Typically, Steed said strawberries are picked in late April but the inconsistent Tennessee weather has changed that over the past two years. Last year, the berries were picked in the first week of April and this years batch is unlikely to be picked until the first of May.
Steed, along with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, hosted a Pick Tennessee Products Media Day on Thursday, where The Wilson Post learned about the Century Farm and all their fare. The farm, established in 1839, was passed down to him through his mothers side he is the son of Emmie Lou and Nelson Steed and until recently, Steed did not realize what a gem it was.
We have school field trips come here and pick strawberries or blackberries and see the cows and animals and it is very hands on. Growing up, I didnt realize what we had, he said.
After college, Steed got a wild hair to plant strawberries simply because they are loved by the masses and he believed it would be a worthwhile business venture; however, Circle S Farms has developed into much more with 40,000 strawberry plants, blueberry plants and Christmas trees. The Steed family is currently adding a wedding garden venue to the property, which would easily accommodate up to 300 guests.
We have people come from Brentwood or Dickson and stay for four or five hours and walk away with a little cup of strawberries. It is not about selling strawberries it is about the experience, he said. We have something growing for each season.
Pamela Bartholomew, of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Development Division, said there are 700 agri-tourism farms, such as Circle S, throughout the state.
Tennessees largest industry is agriculture and our second largest industry is tourism. One of the great things about these events is it gets the media out to the farm and have a one-on-one conversation with the farmer, she said.
The Pick Tennessee Products initiative started 27 years ago and promotes locally made and locally grown products.