SEGMENT: FARM BUSINESS
Chris Eckert>LPL Interviews A-M>LPL Interviews A-J, Segment 6
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- FARM BUSINESS
- 1929 current roadside market, added meat counter, and by 1945 it was a grocery. First pick-your-own farm in Grafton. Expanded into other farms. Each was about 75-125 acres of apples. Expanded in 1960-70, 1970-1980. Packing in Carbondale with two more farms. Soil here is less productive of grain than in central Illinois. See more hills here, which is better for fruit. Need higher elevation to avoid frost. Wholesale business shipped to Midwest areas. Became unprofitable to compete with Washington State and refrigerated trucks. Illinois apples less profitable and less desirable. Have to change with the times. Still grew 150 acres of apples to grow pick-your-own. Changed to peaches as climate warmed up (1940-1970). 1970-1990, had eight bad crop years. Sold off Carbondale and Cobden farms. Added 50 acres peaches here. Warmer weather produced better crop. Went wholesale. Now have 220 acres, 75 per cent are wholesaled.