Lipe Orchards, five generations of family on the farm

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On a recent girls trip to Southern Illinois I found myself in Carbondale at Lipe Orchard where we made a stop to accommodate my husband’s love of Southern Illinois peaches.  The peaches were just part of the produce available at this family business.  I had fun speaking to Rose Lipe who told me that her husband’s grandfather started the business back in the 1800’s.

“My husband’s grandfather started the business in the 1880’s,” Rose said.  “He planted the trees, back then everyone had a home orchard.  People had asparagus, chickens and eggs and more. ”

 Rose explained that orchards would take their produce to a nearby railway station to load it on a train to be shipped to Chicago.  “The train stopped at 4:00 in the afternoon. Farmers would bring in their produce, they even shipped cream.”

We had stopped earlier in Makanda which while today is an artists haven was once a huge train stop where the surrounding towns brought their produce to travel on what they called the “Fruit Express”.

It was interesting seeing how ingrained the love of the farm still is for Rose Lipe who has passed the orchard onto her children.  At the roadside stand that is on Illinois street, her daughter Laura grand daughter Molly and grandson Jared were all working together helping out the group of visitors that wanted fresh fruit from a local source.  3 generations of Lipes were onhand at the stand. Today the family business is in the hands of the 4th generation with working members of the 5th.  Rose says that “helping out” is her therapy.

What a legacy we all would love to have, being surrounded by our family in a business we love.  Kudos to the Lipe family!

For more information about Lipe Orchards, log onto http://www.lipeorchards.com.

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