“We believe that sustainable farming practices conserve and enhance our natural resources, improve life quality and diversity for people, wildlife and native plants in our local environment.” — Diane Tune
Tune Farm’s faithful steward for over three decades, Diane’s dreams for the farm were driven not only by her passionate dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable farming practices, but also by her desire to share these principles with the young interns and farmers who came to live and work with her at Tune Farm.
Tune Farm’s history…
An Alabama native, born in Carbon Hill in 1922, Dr. Leon Tune was a thoracic surgeon, with a thriving practice in Decatur. Dr. Tune purchased the farm in Lacon as a personal retreat in 1968. He spent his rare days off on the farm, raised cattle and leased some of the farm’s 260 acres for conventionally grown crops, primarily soybean.
Following a minor stroke in 1978, Dr. Tune traded his Johns Hopkins education for a John Deere tractor and his signature bow tie for a faded pair of blue coveralls. He sought solace at the farm and a new way of life…and found it.
When he suffered a second, more debilitating stroke, his daughter, Diane, moved home to help care for him and took up residence at the farm. The cattle were sold and the fields and pastures were left fallow, returning to shrub meadows and forest. A beaver created wetland grew to eventually cover more than 18 acres (almost 28 acres, today).
When Dr. Tune died in 1991, his daughters Diane and Ranice, inspired by their fathers love of the farm and their environmentalist mother’s passion for organic gardening, began the process of educating themselves about sustainable farming practices. They and their mother Jean joined Southern SAWG (Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group), attended the annual Georgia Organics conferences and created working groups with AAMU, Auburn University and Tuskeegee Institute. They also worked closely with the NRCS and FSA.
Tune Farm became the first Certified Organic Farm in the state of Alabama.