Building on a 2016 AgOptions grant to establish a unique 1.3-acre high density apple orchard, Jon will be adding a packing/sorting line to accommodate the 800-1000 bushels of apples produced each year. The packing line will streamline pre-market preparation and enable easier grading, sorting out the best fruit for premium price. The new packing line will also allow his operation to become GAP certified and to meet FSMA standards, opening additional markets and offering all customers a high-quality product. TK Family Farms will also be expanding on-farm hours to accommodate visitors on the farm, opening a new market and expanding sales of their other farm products such as pastured raised chicken, pork and eggs. TK Farm strives to be an example of how small farms can utilize cutting edge horticultural techniques to create a high-quality products, ensuring long-term economic viability.
TK Family Farm is endearingly named after his three children, the Three Knuckleheads, who have inspired his farming endeavors. “We would like for our children to experience first hand the responsibility and hard work necessary to run a farm,” Jon said. “The goal is not to make more ‘farmers’ out of our children but to have them understand responsibility, honesty and integrity so that they can carry those ideals with them into adulthood.”