Saint Basil Farm in Travelers Rest, SC — Farm Visit
Farm Visits: Highlighting a local farm and what makes it well worth a visit yourself.
This week we visit a newer farm in Travelers Rest. Saint Basil Farm has been around for a little more than two years. John and Gina Dorminy run a farm with completely organic practices.
The farm is Certified Naturally Grown, which the Dorminys believe to be a purer certification than Organic, since farms with this certification have been inspected by qualified farmers rather than government inspectors.
Several other factors give the Dorminys and others more faith in the CNG label than the Organic label. Read more about the organic labeling problem here.
I get to see a variety of beautiful and perfect-looking lettuces in the Saint Basil Farm beds. Who knew iceberg lettuce (in the cover photo) could be beautiful and delicious? Not me!
The lettuces and other cool weather crops take shelter under row cover to grow well even though the heat rises into the summer. Saint Basil Farm grows year round with a lot of ingenious tricks to keep plants happy in extreme heat and cold.
Year round growing means more profitability for the farmers and always available local produce for us consumers. I didn’t know there were any non-hydroponic farms practicing year-round growing in Greenville before visiting Saint Basil.
Shade cloth, one of the adjustments that encourages cold-hardy plants to flourish in the heat, reflects the sun to keep plants cool. It allows the Dorminys to grow hardneck garlic as well as softneck garlic.
Hardneck garlic usually doesn’t grow well in our warm climate, but it has a richer, complex, more “garlicky” flavor. Sounds like just what I need for my garlic bread and bone broth!
We pet the baby goats and see the chickens. We really love baby goats and chickens. I mean, if you don’t, you might be a monster.
The Dorminys raise the goats and chickens for their family’s use right now, as well as natural fertilization and weed and bug control.
Those goat babies are some adorable little natural Weed-n-Feed units! Getting to pet baby goats while they help your veggies stay healthy, I mean, c’mon. I call that winning at life!
The beautiful fields and woods at Saint Basil Farms will become growing space in the future. Until then, they’re really pretty just like this!
We check in on some watermelon seedlings in a potting shed before going back to the gardens to load up on produce.
I take home kale, cilantro (some of the best I’ve ever tasted!), salad turnips, butter lettuce, arugula, endive, and rainbow chard. So excited!
John also gives me some claytonia, a flowering mild-tasting lettuce-type plant that usually grows in Montana. It’s beautiful, and he says no one else in the Greenville area grows it that he knows of. I look forward to trying it!