Diversity Is Mark of Auman's Farm
Most people are aware of Auman's peach orchard and drive for miles to get a taste of the luscious home-grown fruit. But it is also notable that Watts Auman offers timber, poultry, cattle and pine needles.
A native Moore county farmer, Watts Auman was born in Pinehurst. He graduated from West End High, attended Davidson College and served two years in the military. Following in his father's footsteps, Auman became a farmer, although he studied economics in college.
"Economics works well in today's farm world," he says
One of four children of Clyde and Sally Watts Auman, Watts Auman is also known as a church and community leader who prioritizes the idea of family tradition.
Although Clyde Auman established the peach orchard, his son has continued the operation with about 16,000 peach trees across the property. And over a lengthy period of time, the business crossed counties with a far-reaching reputation.
According to Auman, he offers 12 varieties of the sweet fruit, usually up through the end of August.
"Peaches have always been a favorite crop," says Auman. "But this year we had a poor crop because of the cold weather. A few years back we didn't have any crop because of the cold weather. Everything depends on the weather here in the Sandhills."
Hundreds of people come to the farm to buy peaches and to chat, which is what Auman enjoys.
"Flame Prince was the last peach of the season," he says. "Now we have to begin with the other crops, and with the pine needles and timber. We also raise poultry."
Auman enjoys growing pine trees.
"It's my hobby," he says.
At one time the Auman farm produced tobacco, but that crop was halted years ago. Auman raises the shortleaf pine trees for timber and the longleaf pines for the needles they produce.
"The longleaf pine is a popular Sandhills tree and grows easily in the area," he says.
The farm provides bales of pine needles for sale and trucks them out to various stores. Auman also sells them locally for $3.50 per bale.
A farmer before his time, Auman addressed environmental issues prior to the current push. Twenty years ago he installed solar panels on the generator building on N.C. 73. This equipment is used to provide heat and hot water when there are emergency needs during a power failure, and the solar system is used to heat water in the house. The hot water is piped underground from the the generator house to the living quarters, saving money and keeping a clean environment.
One of Auman's favorite things to do is to travel. He has visited England, Thailand and Africa, but wants to travel to other places.
A busy and extremely knowledgeable farmer, who thoroughly enjoys conversing and answering questions, Auman spends an exceptional amount of time on the peach trees, which require a lot of hard work.
"In late March and April it's time to start thinking about the peach crop," says Auman, "which should be ready by June 1. There's always something to do, always something to keep busy."
Auman's Orchard is located at 3140 N.C. 73, West End.
For further information, call (910) 673-4371.
Contact Raleigh freelance writer Anita Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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