Brandon and Amy Hines, along with their three daughters Aubrey, Bethany, and Cara, and Brandon’s dad Mickey, plant, harvest, and maintain nearly 18 acres of land. Every season, 14 total acres are used exclusively for fresh produce production. After nearly 13 years in the heating, venting, air conditioning, and refrigeration world working on everything from home air systems, to complex industrial and restaurant equipment, Brandon transferred into farming full time. Since the summer of 2009, Brandon and Amy have increased what they grow each season to where they are now. As first generation farmers, what they know and do is based on trial and error from the past 10 years, along with countless hours of studying from world renowned small plot farmers. From a small 10x10 plot that had tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, to the size they do today with over 100 total varieties of items planted, they have tried different ways of getting healthier soil, better plants, and more diversity in their crops to provide the local community a place to get fresh produce grown in a sustainable manner.
Now they use a combination of mechanization with a small footprint tractor, and basic machinery to accomplish their farming needs. Twp they introduced fertigation and plasticulture to reduce water consumption, fertilizer waste, and eliminate the need for harsh chemical herbicides and pesticides in the food production areas. Although the farm is not certified organic, Brandon and Amy grow using known good practices to keep plants healthy and safe, and provide fresh, tasty produce to Lauderdale and Colbert Counties in Northwest Alabama. As Brandon has said numerous times, “We eat what we grow, and we feed it to our kids. I won’t put anything on a plant that I am not willing to consume or have my family consume!”
Brandon has been with the Alabama National Guard for 15 years now, with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to numerous schools including Warrant Officer Candidate School, Warrant Officer Basic Course, Satellite Systems Maintainer and Repair School, CompTia A+, CompTia Networking+, and the United States Army Airborne Course. He currently handles the farm planning, site preparation, planting, harvesting, and delivery schedule for Hines Family Farm.
Amy is a stay at home mom, with a part time job making vinyl shirts for the local community and businesses. Many of her designs relate to farms and country living. If making shirts, handling three kids and getting them to school, soccer practice, and all the extra curriculars wasn’t enough, she also handles the farm facebook page, email account, customer database, and manages the website! It is usually Amy who answers your calls, texts, and emails to provide you answers to questions you may have!
Do not be surprised to come to the farm and see Aubrey, Bethany, and Cara working as well. Cara loves “helping” in the dirt while Aubrey and Bethany place transplants into the ground, help dad on the tractor, keep the greenhouses watered, prepare the seeders and planters, and set up watering timers for the field. All three play a vital role in keeping the word “family” in the farm!
Mickey Hines retired after a long civilian career in law enforcement, and from the United States Army Reserve, and now helps with the initial plastic laying, farm clean up, greenhouse preparation, and spends many days throughout the season driving the delivery routes.
For additional information on farm practices, plants grown, or CSA plans offered, please see the FAQs located here.