Alabama’s First Certified Organic Farm
Tune Farm is located in the tiny “whistle-stop” ghost town of Lacon, in Morgan County, Alabama.
The Craftsman style farm house, built at the turn-of-the-century, is surrounded by 260 acres of rolling hills, pastures, forests, a creek and a beaver created wetland of almost 20 acres. We are in the process of returning 55 acres back into a riparian forest in order to save water resources and recreate wildlife corridors.
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 Dr. Tune died in 1991, 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 20 acres. Daughters, Diane and Ranice, inspired by their father’s love of the farm and their environmentalist mother’s passion for organic gardening, began the process of educating themselves about sustainable farming practices. The family’s matriarch Jean Tune, Ranice and Diane 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.
The Tune family applied for and received organic certification for the farm’s 260 acres and became Alabama’s first certified organic farm.
Tune Farm’s faithful steward for over three decades, Diane’s dreams for the farm were driven by her passionate dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable farming practices.
Her desire to share these principles with the young interns and farmers who have come to live and work here at Tune Farm have helped grow Alabama’s next generation of young farmers.
“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