Digging into the Past to Inspire the Future – The Story Behind the Cover

Adolphus Peery’s family lived in Weakley County, TN. The 2021 Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide Magazine cover photo of Mr. Peery’s family with their harvest of strawberries was taken around the 1920s.

During this time period, in 1918, what was known as the Spanish Flu epidemic was prevalent across the states. This photo proves the resiliency of agricultural practices in our communities especially as we continue to face the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Nearly 1,000 children ages 2-12, participate in the Nourishing Connection Program in Weakley County.
The West Tennessee Strawberry Festival is an 80-year tradition in Humboldt, TN
  1. On the cover of this year’s Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide Magazine is the Adolfus Perry Family cerca 1920s, Weakley County, TN. The photo was provided by the President of the Genealogy Association in Weakley County, Mike Rae.
    #Get It Local

Little is known about Adolphus Perry except that he raised his family and farmed his land in Weakley County which was part of the then known “strawberry belt” in the West Tennessee region.

Strawberries were a major source of income during this time for many small farms mainly due to truck farming and access to railway transportation. Humboldt was the center for fruit and vegetable production at this time, including the growing of okra in Haywood County, and lima beans and turnip greens in Dyer County. Gibson County, home to the oldest county fair in the country, became an important area for producing green-wrap tomatoes, cabbage and strawberries. (Source 1)

In April 1934, the first West Tennessee Strawberry Festival was held in Humboldt to promote the region’s high-quality strawberries. Locals claimed the festival as the “Greatest Strawberry Show in the South.” (Source 2)

Now the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival is an 80-year tradition in Humboldt, TN, an opportunity for a classic West Tennessee homecoming as people travel from across the country to enjoy the events, the food, and the fellowship of family and friends. This year the festival will be held from May 2 – May 8, 2021. To find out more visit strawberryfestivaltn.com/

Additional news for #TNFarmtoSchool Initiatives in our Region:
Schools and Kids want local strawberries!
#Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
#Get It Local

~ Samantha Goyret
LFN Team

Sources:

  1. University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station; Martin, Joe A.; and Luebke, B. H., “Types of Farming in Tennessee” (1960). Bulletins. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agbulletin/481, pg 47
  2. http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/legacies/loc.afc.afc-legacies.200003538/)
  3. History of Strawberry Cultivation and Art – pg 137-138