Family farm grows business

Just a little more than a mile north of the Mother Road in Yukon is the granddaddy of gardens.

For the past 60 years, Allen Broady and his family have been tilling the soil and planting the seeds that have led to bumper crops of fruit and vegetables.

This year has been no different.

The family begins working their 3 ½ acre garden in February and March, planting onions and potatoes that will be ready in early June. That’s followed by the first plantings of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and a variety of other veggies.

But their biggest crops are watermelons and cantaloupes.

The watermelons, both red and yellow meat, are sweet and juicy, said Diane Broady.

The cantaloupes are ripe, large and sweet.

Each day, the family heads into the fields looking at the crops, picking those that are ready for market.

By mid-afternoon, much of the produce is sold.

Tomatoes, Diane Broady said, are popular.

But it’s the squash and okra that go quickly.

The produce store is open seven days a week. Most days they are open from 8 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m., though they will occasionally stay later.

Weekends are usually the busiest times, Broady said.

This year’s harvest has been ample. The garden is growing well, she said.

Watermelons are plentiful. Hundreds remained in the garden last week, not quite ready to pick.

Recently planted corn was just beginning to peek through the ground, while squash was awaiting a visit from someone to pick it.

Customers asking for green beans were told it would be a few weeks before they are ready.

Broady said it is not unusual to see customers who return because of the quality of the produce, and because it is fresh.

In all, the family operates about 50 acres on State Highway 4. Most of the land is used for crops like soybeans. But it’s the front 3 ½ that draw customers.

Broady said the family operates the farm most of the year, even having tomatoes as late as November. She said they usually have both a spring and fall planting so that the crops continue throughout the season.

Wednesday, dozens of customers pulled into the gravel driveway to get to the metal building that is home to the store.

Some left empty. What they were looking for wasn’t yet available. But most were there for the fruit. Many left with more than one watermelon.

“They just taste better,” Broady said.

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