Stacey Hardy- “My husband and I bought the farm about 17 years ago. We bought the farm from a couple who also grew strawberries and blueberries. He was sick when we bought the farm so the only crop that was growing was blueberries. He did promise us that he would help us learn to grow strawberries. Unfortunately, he had cancer and was not able to help very much. We joined the North American Strawberry Association and my husband spent hours researching the best way to grow strawberries in South Carolina. The former owner had grown them on “matted rows”, where you plant the bare root plant into the ground and cover them with straw during the winter months. These strawberries would produce for about 3 years. After that time, you would usually plow them under and start over again. My husband and I decided after the first three years that we would like to grow the plants on plastic. This meant that instead of carrying them over in the summer, we will plow them under and start over again each fall. The plants were planted on a “bed” with black plastic formed around it and drip tape under the plastic. This made it easier for picking, since the plants were on a hill. It also meant that the berries would be first year berries, instead of second or third year. The berries would be bigger and more plentiful. It also meant that we were not trying to fight weeds, insects, etc. all summer, which meant much less spraying of any chemicals. This too was better for us and for the customers.
The former owners began the farm and grew strawberries for about 20 years prior to us buying the farm.
We have been in business for 17 1/2 years.”
Type of Farming:
“We do organic sprays when we know that they will be effective. With our other crops, like raspberries and blackberries, we are able to use some organic sprays. Our blueberries are chemical free.”
“In both spring and summer, we open up The Play Patch for field trips. Students get either a pint of strawberries or a pumpkin, depending on the season. They also learn about the animals and the honey bees and get to play on the playground, have a hayride and jump on the giant jumping pillow.
In the fall, we also open The Play Patch to the public.
We produce strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, muscadines, and pumpkins. We also grow corn in the fall for the play patch.
The Play Patch is a family oriented place to enjoy in the fall. We have a 150 ft. hillside slide, giant jumping pillow, pedal cars, corn cannon, corn box, sand box, tractor teeter totters, concession stand, covered pavilion, and outdoor theater with a stage for local performances.”
“Remember it is a farm, so dress accordingly and just come out and plan to have fun whether you will be picking berries or playing at The Play Patch.
Our favorite recipe is Raspberry Sweet Bottom Pie.”
The store: “We sell home-made jams, raw local honey, free range eggs, raw milk, handmade crafts and a whole lot more.”
232 Strawberry Rd
Anderson, South Carolina 29626
IMPORTANT:::I have noticed that the farm now has a new owner!