Visiting local farms is a great way to find fresh veggies and some family fun.
Although our beaches are famous, Myrtle Beach is also rich in agricultural history. For centuries farmers have been growing and selling fresh fruits and vegetables all along the Grand Strand. That's what a plantation is, it's where you plant crops - it's a farm.
Drive along country roads and you will see some fields of cotton, historically one of the four main money crops of the region along with rice, indigo, and later tobacco, which you will also still see growing. This was how planters made their money. However, one by one these crops have disappeared and have been replaced by fruits and vegetables. Corn, collards, turnips, beans and tomatoes are taking over. During strawberry and blueberry season, you can go to the farm and pick your own, or buy berries already picked, fresh from the field.
There are several historical farm settlements in the area that you can visit. Freewoods Farm in Socastee features an agricultural museum, special events, farm animals, and a produce stand that sells organic food grown on the farm. The Horry County Museum operates the L. W. Paul Living History Farm just north of Conway that also has a museum, special events and living history demonstrations.
Many local farms have farm stores, or farmers will bring their fruits and vegetables to town and sell them off the backs of their trucks, or in a produce stand or at the local farmer's market if there is one. Some of the farms have established themselves as a destination attraction and have stores and cafes, special events, and petting areas for the farm animals.
Indigo Farms (843) 399-6902
For nearly two hundred years, the Bellamy family has farmed land at the state line where the two Carolinas meet. Located at 2000 S.C. Highway 57 N. in South Carolina and 1542 Hickman Road (the North Carolina side of the same road), they welcome you to their farm and farm stores. Here you'll find a garden center where you can purchase live plants, a bakery that is a local lunch favorite, and a farm store that offers beans, cantalope, corn, cucumbers, squash, watermelons, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and tomatoes throughout the season. Indigo Farms features special events throughout the year and you can visit the farm animals. Call for opening hours. Closed Sunday.
Holmes Farms (843) 756-2378
Located south of Loris at 3607 Highway 66, Holmes Farms grows and sells strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, okra, peppers, watermelon, cabbage and corn. Call for opening hours.
Lee's Farm Market (843) 651-7398
More than a produce stand, but not quite a farm, Lee's is a fun shopping experience. Ask to see where the eggs come from and you'll find yourself out back meeting the ladies in the chicken coop. They also grow some of their own vegetables in a patch of land there. Located at 4883 Highway 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet, the market sells fresh local produce, local honey, jams and jellies, fine wines, imported deli meats and cheeses and "lotsa" pasta (some things this Southern girl has never seen before). You can even pick up a homemade tomato pie. Open Monday through Saturday 5 AM to 5 PM.
Cad's Produce (843) 650-9034
Farmer Cad Holmes has a stand located at 3589 Holmestown Road between S. C. Highway 707 and U. S. Highway 17 Bypass. He offers seasonal fruits, corn, tomatoes, watermelons, collards, potatoes, okra, sugar cane, cucumbers, mustard greens, turnips, boiled peanuts, jams and jellies. Call for opening hours.
Holden Brothers Farm Market (910) 579-4500
The Holden brothers, Kelly and David, still farm the land their ancestors were granted by King George II in 1756. Located at 5600 Ocean Highway West (near mile marker 10 on U. S. Highway 17 in North Carolina), this Bicentennial Farm offers a popular farm store that specializes in locally grown produce. Seasonal fruits and vegetables include cabbage, collards, strawberries, okra, eggplant, squash, peppers, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, and Muscadines. In season, you can pick your own strawberries and tomatoes. Open 8 AM to 6 PM. Closed January through mid-March.
Jaws Produce (843) 602-7423
John Walsh sells fresh produce, eggs, and more in a Certified South Carolina Roadside Market at 6951 Highway 90, just east of Veterans Highway going toward Longs. He offers a variety of vegetables and fruits including locally grown yams/sweet potatoes and mustard greens, as well as Christmas trees, boiled peanuts, and smoked ham hocks. Call for opening hours.
Tylers Produce (843) 397-6362
Tylers grows many of the vegetables and fruits that they sell in their farm store. Their produce includes fresh tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, boiled peanuts, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, and turnips. The store is located west of Conway at 4800 U. S. Highway 378. Hours are 9 AM to 6 PM Thursday through Saturday.
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Booth's Christmas Tree Farm (843) 365-3633
Have you ever gone into the woods and picked out your own Christmas tree? You can, at this family-owned Christmas tree farm located at 5200 Adrian Highway, off U. S. Highway 701 just north of Conway. The farm is open from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas Eve and offers wagon rides on the weekends, fresh wreaths, and trees with roots for replanting, as well as a gift shop. You can go out and choose your tree from six different varieties and cut it down yourself, or they'll cut it for you. Open Monday through Saturday 8 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 11 AM to 5:30 PM. (click here for more)
If you're looking for more information about local farms, farm stores, organic food, or even growing your own garden, the Clemson University Agricultural Extension is a valuable resource. Their Pee Dee Food and Farm Guide is specific to this area and has lots of information.
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