Did you know that America’s first commercial winery was in
Kentucky? Jean Jacques Dufour purchased land on the Kentucky
River in 1798 and formed the Kentucky Vineyard Society. In
1803, Dufour’s first vintage went to Thomas Jefferson.
The heirloom tomato is easily Nathan's favorite crop to grow,
but there will always be a special place in our hearts for the
vineyard. When Nathan and I decided to take the plunge
into full-time farming, we were blessed to have a transitional
opportunity as Nathan was contracted to plant the vineyard at
the Western Kentucky University farm.
We had also planted a small vineyard on our two acres in
Bowling Green a few years before, and they were starting to
fruit. Nathan would leave some of the low lying branches so
the kids could pick them right off the vine. One of my favorite
memories is sitting outside on a blanket with Lilah and Adaline
while Elizabeth brought us grapes from the vine, one at a time.
Our bodies were hydrated and nourished from each of those
There's something sacred and meaningful about the pruning
away of branches--the symbolic cutting away of those things
that no longer serve us so we can experience something even
”I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. My
Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do
not bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes
them so that they will bear more fruit.” John 15:1-2
Moving farms was that kind of pruning for us, leaving behind
our beginnings in order to embrace possibility. And of course,
we started over with a new vineyard--the first thing Nathan
planted--and he made sure to leave low lying branches, this
time for Adaline and Sterling. We focus on table grapes that will
soon be in production for our farm members, schools, sales at
Community Farmers Market and for HOTEL INC.
Nathan's favorite table grape varieties:
Reliance, Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Vanessa