UNSUNG HEROES: SC Farm Bureau: “We will all the time depend on the farmers”; Breeders use creativity to supply wholesome meals through the pandemic | Native
“People needed it,” said Sandifer. “That was something we could do because there was no market for them. We didn’t want them to be wasted. We had no way of distributing this amount of products. “
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Holly Hill’s owners of Hickory Bluff Berry Farm, Walter and Cathy Earley, are part of a family farming history, following in the footsteps of Walter’s father, who has farmed the land since 1948.
The farm operates from April to July and supplies strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, as well as other products such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and pumpkins.
About one-half to two-thirds of the farm’s income comes from farm sales and the remainder from Charleston Farmers Market sales.
COVID has harmed the agrotourism market.
“We bring school children over for farm tours and crops lessons,” said Walter Earley, noting the farm partners with various school districts and homeschool groups. “We’ll let them pick strawberries.”
Last year, this source of income dried up due to COVID.
“The school system had collapsed with all the circumstances surrounding the virus,” he said. “We lost all of that.”
Daughter Karen Parker said some people visited because they were looking for places to visit.