Articles, Blog

A Farmer’s Journey – John Deere CUT

– My name’s Jason McClure, here
at McClure’s Orchard Winery, a small apple farm in
north central Indiana that is owned by my folks,
and we run it together. So with Mom, Dad, my
sister, and my wife and I. (medium tempo instrumental
music with a driving beat) Yeah, family business for sure. My little one started helping
me with the bees last year, so at age four, she was in a bee suit, smoking the bees and having fun out there. Three generations currently
working on the farm. When we started it was pretty unkempt. Pheasants roamed free. Turkeys were everywhere. The grass was about shoulder length up. And we called Purdue Land, our
ag university, and had them kind of give us a (sighs) estimate if it was worthwhile, you know. And they said, “Yeah, give it some time, “start trimming trees,
start mowing grass, and “it’ll come through.” And they thought, maybe
four or five years, we’d start seeing some fruit production. And we had about 10,000 bushels pulled down that first year (laughs). We didn’t have any tractors. We didn’t have any crates. Everything had been sold off the farm. So it was, it was fun (laughs). (music makes a dramatic pivot) We took an orchard that was
about 20, 25 varieties strong, turned it into 150 varieties of apples. So they’re both for eating, for cooking, for making hard cider and wine. Apple trivia: if ya’ eat an apple a day, and make it a different apple every day, it would take you about 25
years to eat every known apple. So 150 sounds like a lot, but there are a lot more than that. So then I were talking one morning of get the new compact tractor, and so we’re working with
the local dealership. John Deere was nice enough
to bring out a 1 family and a 3 family for us to try and
use around our home and farm, to test them out. Our trees are set out
about 15 foot spacing, and so, the nice 3 family
sized compact tractor fits right in the rows nicely. We use a big rotary mower pulled behind that compact tractor. Covers a lot more ground and
take on some heavier grass, it may be some weeds, maybe light brush. And then at home, we
use a 1 family tractor and that one’s got a smaller mower deck. Cuts really nice on the lawn. We’ve put in a lot of
gravel drives going around our pumpkin patches to make
it easier on the trolley. So it’s a great way to
keep those in shape, keep our parking lots in shape. And a great thing, too, my
wife seems less intimidated being on those tractors. With a larger sized tractor,
she’s fully capable, but they just kind of
intimidate her a little bit. So, it’s a tractor size
that really fits everybody. Our orchard’s set out for
small, compact tractors, and so it’s great, and
we’re able to use it, you know, over the entire farm. Every year we put in
about 100 to 200 trees. And those are some trees
that Mom and Dad may not see, you know, in their lifetime. But I definitely will, and then my kids will see
grafts from those trees. You know, taking that scion
wood and passing it down, and keeping the orchard going.

One Comment

  1. hyphin Author

    Wow, I'm moved by your story Jason; I can't wait to use John Deere products to redo my uncle's abandoned pig farm and finally take over the family business. Thank you for your story



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