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RIVER FRIENDLY FARM PROFILE

Broken Point Farm

Farm Facts

Location
Clarksville, TN

Farm Usage
U-pick berries, grapes, and fruits

Year certified
2023

Overview

Nestled on a picturesque ridge overlooking the Cumberland River, Joe and Sally Schiller of Broken Point Farm steward seventy-eight acres of farmland in Clarksville, Tennessee. Vegetables, fruiting vines and trees, flowers, forest, and hay fields comprise their abundant acreage.

Sustainable living is a lifestyle and a lifelong pursuit for the Doctors Schiller, who both taught at Austin Peay University in Clarksville. Farmer Joe taught and dedicated his career to research on aquatic ecology and bioassessments of watersheds. A fellow biologist, Sally taught Cell & Molecular Biology, Principles of Biology, and Developmental Biology until retiring in May of 2022. 

Visiting the Schiller’s farm to enjoy their U-Pick berry operation is an adventure the whole family will enjoy. Down the long, gravel drive, you’ll pass a terraced field where hay is grown without the use of herbicides. Their off-grid, passive-solar home will greet you at the end, along with glimpses of the Cumberland River. Rows of blueberries, raspberries, muscadine grapes, and various fruit trees are tucked behind the house, and a half-acre of vegetables and a few varieties of blackberries complete the diverse farmstead.

As farmers dedicated to regenerative practices, the Schillers produce their fruits and vegetables without chemical inputs. In fact, compost and manure are the only inputs used in the vegetable production area. Cover crops provide the carbon and nutrition their crops and soil require to stay healthy. Organic fertilizers nourish their fruit trees and vines during their growth phase. Areas between crops and fruit trees are kept in grass, which absorbs rainwater and run-off. 

Careful application of amendments like fertilizers and manure minimizes nutrient run-off into waterways and is important to the health of aquatic ecosystems, especially on a farm so close to the Cumberland River.

River Friendly Farm Certified

In 2023, Broken Point Farm was certified as a River Friendly Farm by the Cumberland River Compact.

“Agriculture affects more land than almost any other human activity.  We, like everyone, depend on clean water and healthy soil for our farm to thrive.  If we farmers do not do our best to protect soil and water we would be part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

The River Friendly Farm certification program with Cumberland River Compact recognizes farmers who are good stewards of water and land resources, connecting them with consumers who value a healthy environment. As a River Friendly Farm, Broken Point Farm is ensuring cleaner water, healthier soil, and a more resilient climate for the people and creatures living in the surrounding environment.

River-Friendly BMPS

Broken Point’s system as a whole serves the soil and the river that runs by it. The hay fields are terraced, which helps stabilize soil and prevent sediment run-off. Diverse plants encourage a balanced ecosystem. Cover crops are grown to replenish spent nutrients, encourage soil tilth, and break up hardpan so the ground can capture and store more water. 

The creeks on their land running directly into the Cumberland River are free of chemicals because the Schillers do not spray their hay grass with herbicides or fertilizers. Their chemical-free farm allows for wildlife, insects, and native trees and forests to thrive.

How to Support Farm

Chefs can purchase Broken Point Farm’s vegetables, fruits, and herbs through the food hub Nashville Grown. Market Wagon, essentially an online farmers market, is another way to purchase Broken Point’s delicious produce. 

Everyone is welcome to pick berries and fruit, but contact them before heading out to see what is available. Weekends are typically the best time to go out and pick your own. You can stay up to date with the farm through their Facebook page.