Farm Raised

Jack Pratt with his parents on the farm

Life is peachy-keen for Jack Pratt, Jr.

Jack Pratt with his parents on the farm

Story by Jack Pratt, Jr.

The road that leads to my piece of the good life is not lined with gold. It is neither in a major city nor does it lead to the hub of global influence. It doesn’t even have curbs. It just has a double yellow line and many hills and curves. But if you take Trousdale Ferry Pike east of Lebanon for about five miles you will find where my good life starts and ends each day

Life is peachy-keen for Jack Pratt, Jr.

Farm raisedThe road that leads to my piece of the good life is not lined with gold. It is neither in a major city nor does it lead to the hub of global influence. It doesn’t even have curbs. It just has a double yellow line and many hills and curves. But if you take Trousdale Ferry Pike east of Lebanon for about five miles you will find where my good life starts and ends each day.

This same country road led my parents, Jack Pratt Sr. and Judy Pratt to the farm they purchased in Tuckers Crossroads in 1976. It was on this farm that my parents and I would plant the first of three peach and apple orchards. We also raised beef cattle, hay, and vegetable gardens.

This would soon become a successful business that would not only supplement my parent’s income, but also teach me the value of a hard day’s work and how to run a business. Because we sold our produce directly to the public from our farm, I also learned the intricacies of dealing with the public at an early age. It was truly a great place to be raised.

The most valuable lesson that I ever learned on the farm was that of helping one’s neighbors. I was six years old when we planted our first orchard, which consisted of 1000 peach trees. Fruit trees are planted during the winter months when they are dormant. To this day there is no mechanical process of planting a fruit tree, only a shovel and good old fashioned hard work. The Neal family, (Pal, Perry, Phil, Pam and their late father Kenneth) are our neighbors across Trousdale Ferry Pike. In the dead of winter, they helped us plant our first orchard when it looked like we would never finish. My father offered to pay Mr. Neal and his sons for their help, but Mr. Kenneth would not accept a dime. He simply said “Jack that is what neighbors do for one another”. It goes without saying the Neal’s still get a “discount” on peaches.

I am fortunate to call Tuckers Crossroads home and to have such wonderful neighbors. I also got introduced to politics in Tuckers Crossroads at an early age. It seemed like every election year politicians would make the trip down Trousdale Ferry and ask for votes. Some would go past our house and stop at Glen Harlan’s store and “press the flesh”. It seemed logical to go where a crowd would be gathered and catch more people at one stop. But occasionally, they would stop by our farm and ask my Mom and Dad for their support.

One hot day in July of 1982, my parents and I were working in our garden. We had been picking green beans and chopping weeds when a car pulled in the driveway and the driver started walking toward us. The man looked to be in his mid 30’s and was clean cut but almost as sweaty as us. He had a white shirt and dress pants on, but his shirt was soaked through.

When he approached us in the garden he said “Hi folks, my name is Terry Ashe, and I would appreciate your vote for sheriff”. The sheriff-to-be then talked for a few minutes about the office he was seeking and how nice our garden looked. He even shook my hand and told my folks he would work as “hard as you do” if he were elected. Needless to say Mom and Dad were impressed and apparently so were a lot of other folks that year. Terry Ashe won the election and many more after that.

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