I always feel I should start with the name of this farm, Wedge Oak Farm. We have no idea why it is called such. I have looked for a Wedge Oak, like the names Pin Oak or Live Oak, and there is no recognized tree with the name Wedge Oak. It is written in my great-grandmother’s Bible, and I guess that makes it so.
My grandparents lived here when I was small, and my family spent quite a bit of time here because we lived as close as Nashville. Granny would send us out to pick cherries from her trees. You had to fill one bowl for her to cook before you could eat from the other. She was a school teacher and loved to teach us poems and songs in the afternoons before supper.
Pa took us across the ridge on his tractor to check on his cattle. We loved to fish in the ponds and take the little ones back to the cats. Granny called them “Cat Fish”. We wouldseine the ponds for snapping turtles every few years, as Pa grew Carp and the turtles liked to eat them. He sold his fish to people who drove in with a bucket for collection and payment of a dollar per fish.
In 1981, Pa died and Granny moved to Nashville with us. The farm was rented to cattlemen and we stopped our trips to Wilson County. Then, in 1987 my parents moved into the old family place. They have always had a garden and even had a herd of goats in Nashville’s Green Hills in the 80’s. Ned raised cattle and Anne began teaching in the Wilson County schools. They loved living here outside of the city with plenty of room and the farmhouse to share.
In the Spring of 2008 I came in from NYC. It was beautiful here and New York was cold and dreary! I decided to give farming a try (although all I knew how to do at the time was plant a garden). So, I planted 200 tomatoes, corn, basil, loads of squash, zucchini, okra—you name it… and I started cleaning up the out-buildings and fence lines that had become overgrown.
A small flock of laying hens led to a smaller flock of 50 broilers and another of turkeys, plus 8 Kiko goats to help me clean up the shrubs and weeds. The following year, I added three little pigs for land management, Guineas, and several cattle, too. We have focused on slow and small growth with the goal being to utilize this century-old farm as an agricultural site the way it has been for at least one hundred years.
We collect rain water for some of our water needs, compost everything we can, recycle old lumber and animal feeders, and try to bring each aspect of the farm into a balance with the rest. This is a process not ever to be considered a completed task. I hope you enjoy our products and the website.
Wedge Oak Farm was bought by my grandparents in 1904. The inheritance that my grandmother received from her family was enough to buy the farm and build the house at that time.
The framing timbers for the house were cut from the woods on the farm; so money was needed to finish the house for family living. They actually built a cistern that caught rainwater for the kitchen and bathroom. There were two barns and a corncrib on the place back then.
Later, in 1930, a tobacco barn with rows/layers of rafters for hanging the drying crop was added. In the early 1960s, a long, 300-foot chicken barn was built for the express use for raising 10,000 broiler chickens. Since that time, this barn has been used for many purposes; a storage area for the tractor, and a barn for animals during inclement weather. Summer 2010 it was used to house three gilts being bred for fall piglets.
Many crops and animals have been produced on the farm. Crops include corn, small grains, hay, tobacco, and numerous large vegetable gardens. Farm animals include sheep, dairy cattle, beef cattle, goats, donkeys, horses, ducks, turkeys, broiler chickens, and hens.
In the 1930s, my aunts had two small chicken houses where they raised hens for the sale of eggs. They did this at a time when money for extras was very tight. This was when the phrase “pen money for women" got its start.
Family photo circa 1920:
From the family Bible:
Ida Isabelle New Turner inscribed the name of her home in the pages of her leather bound bible.
She was a classically trained pianist from Sumner County. On December 28, 1892 she married William Madison Turner a farmer from Wilson County.
Together they moved onto and named the place Wedge Oak Farm. The house was completed in 1904, and they raised a family including 7 children here.