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Apple orchard continues family tradition through tough times

The fall season is the busiest time of year for Farlow's Apple Orchard. Located in Howard County, the orchard has been in the Farlow family for 172 years. The family plans to continue the tradition, even through tough times.

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 10:41 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 12:41 PM

HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. (WLF) — Located just outside of Kokomo, you'll find Bob and Debra Taylor running their family apple orchard.  

"In 1948 my great grandfather, Lindley Farlow, bought this 80 acres," said Debra. "1885 was when my family sold the first commercial apples."

Now, 172 years later, Debra and her husband Bob continue to run Farlow's Apple Orchard. However, this year has brought multiple challenges for the Taylor's to overcome. 

The family lost their apple crop due to frost this spring. 

"We're not like farmers," said Bob. "If a farmer loses his crop, he can go back in and plant, but if we lose our crop we're done for the year."

That's exactly what happened to the Taylor's apple crop this year. Due to frost in the spring, they lost all of their crop. 

The Taylor's had to find a way to get the apples they needed for the fall season. 

"Bob's brother was able to do some trucking for us," Debra told News 18. "We were able to go up to Michigan and get apples."

The family has also had to deal with the challenges of running their business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bob and Debra spent the summer months wondering what the fall season would look like for their business.

"I think this year there's been an increase in customers," said Debra. "Saturday's people are lined up out the door. People like our cider. My husband makes a really good cider that my dad taught him how to make.". 

The Taylor family has been happy with the amount of customers they've seen. But now, there's a new concern weighing on their minds.

"I've been very blessed," said Bob. "I haven't been sick, but I've been weak, but like I said I haven't been sick."

Bob was diagnosed with cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy. 

Even while battling cancer, you'll still find Bob taking care of the apple orchard.

"Right now he's doing really well," said Debra. "The chemo is working, but he's awfully tired, but he's still working." 

As the busy season continues for Farlow's Apple Orchard, you'll continue to see Bob and Debra greeting customers with a smile and carrying on the family tradition.

"I really love the business and I love the people that come out here," said Bob. "All of them are very nice, loving people." 

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