Ripe for Harvest
CULLMAN Co., Ala. (WBRC) - Kathy Howard was born in Cullman County on the family farm, but her professional life led her away. One day, that changed. Today her Five Oak Farm in the Rough Edge community near Holly Pond is accounting for a different kind of savings as she preserves a family farming tradition.
Kathy admits she never though farming was in her future, “As a kid I said, ‘when I grow up, I’ll never farm again.’ So, I went into banking for 30 years and one day I just called my husband. I said, ‘I’m not doing to do this anymore. Can I come home?’ He said, ‘What do you want to do?’ I said, ‘Farm strawberries.’ He said, ‘That’s a low-down job.’”
As every farmer knows there’s a lot of faith in farming but Kathy’s brother, David Chambers says, “Out entire family is grounded in Faith, serving The Lord and throughout the Bible he talks about farming. Our grandfather, Jack Chambers, came to this area back in the early 1900s. Established the farm and now my sister has the strawberry farm here.”
While brother David, who pastors nearby Fairview First Baptist pitches in and provides spiritual encouragement, Kathy continues to bow her head picking and you’re welcome to join in because the fields are ripe for harvest. “It’s a lot cheaper if you pick them yourself but if you don’t want to pick them, we will pick them. You can call me and say, ‘I’m going to need strawberries next Thursday’ and I’ll put your name down and we’ll have them here for you.”
When Kathy isn’t farming, she’s baking. “I do the sourdough bread, the pies, the cookies, the candies, the cakes. I just enjoy it.”
But it’s the berries which bring visitors to Five Oak Farm.
Kathy says last year’s pandemic experience turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “It may have been because of COVID, and nobody could get out, but you could come to a farm because it’s out in the open. Sometimes we’d have 100 people out here. They’d be parked down the road, up the driveway. We’ve had them from Russellville, Florence, Muscle Shoals; they come from all over. "
David agrees with his sister, “Something as bad as COVID-19, God took and turned it around and made something good out of it. Fear turned into Faith, and it was amazing.”
Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.