Last weekend I was able to spend three glorious days traveling from one farm to the next with Daniel, starting in Conway, SC and ending somewhere outside of Greenville, SC. We toured eight farms total, spending around an hour and half on average at each farm. Needless to say, it was an awesome weekend full of great people, an abundance of vegetables, all kinds of animals, and beautiful places.
On Friday we visited Freewoods Farm, Thompson Farm, LW Paul Living Museum in conjunction with a Clemson program. We learned about the history around African American farmers, saw some interesting agri-tourism ideas, and got some hands-on experience at another living history farm. The LW Paul Living Museum was my favorite of the day because it included info on cane sugar, corn milling, timber sawing, tobacco cutting/stringing/curing, mule cultivation, potato storage and other fun historical building examples. I even got to try the plow behind the mule! Here are the pictures of all three:
Saturday we headed over to the Clemson Student farm, Barrioz Family Farm, and Baird Family Farm. At Clemson we were able to hear three phenomenal speakers talk about how to control pests organically including weeds, insects, and diseases. I also got to see an old friend from college which was great! Barrioz Family Farm was a nice example of a market garden that had some great terracing and a cute little tractor. Our final farm for the day was a little trickier to find and we ended up cutting through a private drive full of goats to get to our final destination (a bonus!). Baird Family Farm had a great set up that included bottom lands, a stream, forested hills, and upland fields. They let us walk in their stream, tour their fields, and feed their pig.
Sunday we headed to Bio-way farm and then onto Early Bird Worm Farm. Bio-way was utilizing some strategies in permaculture, which I cannot get enough of. He had some really neat forest plants that were edible and/or medicinal as well as mushroom logs and native flowers. Early Bird Worm Farm was hands down the best part of the tours. This farm makes its living raising and selling worms but also processes deer/chickens, raises rabbits, grows/sells vegetables, grows mushrooms, processes corn, and hosts a variety of critters including sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, and dogs. We ended up staying at this farm talking to the farmer until it was dark and left with our car full of farm fresh goodies.
Here are the pictures:
In the end I managed to meet a lot of great people, learned a lot of new techniques for organic growing, scored a little tan, plowed a field, saw tobacco flowers, pet a pig, ate fresh veggies, discovered jam called FROG (figs, raspberries, oranges, and ginger), bought a plant that helps toothaches, and became even more inspired to homestead.
I think this quote pretty much sums up the trip:
“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”
–Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Jay (Aug. 23, 1785)