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Spotlight on Somerset: Haney's Appledale Farm serving up apples, peaches for 150 years

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Posted at 12:38 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 18:27:40-04

PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — All this week, we will be spotlighting the city of Somerset and all of the things that make Pulaski County special.

The community of Nancy is home to Haney's Appledale Farm. The farm is hundreds of acres of apple trees and peach trees, and it goes back 150 years.

Among the rolling hills in Pulaski County, over 8,000 apple trees and peach trees on Haney's Appledale Farm stretch on and on.

And the farm's history stretches back five generations to the 1870s.

Owner Mark Haney and his brother, Don, took over the farm from their Dad in 1976. And now, the brothers are preparing to turn it over to the next generation. The family farm, and its operations, have grown and changed over the years.

"We grew up in the business when it was mostly wholesale," said Haney. "We would pick apples all day long with our crew. We would pack them and get them ready and truck them to Cincinnati and be on the market at 4:00 a.m., and then come home and do it again the next day."

So, the idea of a retail schedule started to look pretty nice. And the Haney's started advertising and marketing, getting into agri-tourism and pushing the "Buy Local" ideology before it was really even a trend.

It wouldn't be long before customers started flocking to the farm. They were picking apples and peaches in the orchards and also bought other baked goods and merchandise from their shop.

Haney's Appledale Farm became an experience. Their latest venture is turning Mark's childhood home into a cafe. His mother lived there and passed away in November at the age of 96.

He says in her later years, she would sit at her desk and watch everything going on outside through the window.

So would his late Mom like this new idea?

"We've had a lot of debates about that; what would granny say?" said Haney. "And some say she would approve wholeheartedly and some say she would like none of this ... because we did change everything."

But change has been a part of this place and its success over five generations. And continuing to share even just a small piece of what their family farm business is all about is what keeps them fulfilled and keeps families coming back.