According to Jamae Bray Pyles, the world’s largest peach orchard was once located in the Ohio River Valley between Jefferson County, Indiana and Trimble County, Kentucky. It began when Argus Dean planted 1,000 peach trees in 1857 on his farm in Indiana near Marble Hill. Eventually 125,000 trees comprised the Dean enterprise that extended three miles along the banks of the Ohio River and extended across the river to Trimble County where PHARM Roadside Market is located today.
Jamae is the third generation of Brays who have operated Bray’s Orchard, in Trimble County which began in 1910 when her grandfather, “Daddy Jo” began planting peach trees. Her mother’s side, the Craig family, were producing fruit and taking produce to Wise’s Landing on the Ohio River to ship, as far back as the 1800s. “A cousin of my mother’s said she would go down to the boats at Wise’s Landing with a basket of peaches and sell them to the passengers on the boat.” Since 2019 the business has changed ownership to an all local partnership, all of which were born and raised in Trimble County.
Jamae and her husband, Carlos Pyles, married and graduated from UK in 1970 and continued the family business until PHARM Roadside Market started in 2019: “There were four boys and four girls working on the farm when my father was growing up and he was the oldest. My Dad and Uncle Joe C stayed with the business as adults. My Dad said they raised sheep, cattle, mules, tobacco, grain and a little of everything. Daddy Joe raised, bred and showed the mules but eventually they were replaced with tractors.”
“In the late 20s when they decided to pave U. S. Hwy. 42, Daddy Joe decided to buy a couple of acres by the road and build a roadside market. They opened it about 1934 with timber off the farm and stone from the creeks. The kitchen, ice cream shop and the office today was actually our home then; we lived here until I was six then my parents built another house down the road. Of course I always worked the market, even as a kid. In the summertime, when we were busy, mother kept her kitchen here, even after they built the other house.”
When Jamae was growing up there were at least 15 roadside markets in Trimble County and people would come from the surrounding counties to buy. According to Jamae, “There were more women who worked at home in the past and people would come here and buy fruit and vegetables by the truckload to can and put up at their home. We packed in bushel baskets back then and we hardly do that at all today.”
“Trimble County has a different soil around here and it puts good flavor into fruits and vegetables. People come here and say the fruit tastes better than anywhere else. USDA mapped our farm and said that the Trimble County soil is different. The strawberries in particular have a wonderful flavor. In the 1950s and 60s, practically every farm in Trimble County grew strawberries. There was a little strawberry called ‘Blakemore’ that was really small, about the size of your thumbnail that were ready by Derby but they were labor intensive to produce and pick.”
PHARM Roadside Market offers a one of a kind peach, grown right here in our hometown. “One of our Alberta peach trees (an older variety of peach) developed a bud sport that developed into a new species of peach, the Brayberta. The Brayberta has blood red skin rather than the Alberta with a more yellow skin and we have been selling those Brayberta peaches ever since.”
Jamae is the last of the Bray family line to operate the orchard at its current location and is still working 4-5 days a week with the PHARM Roadside Market team! “I have grown up in the business and loved it all my life. Even though it is hard work, it is enjoyable and you grow things that are good for people to eat. I am happy with what we have done and it’s my connection with my past. People like to come in and talk and visit and we get to know our customers throughout the years. You begin to think of them as part of your family.”
On behalf of the PHARM Roadside Market ownership, we are working hard to make this place the best that it can be. We are focused on producing and sourcing local produce, with an emphasis on minimally-processed goods and certified-organic products. We have restored the fields and greenhouses here on site and are continuously expanding our farming operations to help deliver locally-grown, certified-organic produce raised right here on the PHARM Roadside Market farm! Our goal is to provide high quality, fresh, and clean food to you and your family, from our farm and the farms of our trusted local producers! We are committed to our community and are working hard to serve you! If you are from out of town and want to reorder, this site provides the perfect avenue to keep those homegrown goods on your table, year ’round!