Reedy River Farms in Easley, SC — Farm Visit
Farm Visits : Highlighting a local farm and what makes it well worth a visit yourself
Farming isn’t always the day job.
Farming sounds romantic when we think of it as something we might do someday. Going back to a simpler time. Living off the land. Sharing your bounty with your community. Living a more authentic life, perhaps?
Did you know that many of the farmers around you care so much about changing our country’s food that they farm while working full-time jobs? Check it out. Many of the farmers in the US essentially work two full-time jobs. Putting in back-breaking farm hours around an already busy work schedule.
Why am I telling you this? Maybe so you can be even more impressed with the farmers around you. Maybe so you can be inspired to start that farm now. But also to introduce you to George and Sarah DuBose, the fierce farming team we’re visiting this week.
George and Sarah both work day jobs, but also live and farm on land formerly owned by the Latham farming family. The Lathams farmed crops like corn, soybeans, and cotton. These big crops suck nutrients out of the soil, leaving it pretty useless for growing anything.
The Reedy River Farms team used 100 tons of compost from Atlas Organics to get it ready to grow again. This Easly location as well as the farm’s Pendleton location that you might have seen both incorporate redeeming unlikely land for growing food.
I love driving by the Pendleton Reedy River Farms location and seeing big beautiful veggies growing right in the middle of the city!
As we look around the garden rows, George tells me about how he became interested in organic farming practices and healthy foods and apprenticed at a farm in Hot Springs, North Carolina. After apprenticing and working on farms, he started Reedy River Farms and began cultivating first the land on Pendleton street and then the property in Easley.
George lets us harvest some purple haze carrots with him. They’re so beautiful and taste extra sweet! Ellery already has a handful of wildflowers, but quickly gets excited about pulling fresh carrots from the ground. She wants to eat them immediately.
George tells me that beets and carrots are Reedy River’s main produce in the cool months, with leeks, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers coming in the warmer months.
I don’t usually like beets, but some candy cane beets from Reedy River Farms have changed my mind a little bit. At least about the fact that good beets exist.
George sprays the carrots off with a garden hose so that Ellery can enjoy her treat immediately. And she does! She asks for more the whole way home.
I peek inside the greenhouse because I can’t resist. Aren’t greenhouses just the most peaceful places? Such nice light and bright greens.
Sarah DuBose owns Sassafrass Flower Farm, and I loved seeing her beautiful blooms. Both she and George partner with Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery to offer gardening classes as well as wholesaling their flowers and produce to be sold at the convenient Greenville location.
You’ll find Reedy River Farms produce mostly at Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery and at the downtown Greenville Saturday Market. I had the pleasure with my business, Bossy Baker, of being neighbors with Reedy River Farms at the market. I ate a lot of delicious veggies and they ate a lot of baked goods. It was good!
I love farmers. They’re somehow quiet and easy to talk to at the same time. They share their knowledge with us ignorant but hungry people. They care about food on a level no one else does. And they do all this in the same world we do, often working the same jobs we do.
If you want to truly get a handle on your nutrition, to understand natural food, and to eat food grown without pesticides or fertilizers, I hope you start talking to farmers. Because the more I learn, the more I see I need to learn.
We can accept government-regulated labels and trust that they have our common sense (is it so common?). Or buy everything big-brand producers are selling, assuming they have our best interests at heart (maybe unlikely?). Or we can buy food from people who grow food around us, and ask those people the tough questions. They have answers!