Shortest farm-to-table path leads to Reeves Peach Farm
Story and photos by Constance Smith
You can’t get much more “farm to table” than the farm market and restaurant at Reeves Peach Farm, located just east of Hartselle on Highway 36.
Reeves Peach Farm has been in the family since 1835, when it was first established. The family still farms some of that same land. Originally some of the crops grown were cotton, corn and others common to northern Alabama.
In the 1940s the farm began growing fruits. Stacks of watermelons would be sold under the big oak trees that still stand tall near the original farm stand that was built around 1959. That stand started as a simple shed that was expanded again and again as operations continued to outgrow the facilities.
A couple of years ago, the dream of hosting big market on the farm – a dream Mike Reeves had for 30-40 years – came to fruition.
Reeves said his family “supports my farming habit.” His wife Lynn is the CPA and does the books, and their sons David and Jackson work there as well, making it a family affair.
The farm market offers fresh produce, locally grown in season. Out of season, produce is brought in regionally to support more farmers while bringing fresh produce to the community. Cedar tables are laden with bright red tomatoes, zucchini and more. In addition to the fresh produce, the market also offers take-and-bake casseroles, locally-grown meats and eggs, desserts, preserves and more.
Reeves said his own favorite item is the homemade ice cream, sold by the pint. All their ice cream is made fresh on site. A variety of flavors are available; the peach and strawberry options are made with fruit from their own farm.
Want an ice cream cone? Head into the restaurant area, where the Reeves family serves ice cream by the scoop.
The restaurant was a long-planned addition to the market and became a reality this past year. Visitors will find freshly-made sandwiches, chicken pot pie, stuffed baked potatoes, soup of the day and plenty of other dishes to choose from. New dishes and recipes are continually being tried out under the supervision of Kristy Robinson, who runs the kitchen. Reeves said he has the best staff on the planet, and the market wouldn’t be the same without their hard work and dedication.
Outside is a large smoker that uses peach wood from the farm to smoke the meats for the dishes served, like barbecue sandwiches or smoked chicken and broccoli casserole. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. An area beside the restaurant is set aside to become a playground, which will up the ante for families who want to come, stay a bit and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Reeves said it will be particularly nice for those traveling Interstate 65 who find themselves needing to stretch their legs and rest a bit.
The market is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the restaurant opening at 10:30 a.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Visit the farm at 334 Highway 36 E., Hartselle.