LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) — Farming has remained a staple in Lucedale’s history, even on a global scale.
Allen Eubanks, one of the owners of Eubanks Produce Farms, said that while his 3,000-acre farm ships produce as far as other countries, he uses the same small-town techniques; planting, caring and harvesting by hand.
A portion of his farm was homesteaded by his ancestors in 1896 where much of it was used for watermelon and free-range cattle.
While other crops are grown on the farm, Eubanks said that 800 acres are still used for watermelon. Watermelon, which has remained on the same plot of land for 80 years, is the largest acreage crop on the farm.
With a high number of crops, Eubanks said frugality is important in any way it can be achieved.
“Under every row, there’s a drip irrigation tube which is tied into a pump in the middle of the field here,” Eubanks said.
Drip irrigation works by slowly dripping water directly into a plant’s roots, saving water from being wasted like with other traditional methods.
“It’s all sub-surface water,” Eubanks said. “We have wells, deep wells.”
The drip irrigation system used on Eubanks Produce Farms is a disposable system. Workers replace the lines once a year. Eubanks said the farms can get two crops off of one tube system before it needs to be replaced.
“We’ll put some dry fertilizer down initially, and then during the season, we have liquid fertilizer that we can inject into the water system to take care of any kind of nutritional needs,” Eubanks said.
Most crops on the farm, according to Eubanks, take three months from the time the seed is planted until it is ready for harvest. Once the crops are harvested, the crops are boxed up and shipped out almost immediately.
“Every box will get a tag, identifying it, so we can trace it back if there’s any issues with it later on,” Eubanks said. “This will be received in our inventory, put in our cooler and probably shipped out today or tomorrow.”
Eubanks Produce Farms primarily ships throughout the Southeast and to the Midwest; however, much of the produce is shipped out West and Canada.