Local stories tell of a visit by Johny Appleseed to Sarah Seine and her children, who once lived on this farm. Whether the story is legend or fact, the Hugus family continues today in the tradition of growing apples and other good produce on these rolling hills.
First generation (Woodlawn Farm)
A portion of what now is Hugus Fruit Farm came as a gift from William Wikoff to his daughter Bernice in the early 1900s. In agriculture, Bernice and Ray Hugus were innovative for their time, plowing contour ridges to reclaim badly eroded hillside fields. The contour ridges served to catch rain and enhance soil drainage for the apple and peach trees they planted there. In their early years they also kept Leghorn chickens and later they milked a Jersey dairy herd.
Second generation (Seven Springs Fruit Farm)
Two sons, Russell and Harold, took on the farm operation after returning from service in World War II. When Harold went to preaching, Russell sold the dairy herd in order to concentrate on the orchard. He built up the business delivering apples from Athens, 50 miles southeast, to Columbus, 50 miles northwest. Later he added a cider press to the operation for our own use, and also began custom-pressing apples from other orchards as well.
Third generation (Hugus Fruit Farm)
Again, two sons, Ralph and Carl, shared the farm operation with their father for some years. Carl has moved on to other life interests, leaving Ralph to manage Hugus Fruit Farm. As the large chain stores have overtaken the small “mom & pop” groceries that purchased our produce, we responded by developing our own farm market. The old milking parlor in the corner of the barn has changed into the sales area for our apples, pears, peaches, plums, and blackberries. Ralph also has started a sideline business with a portable sawmill, selectively harvesting timber on the farm.
Fourth generation (The future of the family farm??)
Unfortunately, we do not have any family members in the next generation interested in continuing the hard but rewarding life of a small orchardist farmer. We are open to ideas of how to pass on the proud heritage of our family farm to the future.
Friday, Oct 15, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Thursday, Oct 28, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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