Sustainable Farm in Colbert County Alabama
May 12, 2021: This page is a work-in-progress at this time.
The 220 acres of land that comprises Shine Springs Farm has been in my family for nearly a century. We “named” the farm Shine Springs in 2012 after a spring on the farm, known as Shine’s Spring or Shine Springs, on the Alabama geological maps. More on that in a moment.
My great-grandfather purchased a large portion of the land back in the 1920s, then sold some of that parcel and then later bought it again. He was a farmer and owned thousands of acres of land in Franklin and Colbert Counties of Alabama. My parents acquired the land after the deaths of my great-grandfather and grandfather, along with some adjoining parcels that they purchased. I was about 8 years old when we officially moved into the house my parents built on the land.
For most of the years I lived at Shine Springs as a child and teenager, we had some cattle. For a few years, we had horses. We always had a garden. Most of the tillable acreage on our farm was leased to a local soybean farmer who grew soybeans. When he retired or downsized in the early 1980s, my parents placed the land in the Conservation Reserve Program for 10 years, and then later renewed for another term. During this time, the farmed land was “set aside” from crop production and covered in vetch and other cover crops.
Shine Springs Farm has always been about half timber and half tillable acreage.