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Faces of our Farmers: Burkheads growing crops on long-time family farm

Full Quiver Productions is another family-operated farming business that sells at the Boyle County Farmers Market on Saturdays at Constitution Square.

Brian Burkhead, along with his wife Paige and their three children Brianna, James, and Lori, grow lots of different things — carrots, beets, squash, turnips, okra, bell peppers, roasting peppers, jalapeno peppers, a variety of lettuces, spinach and even chickens on their Garrard County farm.

On a recent Saturday at the market, Brianna was helping the Sticky Wicket farmer sell her produce nearby. Lori was working with her parents under the Full Quiver awning selling their vegetables and other homemade goodies. But James had stayed home to water their newly transplanted lettuce so a fall crop would be coming to the market soon. 

“I enjoy growing stuff,” Brian said.

Paige enjoys turning their raw produce into other products. 

“I’m certified for pepper jellies, pear preserves and tomatoes, canned in their own juice,” she said. And they are especially tasty during the cold winter months, she added.

Brian grew up in Lancaster and is the pastor of Brookside Baptist Church in Nicholasville.

When his dad became ill with pancreatic cancer several years ago, his family moved back to the Garrard County family farm to help take care of him. And that’s when Brian began farming again.

“Now I’m farming on the farm I grew up on.”

Part of his dad’s treatment was to adhere to a strict diet, Brian recalled. And through his research for healthy food options for his dad, “I started learning how much stuff was being used on our foods.”

For instance, his father was on a very low-sodium diet. But even chicken purchased at the grocery store contained salt, Brian said. 

“Go to the store and pick up a package of chicken.” Most of the poultry “has been injected with saltwater,” according to the labels, Brian said. Or they’re frozen in a sodium solution. “He wasn’t allowed to have that.”

So they eventually shifted into organic farming so they would have “healthier food and healthier living.”

Being organic producers keeps the chemicals off the food, Brian said. But it doesn’t prevent bugs from making their marks.

He added, “If the bugs are eating on it, it must be good.”