Mountain Meadows Farm
1824 Highway 30, Columbiana, AL 35051, USA
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“This has to be one of the prettiest farms in Alabama,” was a comment made by several friends, family and visitors over the years. The pre-1955 history of MMF is similar to that of many farms throughout the deep South – lots of cotton raised over a couple of centuries resulting in worn out soil. It was acquired that year by the Suttle family (John Frank, Auburn graduate, WWII vet, and engineer by trade, Mary Francis, twins Lloyd and Allan born in 1947, and myself – Jim – born in 1950).
We spent the first two summers of ’55 and ’56 living in the first known “motor home” – an old school bus, gutted and accommodated with bunk beds, a kitchen table, gas stove, and sink with running water – doing our best to make the hundred-plus year old farmhouse livable before moving in that fall at which time I began the first grade. I’ll never forget that the old bus was painted “army green,” and that the other plumbing facilities, to my great chagrin, were “outside,” as in outhouse. “Pop,” as our dad was fondly known by friends and family alike, was a very active owner over his half-century on the farm. While he taught engineering courses for twenty to twenty-five hours a week at the University of Montevallo, he spent at least an equal amount of time manicuring his beloved MMF, which he actively continued until a stroke on his eighty-seventh birthday slowed him.
I will never forget a family vacation in Montana some years ago when I was awakened at three o’clock in the morning to the sound of laughter. Investigating, I discovered four next-generation cousins on the back deck in the hot tub telling Pop stories. He was an amazing person, who at the advice of his father, left the world a little better place than he had found it. I have long intended returning to the farm to retire and found myself doing so sooner than expected after Pop passed away in 2006, although retirement is not how most people would describe the past few years.
Wanting to fully enjoy the pristine nature of Mountain Meadows and provide a comfortable environment for my now 96-year-old Mom, I soon concluded that sharing the experience with others by providing healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables to the surrounding community would be an ideal alternative . . . and here we are! Chemical free blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. The strawberries become available mid April through May, and the Blueberries and Blackberries start early June through July. So bring your kids or grandkids and pick your own delicious fruit on a beautiful, fun, family-friendly MMF. You’ll know they’re fresh!!