Living a Legacy: How One Family Set the Sweetest Roots in Nolensville

When Curt and Christina Wideman purchased the 10-acre farm called Morning Glory Orchard at auction in 2002, their twin daughters, Alyson and Andrea looked at them and asked, “What do you two know about growing fruit?”

Curt had recently retired from his construction management job of nearly 30 years where he managed multi-billion-dollar projects. He and Christina immersed themselves in the farming world, learning as much as they could about growing and caring for fruit trees in Tennessee, as well as beekeeping. 

While Curt had always been a family man, he developed a deeper love for Jesus during retirement and learned to love his family and friends even better. He felt peace on the little parcel of land he purchased, and he and Christina stewarded it together for 14 years. 

In the fall of 2016, the day before his eldest daughter Alyson was to be married, Curt was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bile Duct Carcinoma. He left this world on March 29, 2017, after a four-month battle. 

Alyson believes the farm was always meant to be hers, and that was never more evident than when she decided to take over the family business. In July 2016, the company she was working for as Vice President of Operations was sold, and she didn’t fit in with the new culture. In September, she turned in her notice, intending to spend the remainder of the year planning her wedding and enjoying 

the holidays with family, while committing to search for a new job at the beginning of the year. With Curt’s diagnosis in November, she was able to put off looking for a new job and instead helped her mother and sister take care of Curt during his final months. 

While Alyson had never worked at the orchard and had no background in farming, she couldn’t bear the thought of the little farm not continuing. After his passing, and with Christina’s blessing, Alyson decided to open the store in the summer of 2017, just as her parents would have done. She had no idea what to do or how to do it, but she inherited the ability to be a master problem-solver from her father, and so she did what she says she was born to do. 

They dubbed that year “survival year” because most days, all they could hope for was to get through the day without grief fully consuming them all. Each year brought new changes as Alyson worked to turn her family’s hobby farm into a full-fledged business. 

In 2018, they remodeled. In 2019, they bought a new tractor. And in 2020, Picnics in the Orchard launched as COVID swept the nation. In 2021, they made another of Curt’s dreams come true by becoming a farm winery and producing the only 100% Tennessee-made hard cider. The apples are grown, pressed, fermented, and bottled, all right here in the Volunteer State. No other hard cider can say that, and they feel it makes them special. 

In 2023, Alyson’s twin sister Andrea quit her job of 17 years as a social worker and joined the orchard full-time as the Events Director. Andrea has taken the orchard to even new heights by launching many events including Orchard Taste & Tours, Tea in the Trees, Mixology Craft Cocktail, Mojitos with Mom, children’s summer craft series, and much more. For 2024, Andrea is introducing Singo, where karaoke meets bingo. This free, family-friendly event is held the second Tuesday of
every month. 

Now in her eighth season, Alyson has taken her family’s simple farm store and turned it into a picturesque boutique orchard growing close to 850 trees. That includes eight varieties of peaches and 14 varieties of apples. There are also bees on site, gift shop, bakery, farm winery, and event space. Still, there isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t tell her that they have lived in Nolensville for years and never knew there was a peach and apple orchard here. 

“I used to say we were the best-kept secret in Nolensville, until I realized that was a bad business strategy!” She laughed. “So now, I just tell people that if you haven’t been to the farm in the last two years, you’ll be amazed to see all that we do.”

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