At the border of Caldwell and Lyon counties is Tysh Farm Blueberries, cultivated and harvested by Yolanda Jones, 60, and her mother, Sandra Lane.
Jones is also responsible for organizing and managing the Kuttawa
-Lyon Farmers Market every year.
A New Englander, Jones was born and raised in Maine but moved to Kentucky in the early 2000s. Farming is a generational occupation for Jones — her grandfather farmed.
Customers travel from as far as Indiana, Tennessee, and Illinois to pick berries at the patch located at 165 Tysh Road in Eddyville.
“Your blueberry books and guides recommend that it is a small family business,” Jones said. “It’s more of a labor of love than anything else.”
Jones’ grandparents on both sides farmed berries. She grows Berkeley, Bluecrop, and Brigitta varietals. Her patch sits on an acre.
The patch is 16 years old, and it was started by Jones’ sister, mother, and father. Jones and her mother are the remaining matriarchs tending the patch — her sister and father have since passed away.
Jones said the clay and pH levels in western Kentucky soil make blueberry farming difficult, but her soil has adapted over the years.
Deer are recurring predators of her blueberry patch.
Now, she has an
fence to keep out
deer and other large animals.
Jones said the nearest blueberry patch is in Murray with another one in southern Illinois. Her blueberry patch has 400-foot-long rows with 100 plants per row.
Jones also raises cattle on her property in Eddyville.
Jones, her mother, and two other women from Lyon County started the market nearly 16 years ago. In a rural farming community, Jones wanted to make healthy and locally grown food accessible.
“The city of Kuttawa are fantastic hosts,” Jones said.
The market takes place on Saturdays at the Kuttawa pavilion near City Hall from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Currently, six vendors offer produce and hand-crafted products. It runs from June to October.
Jones said there is no vendor charge at the market. “I want to see everybody make some money.”