Both native Kentuckians, Bob grew up in Trimble County, the home of a wonderful fruit orchard that is still in operation—Bray Orchards. Though education and a civil engineering career took him far from there over the years, he never forgot those ‘Trimble County peaches.’
Anna Dale, also a civil engineer, grew up in Middlesboro, where summers found her as her grandfather’s helper in his garden of vegetables and flowers.
We purchased Fox Field Farm and moved here in 1996. Soon Bob had planted an asparagus bed, then grape vines, and of course, a garden each summer. Still yearning for “a real peach,” he ordered a few peach trees in 2001, then more and then more, trying different varieties. In 2005 we joined the Mason County farmers’ market for local producers only.
Fox Field is a small family farm where Bob tends the trees on a daily basis. We are a conventional grower, though we try to minimize application of sprays. We pick the fruit ourselves (sometimes friends help!) the evening before market, sort, crate and load our peaches. By allowing our peaches to ripen on the tree, we incur more damage and loss from blemishes due to fungi, insects, and especially birds. We have no refrigeration or storage facility, preferring to pick the fruit as it ripens and bring it to market only hours later for our clientele to enjoy. Ripe peaches are fragile, easy to bruise and hard to transport, but we think the flavor is worth the trouble. People can taste the difference between peaches picked green, shipped and stored, and fresh tree-ripened peaches!
We believe there is real value in continuing to do the work that it takes to bring fresh, old-fashioned peaches to market in season.
Go ahead, let the juice run down your chin, and enjoy a real peach from Fox Field!
Robert and Anna Dale Pyles Fox Field Farm Mays Lick, Mason County, KY