Plant the right cultivars and trees, and your backyard could yield cucumber salad, elderberry syrup, pecan pie and many other delicious foods.

Learn how at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Fruits of the Backyard Field Day on Tuesday. 

Session topics include nut trees that are native to Tennessee, cucumbers and vine crops for the backyard garden, and uncommon fruits, like elderberry, paw paw and persimmon.

For the first time ever, this year’s Fruits of the Backyard event will also include a plant sale. 

The local Young Farmers and Ranchers group along with UT Extension Master Gardener programs have teamed up to provide an assortment of plants available for field day attendees to purchase. 

The Center for Profitable Agriculture will be present, with special guests Joy and Tony Foster, owners of Blue Honey Farms in Williamson County.  The Fosters will be available to answer questions about production and marketing and share the lessons they have learned.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. and concluding at 12:30 p.m., this event is free. 

Educational displays from the Institute, UT Extension, the Tennessee AgrAbility Project and several Columbia agricultural businesses will be set up in the exhibit tent. 

A display from Spring Hill High School agriculture students and educator Gwynne Evans showing the importance of honey bees for food production will be set up, as well.

The Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is located at 1000 Main Entrance Drive in Spring Hill, on Highway 31 North. 

Located south of Nashville, the center is accessible from exit 53 from Interstate 65. Registration is not required, but anyone planning to attend with special needs or questions may contact Kevin Thompson, center director, at 931-486-2129. 

More information can be found at the center’s website at



RANSON GOODMAN is an agricultural agent for the Henry County Extension Service. Contact him at the Extension office at 642-2941 or by email at

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