One of the things I often run into is a misperception that farm life winds down once the fall harvest is over. And while much of the world has the luxury of spending these chilly months snuggling up under a blanket with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and Netflix, for farmers, it’s business as usual. (But with more layers of clothing.)
So, what do farmers do in the winter? They make a lot of coffee. They fuel and warm up with a steady supply of caffeine (Some folks stir in sugar. Others pour in Louisa’s Liqueur. (Either way, I don’t judge!)
The winter work is never done. Farmers are always fixing stuff. My granddaddy always said, “If things aren’t breaking then you aren’t using them enough.” There is always machinery to be maintained, fences to be mended and more coffee to be consumed.
When they’re not caring for the machines, they’re caring for the creatures who depend on them. Most farmers have to put out feed and water for the livestock each day.
A typical daily agenda might go something like: 1. Make coffee
2. Put on warm clothes
3) Warm up the tractor or the truck to go feed the cows or check on the fences.
4) Snuggle into the tractor with your Honey and go for a ride. (Fun fact: a lot of farm kids are born in August, September and October. Draw your own conclusions here…)
If you want to learn more about rural Tennessee culture and the life of our local farmers, our tours are happening all year long.
Just thirty minutes beyond the bright lights and bustle of Broadway, there’s a whole other side of Nashville that many people never see. It’s a place steeped in local lore and rooted in history, where backroads lead the way through stories filled fields and a cast of colorful characters. This is a side of Nashville that takes you out of the city and transports you back in time to experience the legacy of rural America, and its connection to everything from the food on our plates to the dye in our jeans.
Rabbit Circle Tours specializes in custom rural farm tours. The adventure begins with one of our locally born and grown guides picking your VIP up in town. From there, we head off on a tour of the countryside surrounding Nashville with stops in rural communities such as Cross Plains, Springfield, Joelton, Ashland City, Gallatin and Franklin.
Along the way, we will introduce them to locals and grab lunch at one of our favorite locally-owned restaurants. From snacking on sun-ripened tomatoes straight off the vine to a meet-and-greet with favorite farm animals, each tour is unique and customized to the interest of our guests.
Broadway may boast the highest volume of Nashville tourists, but a Rabbit Circle custom farm tour is the experience that nobody ever forgets. Learn more and book your tour at https://rabbitcircle.com/.
With the growth of hemp production in Tennessee comes budding interest and now there’s a new tour to learn all about the industry.
From the ins to the outs, to what it’s really like to grow hemp, Rabbit Circle Farm Tours is now hopping onto Middle Tennessee’s newest cash crop.
Sixth-generation farmer Jennifer Davis runs the tours.
“I’ve been doing the farm tours here for about a year and in the last three or four months especially I’ve had a lot of folks start asking questions about hemp,” said Davis.
That’s when Rabbit Circle’s Hemp Tours was born.
Davis combined her extensive background in agriculture with her connections to area hemp farmers.
“It’s more to not necessarily be an educator but the facilitator,” said Davis. “What are those opportunities for farmers? I think there’s maybe a little misconception that you’ll be able to come out here and play at a cannabis plant and suddenly you’ll be a millionaire.”
The tours start in Nashville where Davis drives to at least three Middle Tennessee Hemp Farms.
“We go through a regular till application, the no-till application, and then a strip field,” said Davis.
Next comes history.
“Up until for sure the early 1950s, it was a viable economic crop,” she said.
Then the business side.
“This was what was in this field last year, this is the potential for what might be in this field next year,” said Davis.
Finally, the reality for farmers.
Jerry Jones is a 7th generation tobacco farmer making the switch to grow hemp.
“You have to learn a lot learn on the fly,” said Jones. “Tobacco has been the mainstay for Robertson County for 100 years I guess but it’s kind of passing. You don’t make as much per acre anymore and it’s just harder to get by on it.”
“I would like this to be an intermediary for people to be educated and entertained at the same time,” said Davis.
The tour costs $75 per person — $5 will be donated to the Tennessee Growers Coalition and $5 will be donated to the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association.
Get back to Tennessee’s rural roots and hear firsthand what it’s like to be a 21st-century farmer when you book a Rabbit Circle Rural American Farm Tour. Rabbit Circle’s founder, Jennifer Davis, was born and raised in the countryside of Robertson County. Now she connects individuals and groups of all sizes with the farmers who grow their food (as well as tobacco, indigo and hemp) and introduces them to the rich culture of farming communities. Rabbit Circle offers three standard tours that leave from Nashville, as well as the opportunity to design a custom tour focused on your specific interests. Read More More at Tennessee Home and Garden
Check out this 2013 article in the Robertson County Connection written by Rachel Swann
Robertson County tobacco heritage lives on through young farmers
The drive down Hwy 25 in Robertson County is often described as a scenic route this time of year. The soy beans are turning from bright green to a mustard yellow, telling farmers that harvest is near, the roads are lined with “Pumpkin Patch This Way” signs and the tobacco barns are full of hanging burley and smoking dark-fired plants.