dani ford

Somerset artist Dani Ford finishes up the mural she was commissioned to do for Haney’s Appledale Farm. The mural sits on the wall of what used to be the farm’s cider house.

Haney’s Appledale Farm just keeps growing.

Last month, a new on-site cafe opened in an old home on the property, and on Friday a brand new mural popped up on the wall of the old cider house – a fitting tribute to the apple blossoms, the orchard and the Haney family itself.

The approximately 14-by-16 foot mural was designed and painted by Somerset artist Dani Ford.

She affectionately called it “Nancy’s first mural,” and said it took her five days, about 10 to 12 hours each day, to create.

She took her inspiration from both pictures that had been posted to Haney’s Facebook page and from seeing the apple farm in person, she said.

“I walked the property and took pictures, and kind of took in the colors here,” she said.

And, she also took some inspiration from her own family, whom she said absolutely loved to visit the farm even before she was asked to paint the mural.

“As a mom and with my husband, I would want something fun and mushy, so I came up with ‘You’re the apple of my eye.’ It’s kind of versatile and fun, which was my main goal.”

This was the first strictly outside mural Ford has painted – she did a mural for Lake Cumberland Tourism, but it was made to be portable, she said.

Because of that, Ford had to consider what kinds of paint would best work with the outside environment.

“The idea of this is for it to last for a long time, for people to enjoy it for as long as they can. So, we worked with Sherwin-Williams, and they were really helpful in providing the best kind of outdoor paint. Hopefully it lasts for generations,” she said.

The mural got high marks from some of the farm’s operators. David Haney, one of those who started the cafe, said the Haney family was pleased when Ford showed them the design she had planned.

“We’re glad to have someone local to do it, and that we could take images from here [the farm] and kind of reinterpret it.”

His cousin and business partner Mike Haney said, “It’s beautiful. We really appreciate having her do it.”

The mural sits outside the east side of the new cafe, where everyone who parks in the farm’s new parking area will walk by it.

It takes up part of what used to be the old cider house, according to David Haney. It was built in the 1930s, and it’s where the farm used to pressed cider and sell apples from before the family built the bigger building people today are used to.

The parking lot connects with a new sidewalk that visitors can use to get to the cafe or walk on over to the pie shop and roadside stand area – the place where most people are used to buying their apples, peaches and other Haney’s-related needs.

The mural is a nice complement to the brand new cafe that opened just a month ago, in what used to be the home of David and Mike’s grandmother, Oreida Haney.

She spent 76 years living on the farm, and that house was her family’s home ever since it was built in 1960.

It carries with it some historical significance for Pulaski – it was the first all-electric home in the county, a specific designation that comes with a Gold Medallion designation. Being “all-electric” meant it relied on electricity not just for appliances but for it’s heating, rather than the more typical coal-burning or fuel oil furnace.

Oreida passed away last November, and her grandchildren – David, Mike, Neal, John, Laura and Meghan – took over the house as a business project.

So what would grandma think about her home being turned into a place for tourists to eat?

“We’ve talked about that a lot,” David said. “We think at first she might not like it. But in time, we think that she would love it. We think she’d like sharing her house with everyone coming in and making themselves comfortable, giving them a place to enjoy time with their families.”

The cafe’s main goal was to serve apple cider donuts. People had been asking about it for years, but there wasn’t enough room at the pie shop for the equipment to make it, according to Don Haney, who talked about the opening of the cafe in an interview last July.

Haney’s owners Don and Mark decided to hand the project over to their kids.

“We worked all winter coming up with the apple cider donut recipe that we liked the best,” David said. “We tried, probably, 30 different variations, and finally settled on what we liked the best.”

In addition to donuts, the cafe serves light sandwiches like pimento cheese, ham and cheese, turkey and cheese and barbecue pork.

There’s also chicken salad sandwiches, and visitors can choose to wash it down with some Baxter’s Coffee (the Tuttle family, owners of Baxter's, are cousins to the Haneys, David points out).

Getting the cafe up and running was a group effort, David said. Each of the grandchildren had a hand in some aspect of it.

“Everyone’s had input and had things to share,” David said. “Kind of the way we do everything here. Everyone pitches in and it’s really a family effort.”

And that effort has been rewarded so far with customers showing an interest it the new place.

In fact, as a reporter was talking with David Haney about the building, a couple who were dining at one of the tables took an interest in the conversation.

Brenda and Billy Simpson said they were originally from the Louisville area, but were looking at moving to Pulaski and had stopped in to the cafe for a bite.

“We’ve enjoyed every bit of being here,” Billy Simpson said. “The food’s good, and the atmosphere, and the people were good.”

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