Bullock County native Jackie Fuqua has farming roots that run deeper than most, and her husband Henry, originally from Barbour County, has had farming in his family for many generations as well.
“The Bullock County portion of our farm was settled by my great-great grandfather, John Dozier, in the early 1800s,” Jackie said. “Legend goes that he built the home we now live in under a bluff on the property, but after the children in his family kept getting sick, he decided to move the house up the hill to where it stands today.”
Likewise she says their Barbour County property was bought in the late 1800s by Henry’s grandfather, John Fuqua. Henry would later inherit a portion of the property, and over the years, the couple has added additional acreage to both parts of their farm.
“The farm has 2,000 acres of planted pines, 60 acres of pecan orchards and a small hay operation,” Jackie added. “We maintain the land for wildlife with food plots, water sources, fire lanes and access roads, and we are a Certified Tree Farm and a TREASURE Forest. In 2005, our farm was also designated an Alabama Century and Heritage Farm. It is a joy and a privilege to continue the work started by our family generations ago.”
Just as both sides of her family passed along their love for the land, Jackie says much of her cooking has the same source of inspiration.
“From my mother, I learned that delicious, nutritious, fun meals could be prepared no matter how limited your time may be, and from my mother-in-law, I learned that the sky is the limit when preparing meals for your family and friends,” she said.
“My mother was a single parent with a full-time job and two part-time jobs. She would call an hour before she got off work and give me instruction for starting our evening meal, which she would finish when she arrived home,” said Jackie. “She prepared delicious, nutritious, well-balanced, attractive meals within the limited time available. On the other hand, Henry’s mother was the ideal farm wife. She churned her own butter, preserved, canned and froze almost all of the food used by her family. The chicken, beef and pork they ate were all raised on the Fuqua farm. She set a bountiful and beautiful table preparing everything from scratch,” Jackie said, describing the varying cooking styles of the two women from whom she learned.
While Jackie says she still enjoys cooking, especially when her three children and seven grandchildren visit the farm, warmer days also beckon her to her flower garden. She is a member of the Bullock County Federation Women’s Committee and conducts the county’s food price survey. Henry serves on the Bullock County Farmers Federation Board and on its Wildlife Committee.
Jackie says the recipes she shares this month are all family favorites, and many feature pecans.
“The Pecan Pie recipe is for two pies because that’s our family’s favorite dessert, and one isn’t enough,” she said. “While gathering recipes and talking about our place, Henry and I really enjoyed remembering all the wonderful times we’ve had at family meals and out on the farm.”