NEW MARKET, Ala. – Spring officially arrives March 20th. And for one local family, it’s the start of what they hope will be a new season in their life.
The road to being successful at farming can be long. But if you have the drive, the journey can be rewarding. Seth Hubert says, “I always knew what I wanted to get back to.”
He’s a fourth-generation farmer. His great-great grandfather immigrated from Germany in the 1800’s and settled in Madison county. In 1917, Seth’s great grandfather George bought a 78-acre farm in New Market. George’s son took the farm into the 1900’s growing cotton, corn, and even some sugar cane.
“My grandfather passed in 1990 and my dad then assumed the operations,” Seth told me, “And we had grown to about 2,000 acres.” That included land they owned and rented. The family faced a big decision 13 years later when Seth’s father died from a heart attack. “We all made the decision ultimately to cease operations for a little while,” Seth said sadly.
But farming was in his blood. They still had about 250 acres. With a degree in crop science from Alabama A&M, he started farming again in 2016. But making a living from row crops like corn, soybeans, and wheat, can be tough. “Absolutely, yes sir,” Seth said, “I had to diversify so that’s another reason we wanted to try something and take a small acreage and make it make more per acre.”
Seth and his wife Kaylee are planting another seed. “Me and my wife always knew we wanted to do something different and unique,” he said. It hit him one day while watching his two-year-old daughter in the yard. “Since she’s been able to walk, she’s loved to pick anything that resembled a flower in the yard,” he told me.
His mind headed west to where tulips are grown from bulbs from the Netherlands. “People said bet the farm and I probably really did to be honest about it,” he said with a laugh, “I have no shame in admitting that.”
And he’s going big. “There are 212,288 bulbs,” he said. He knows exactly how many they planted. “I better know as much as I spent on ‘em,” he said laughing. The planter he ordered didn’t work the way he’d hoped. And they needed to get them in the ground. “e pivoted and we hand planted all 212,000 of them,” he said.
There are more than five dozen varieties in 65 raised beds on four acres. “Friends and family helped out there for a day or two and we got er done,” he added. The blooming season that will last four to six weeks.
Seth and his wife want to create a place for people to get away, relax and enjoy the history of the old farm and what the future has to offer. Hubert Family Tulips hopes to have a grand opening soon. They’ll have food trucks on the weekend. Admission will be five dollars per person. You can cut your own tulips to take home for $2.50 per stem. And you can take the bulb to start your own flower farm.