While saying, “he bought the farm” might be a turn of phrase for some people, there’s a literal meaning behind the words for Milton Corley and his family, who have been a part of the fabric of farm country in Christian County, Kentucky, since the ‘20s. Using the hard-earned money from his time serving in World War I, Milton’s grandfather Guy bought a parcel of land at the north end of the county and went to work, plowing the fields with nothing more than a few mules and strong hands and building his farm from the ground up. The Corley farm became quite the local gem, its fertile soil planted with crops and its grounds alive with the sounds of sheep and chickens roaming free. And as he watched the farm take root, so too did his family, though time and progress would scatter the Corleys like dandelion seeds in the wind.
It was only a matter of time, however, that the pull of the farm would take hold of the heart of Guy’s youngest grandson Milton, who heeded the tug and headed back home in 1998, bringing his own young family with him. Much like his grandfather before him, Milton dug in deep; and after they built a home and planted a few pumpkins, the next generation of Corleys opened the gates to welcome a few visitors and start something that Guy might never have envisioned—a farm where memories grow as tall as any crop and fun is ripe for the picking.
Offering time running free alongside the animals at the barnyards, Christian Way Farm isn’t just a working farm open to the public. Sure, they’ve got pens full of pigs, cows, chickens, and goats. But the cornfields here have been planted alongside greens of quite another kind…the kind where seeds and shovels are replaced by little dimpled balls and long-handled clubs.
Much to the Corleys’ credit, they’ve built something unique out on the family farm, from the country store that was once a tobacco barn to the picnic areas and the mini golf course. “People are really surprised by the quality and challenge of the course, and we’ve really done everything we can to make the course interesting,” says Milton’s wife Janie, who works alongside her husband in keeping things running smoothly and greeting guests as though they’re family.
Scattered throughout the course are farm tools and implements from the Corley farm as well as other farms in the area, adding special touches that you won’t find just anywhere. And that’s certainly part of the appeal. The sprawling spaces here are an attraction that people come from miles around to see and experience for themselves; and once again, it’s become a local gem that’s growing something invaluable as it brings commerce to the area and feeds the community’s economy.
“We love sharing this blessing with people and watching them enjoy the time they spend out here with us,” says Janie. “Our business really is faith based. The name means what it says, and our heart is to run our business the ‘Christian Way.’ Our mission is to be the hands and feet of Jesus by caring for the people who come for a visit,” she goes on. “Our farm has been prayed over, and God has been invited here. As a result, there’s a sense of peace here. People feel that when they come, and while they might not know why it’s so peaceful, it’s definitely something that everyone experiences.”
Peace that’s broken somewhat by the bray of donkeys, perhaps—but that’s just one more thing that people seem to love. That, of course, and getting to cuddle with their pick of animals or trying out some of the equipment, whether they’re shelling and grinding corn on the antique machinery or riding the lawnmower train.
“We really thought about ways to make this place special to the people who visit our farm. We want them to feel at home and have fun and learn about how the farm works,” Janie explains. “We’re a working farm, but we actually use older equipment—not like the farms with great big modern combines and tractors, and that makes us unique.”
It’s a unique place with unique people and a unique way of doing things—the Christian way—and that’s a seed that seems to have been thriving here since day one.
Christian Way Farm is located at 19590 Linville Road, Hopkinsville, Kentucky 42240. Open Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m., Friday- Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. For more information about rates and events, call (270) 269-2434 or visit www.christianwayfarm.com. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChristianWayFarm/
NOW ACCEPTING RESERVATIONS FOR THE SOLAR ECLIPSE
Get in on the excitement of the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, by reserving a campsite at the farm!
Christian Way Farm is an official viewing spot and is offering use of their land for the event, with space available for tents, RV’s, and pop-up campers. Site reservations provide complimentary farmyard fun, though tee time on the mini golf course requires an additional charge.
For further details, restrictions, availability, and rates, call (270) 269-2434 or visit www.christianwayfarm.com.