Farming is a family affair for Harrison

Published 9:58 pm Friday, June 5, 2009

Farming runs deep in the Harrison family.

“I was born into it,” Maplesville peach farmer Jimmie Harrison said.

Harrison’s father first planted peaches on his farm in 1945.

“Dad had something for us to do all the time,” Harrison said.

Harrison and his brother, Jerry, also a peach farmer, began selling peaches out of the back of a truck in the early 1950s.

Harrison attended school in Maplesville, where he was quite the student.

“I enjoyed school, made good grades,” Harrison said. “Anything less than an A was a disappointment for me.”

After graduation Harrison returned to work on the farm.

“I probably never had any inkling of doing anything other than farming,” Harrison said.

Harrison, along with his wife of 50 years, Alice Faye, raised his own family on his peach farm.

“It was kind of tough,” Harrison said. “Some tough years. We managed to survive.”

Three of Harrison’s four children built homes on the farm, all within sight of Harrison’s home.

Two of Harrison’s sons provide help with the farming.

“It’s strictly a family business,” Harrison said.

Harrison said he finds farming very rewarding and likes “planting a tree and watching it come to production.”

Three or four months out of the year are the busiest for Harrison, giving him a bit of free time in the off-season.

When Harrison is free, he likes to travel, and has been all over the world.

Harrison’s favorite place he has visited was New Zealand.

“It was just beautiful country,” Harrison said. “Neat and clean, a lot of farmland.”

Harrison said they even were harvesting peaches while he was there, where the seasons are opposite from here.

Harrison even had some fruit trivia.

“You know that’s where kiwi originated,” he said.

Harrison knows a lot about fruit, and he also knows how to sell it.

Harrison said he sells about 90 percent of his peaches in his roadside market, staffed by his wife and grandchildren.

“We’ve been selling fruit here for over 50 years in this same location,” Harrison said.

And people like his fruit.

“I never have seen many people that didn’t like peaches,” Harrison said.