Last week we learned about the Tyler and Eady families of Highland and how they turned a few acres of land into a thriving strawberry patch.
The Tylers and the Eadys sold other vegetables and fruit at their produce stand, near Boulder and Greenspot Road.
It was called the Highland Harvest Barn.
According to Dave Eady, the name Highland Harvest Barn came from Eady’s wife.
Dave Eady, the co-owner, and the man with the green thumb, said taking pride in one’s work and doing your best are key elements in having a successful life.
He also said that working, as a family, created bonds that would stand the test of time.
He also spoke of how his children, like the Tylers, worked the farm, alongside the dedicated workers that they hired.
The parents and children turned the ground, planted the seed, fertilized the plants, removed the pests and harvested the crops to sell.
Although most residents knew it as the strawberry patch, the Highland Harvest Barn grew other products.
“Tomatoes, onions, strawberries, and black-eyed peas were grown and sold,” said Eady.
“The kids would plant, weed and drive stakes in the ground for the tomatoes. We sold a lot of tomatoes.”
The produce stand also sold habanero chilis.
According to Eady, most of the workers on the farm spoke Spanish.
“Stephen spoke Spanish,” said Eady.
This was a bonus when giving instructions on how to work the fields, and it built healthy relationships with the workers, according to Eady.
“Stephen and I were able to be close with our workers. We had a good relationship with them,” said Eady.
“They knew that we were struggling at times. It was a good community effort to make the farm work, and they were very much part of it.
“Roberto would call me and say that we have a problem here.”
Roberto was a crew manager for Eady for seven to eight years.
“His family was part of our farm,” said Eady.
Eady also gave praise to the Tyler boys.
“Those boys could plant faster than any of the workers that we hired,” said Eady.
The farm used International Harvester tractors.
One tractor was used to create the strawberry beds.
“This tractor did the bulk of the work,” said Eady. “The back (of the tractor) would dig the furrows, and this metal form would shape the beds.”
Looking at the metal form, Eady said, “This would make the perfect shape of the bed, itself.”
That same tractor was equipped with a drip for the irrigation.
“Below the drip is an injector tube that injected the drip tube down through the bed,” said Eady.
Eady had another tractor that sprayed the crops, during various times of the year.
It was used for the row crops.
“The neatest thing about this tractor is the pump,” said Eady
“It’s an 80-year-old pump. It’s probably one of the oldest model pumps around. It’s special because of its age.
“You would think that it was piston driven pump, but inside it has a big plate in it that wobbles. It’s a train driven pump off the back of the tractor.
Buying an efficient pump with equal or better quality, today, would cost about $3,000, according to Eady.
“This is going back to the late ‘40s,” said Eady.
When walking around the farm equipment, Eady spoke passionately about his tractors and the effort that it took for the two families to make the farm a success.
If you know anything about the history of Highland, I would be interested in hearing from you. You can reach me at (909) 816-0318.