Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with John V. Creech, June 13, 1991

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Growing apples / childhood in the country

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Partial Transcript: This is John Creech being interviewed by Zack Lewton on 6-13-91.

Segment Synopsis: Creech summarizes his education and career and talks about his apple orchard and patenting a new apple variety. He recalls his parents' farm and chores he did. He describes the houses where he grew up.

Keywords: Apartments; Apple varieties; Brothers; Chestnuts; Chores; Climate zones; Fathers; Florida; Fruit tree nurseries; Gardens; Hardware store; Hogs; Houses; Land; Leases; Lumber; Mothers; Orchards; Parents; Patents; Scarlet Galas; Selling; Subsistence farming

Subjects: Agriculture--Appalachian Region; Apples; Families.; Family farms; Fruit trees.; Housing--Appalachian Region; Livestock--Appalachian region

00:10:00 - Coal companies and land in Kentucky / work in Florida / plans for the future and subsistence farming

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Partial Transcript: There's a, I think there's a real future in this part of the state in fruit growing.

Segment Synopsis: Creech talks about land negotiations with the coal company, and says that they are preventing agriculture from developing by taking up all the land. He talks about working in tile and marble in Florida. He describes the house where they live and the plans he has for growing other foods besides apples. He talks about his wife's grandfather.

Keywords: Apple trees; Climate; Coal mine companies; Gardens; Grandparents; Houses; Land; Selling; Tiles; Timber

Subjects: Agriculture--Economic aspects; Agriculture--Kentucky; Apples; Families.; Fruit trees; Housing--Appalachian Region

00:19:47 - Education, jobs, and family / challenges of growing fruit

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Partial Transcript: How'd you meet your wife?

Segment Synopsis: Creech talks about his first and second wives, and his education and different jobs. He talks about his family helping out with the orchard and nursery. He talks about the challenges he faces growing fruit.

Keywords: Brothers; Daughters; Divorce; Markets; Marriage; Music; North Dakota; Orchards; Sons; Wife

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Families.; Gardening--Appalachian Region

00:29:57 - Selling and growing apples

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Partial Transcript: Well what made you get out of the tile and marble business in the first place?

Segment Synopsis: Creech talks about selling apples to individuals and to stores. He talks about the different things that he does to grow the trees.

Keywords: Co-ops; Grafting; Irrigation; Moving; Orchards; Pruning; Retail; Selling; Supermarkets

Subjects: Agriculture--Economic aspects; Agriculture--Kentucky; Apples; Fruit trees.

00:40:00 - Chemical use in the orchard

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Partial Transcript: Well are you able, I guess, you four, able to pick everything or do you have to bring pickers in to pick the--

Segment Synopsis: Creech talks about the different kinds of chemicals that they use in the orchard. They use a variety of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides on their fruit, but use the safest they can that get the job done. He talks about the different chemicals that are illegal as well.

Keywords: Chemicals; Fungicides; Illegal; Insecticides; Local help; Orchards; Spraying

Subjects: Agriculture; Agriculture--Kentucky; Apples; Pesticides.

00:52:24 - A year in the orchard and apple economics / possibilities in growing different fruits

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Partial Transcript: Well how's that work out, I was just trying to figure out your whole, like your year here as far as dealing with the nursery.

Segment Synopsis: Creech describes the different things they do in the different times of year. He talks about what happens when a specific type of apple is overproduced, and the process of testing new varieties of apples. He talks about the possibilities of growing peaches.

Keywords: Budding; Frost; Fungicide; Herbicide; Nursery; Peaches; Picking; Prices; Red Delicious apples; Retail; Scarlet Galas; Seasons; Selling; Temperature; Trees; Varieties; Weather

Subjects: Agriculture--Economic aspects; Agriculture--Kentucky; Apples; Fruit trees--Grafting

01:02:28 - Learning about growing fruit trees / the local economy and difficulty in finding help

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Partial Transcript: So how many trees did you start out with here when you first?

Segment Synopsis: Creech talks about how he learned to grow apple trees and how his family made income before they could make money on the apples and apple trees. He talks about how the economy is poor in their part of Kentucky and how difficult it will be to find help in the orchard when they expand.

Keywords: Agricultural extension office; Apples; Businesses; Conferences; Fruit trees; Income; Jobs; Learning; Market; Nursery; Planting; Wages; Weather

Subjects: Agricultural education; Agriculture--Kentucky; Apples

01:14:02 - Locust season / future plans for the nursery and orchard

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Partial Transcript: We were going to plant, uh, some last fall.

Segment Synopsis: Creech talks about the locust season and how locusts damage apple trees. He talks about the market for paw-paws and their plans to grow them. He talks about University of Kentucky's research on developing an ideal variety of paw-paw. He talks about how time consuming it is to breed apples.

Keywords: Apple growers; Breeding; Locusts; Orchards; Paw-paws; Persimmons; Retail

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Apples; Fruit trees.; Insecticide.