Proud to be a Farmer: Aplin Farms

The Aplin family has been growing and selling fresh produce throughout the wiregrass for more than half a century.
The Aplin family have overcome adversity and worked hard to succeed with their business.
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 9:49 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Aplin family has been growing and selling fresh produce throughout the wiregrass for more than half a century.

The task hasn’t always been easy but it’s how they’ve overcome adversity, and the ways they’ve adapted over the years, that make them “Proud to be a Farmer.”

Owner, John Aplin says “It’s something that doesn’t just jump into your lap. You’ve got to get out and want it and you’ve got to get out and work for it.”

Hard work is what john says has made his family’s business a community staple for 70 years.

Growing up in a farming family meant working in the fields while other kids were hanging out in their free time.

“When we were off from school we were working. We took vacations but most of the time school break was not a break. It was a break from school but an excuse to start work,” Aplin explained.

The life lessons that came with the countless hours of hard labor have stuck with John throughout the years.

He says, “It teaches you to earn what you get. You learn work skills. It’s probably made me into a workaholic and try to be a perfectionist.”

The reward, however, hasn’t been perfect.

Especially in southeast Alabama when the weather doesn’t always cooperate.

“If you don’t believe in climate change, you need to get out here and farm for a while,” Aplin says.

Changes in climate patterns are beginning to affect Aplin Farms’ yearly operations.

“We used to grow a really good fall tomato crop. This year will be the first year in I can’t tell you how many years that we are not going to plant fall tomatoes for the fall because it’s just gotten too hot during August and September to plant those and get them into the fall to make the quality and quantity, we’ve got to have to make it feasible to grow them,” Aplin explained.

So Aplin Farms found a new way to overcome climate issues.

“Pumpkin season is half our business now,” Aplin said.

While continuing to provide quality products for their customers.

John says, “when we started offering activities to go along with the pumpkins, it exploded. That’s when it started taking off. Then we began to add things and every year we continually try to add things. And we’ve done that over the years to where we started off with just a little bitty pumpkin patch to where now we’re pushing 35,40 thousand people coming through during pumpkin season.”

And the reward …

“We want our customers happy with our product and our produce that they’re buying. And in the fall, with our entertainment that we provide, along with our product, it makes us very satisfied to see the customers satisfied,” Aplin concluded.

Makes John Aplin “Proud to be a Farmer.

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