Granbury resident Tom Scott has proved the notion that you are never too old to pursue a dream.
At 76, Scott is the owner of Scott’s Four Seasons Farm — a lifelong desire that was transformed into reality in 2019 when he purchased land in Hood County.
“I’ve always been a gardener,” he said. “Growing up, things were tough back in the 50s and we ate a lot out of the garden.”
Scott grew up in West Texas and joined the Army soon after graduating from high school.
“It was a small town in West Texas. There ain’t nothin’ to do but pick cotton and go into the Army, so I went in the Army,” he said, chuckling. “I spent three years in the Army in Germany.
"When I got out of the Army, I found out that the government would give me money to go to school and I didn’t know what to do, so I took horticulture.”
Taking horticulture fueled his passion for farming, inspiring him to set a goal to create his own farm someday.
“It was always my avocation,” Scott said. “I got into the construction business and I had a company for a while, but I always wanted to do this. I always thought it would be cool to have a truck farm (a farm that produces vegetables for the market), and then I learned about something called recreational agriculture.”
With help from his wife, Jeanette — who is the executive director for Hood County Committee on Aging — Tom built their house from the ground up, assembled a greenhouse and planted several gardens.
The Scotts specialize in growing peaches, blackberries, strawberries and “anything else that strikes the farmer’s fancy,” as stated on their business card.
“We named it ‘Four Seasons Farm’ for the simple reason. I try to spread everything out, do a little bit of this, little bit of that and try to spread it out over all four seasons,” Tom said. “We had a big field of pumpkins out here last year where people could come out here with their kiddos and pick a pumpkin. We also had melons here last summer. People in Texas like cantaloupe and that’s what we try to do is grow things that people like.”
Tom and Jeanette decided to grow four different types of strawberries to see what grew the best. They worked hard to plant a total of 4,000 strawberries.
“Each plant should be able to produce a pound of strawberries,” Tom said. “They haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals and there’s four varieties. Three are what they call June-bearing; they’re triggered to bloom by the length of the day. They call them that because that’s when they berry — Camarosa, Frontera and Merced are all June-bearing. San Andreas are called day neutral. They’re not affected by the day length, but they are affected by the heat.”
The Smiths planted nine and a half rows of strawberries, which are scheduled to be ripe for picking in May.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Tom said. “We’re still trying to get everything in place before we can start earnestly farming.”
In 2020, the couple mostly spent their time growing a huge variety of produce and giving it away to people they knew from church.
“It was our first year getting going and it’s hard to gauge what’s going to sell and what’s not,” Jeanette said. “We have a lot of ideas of what to do with everything; it just takes time to get it all done.”
Tom added, “We plant a little bit of everything to see what people like. We just like making people happy.”
For 2021, the Scotts will take all of the produce they pick to the local farmer’s markets.
“We're working towards a U-Pick It,” Jeanette said. “It gives families an outing and something to do. The kids will remember picking strawberries.”
“We think that's going to be our future,” Tom said. “It does two things — it helps you move a product, and it helps you get the product out of the field. People will come out here and pick peaches. You don’t have to pick the fruit, take it somewhere and sell it.”
Tom and Jeanette hope to open their U-pick it farm to the public next year.
“We’re still learning,” Tom added. “We got lots to learn so it’s what we’ll try to do and try to get better. A year from now, things should look a lot different — and for the better.”