Our farm, The Little Fruit Farm, is a good old fashioned small farm; not a certified organic farm. (I have not the desire or the time to have that paperwork completed. Lots of paperwork means less time to take care of the food plots and fruit on the farm.) So being that I am the 99% labor on the place, I will be satisfied with the truth and live by my honor when I say we are an organic grower. My customers are important to me and I want them to be happy and healthy.
The Little Fruit Farm has 24 acres with about 2 acres of blueberry bushes, muscadine grapes, pears and figs. In June and July we open the farm for U-pick Blueberries, I also take orders and pick for people who want fresh without the sweat. Pears will also be ripening about July and again in Sept and October. In August, the muscadines begin ripening and the farm is again open for U-pick. Many people will come and pick 4 or 5 pounds each week. Other customers order 100 pounds of grapes for juicing. Muscadine grapes are usually finished in October. January is a time of testing the soil and applying lime as needed. February begins grape pruning, mulch turning and fruit trees getting a second look for health. March is time to plow and till and plant veggies like onions and potatoes. Later in April and May, we plant other garden foods. Most of our vegetables are for family use but if we have extra we will sell to the public.
All these fruits, vegetables, and berries are fertilized with manures and compost. We have 20 odd chickens, a few goats and lots of leaves to compost. Our neighbor is kind enough to allow us to get horse manure with shavings to add to the mix. This is a big part of an organic farmer’s life. You need to be an outdoor type and are not shy of getting dirty when you need to. The bottom line is “lean” but I think it is “fat” with the love of growing healthy food I feed to those I love and many friends and customers. Basic is sometimes the best. So for us, no genetically modified allowed – only the bee’s and other pollinators that God has so kindly blessed us with.
I began to venture into organic fruits and vegetables after a few years of working in a local farmers market. I learned that just because a signs with the words organic is posted on the bin does not make it healthy. I mean think about the word organic, you and I are organic beings, grass is organic, and everything that is derived from living matter is organic. So here is my take on observing what I eat! OBSERVING is more than looking pretty on the shelf.
Naturally, the foods grown on an organic type farm are not always as beautiful as the super markets veggies. Farming is an “at risk” job, and I mean at risk from grasshoppers, wind, molds, etc., etc. Many a flavorful bite has come from a veggie that has a bruise or maybe is misshapen. Cut off what is bad and enjoy the rest. That is the way I was raised. I learned by watching and then by helping. My great grandmother, grandmother and grandfather never had to wash the oil off fruit and vegetables. No one I know would wax a cucumber before eating it. When was the last time you checked to see where that fruit came from? It has a label for you to see where it grew also how to track it back to the country of origin. That’s a lot to think about when you are eating food from China. So why not eat food from your local farm instead.
We are open June thru October, Monday-Wednesday and all day on Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Baskets for picking are always under the dogwood tree at the house. For more information, contact us at [email protected] or call 843-496-2382
I always enjoy eating fresh food with fresh yogurt that I make myself. (Here is the website for the homemade yogurt recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-yogurt-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-125070) It is so easy and very economical. I know what is in this product and whose kitchen it was made in, mine. The recipe can be tweeked as you see fit. I use Splenda to sweeten before chilling. Using 2 heating pads and a good cookie sheet works as an alternative to using the oven.
Biggest Loser Contestant DeAnna Hansen also works with local producers to ensure high quality food is available in the Florence area. She recently opened Nature Wise Farmacy at 3722 S. Irby Street which features local products from both farmers and artisans alike! Learn more about her Fruit & Vegetable Co-Op here… Fruit & Vegetable Co-Op