees and everytime we light that fragrance I am reminded of her strength and love. Another favorite is honeysuckle vine. As a child I remember roaming the fence lines of our property looking for a tasty honeysuckle and gathering them up in hopes of squeezing that one tiny drop of their sweet nectar out without pulling the to forceful.”

Family First

The kids go everywhere that the business goes, and this is important to the Hornsby family. Beth stated that you can usually find the kids at most market events and always on the farm working hard alongside their parents. Instilling hard work into their children is their goal, and I believe that is evident.

Closing Thoughts

I can personally attest to how good and quality the products that come from Hornsby Farms are (as I have helped make some) and tried many products. I would highly recommend trying some product from the family and know you are supporting such a quality cause!

Follow Hornsby Farms On Social Media

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Hornsby Farms Official Site

Donate To Nourish, AL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Like one of my post? I’d love to hear from you!

Comment below, follow me on social media, or email me at sweetsouthernsugarblog@gmail.com

XO

Kaitlyn

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *