All in the family: Century Farms celebrate deep roots of agriculture in S.C. – Greenville Journal

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For a lot of the Palmetto State’s historic previous, farming was each A life-type and an financial necessity. That Lifetype is fading, however For shut toly 50 years the state’s Century Farms program has acknowledged agriculture’s deep roots and celebrated the households Who’re maintaining that legacy alive.

Family ties

Keeping a historic farm Inside the identical household for 100 years or extra — The important requirement to be acknowledged as a Century Farm — is troublesome even beneath best circumstances, Based mostly on Andrew Stevenson, The latest period to occupy Stevenson Century Farm in Anderson County.

Not solely is Stevenson An factor of a Century Farm household, however He is the coordinator for the Century Farm program for Lake Hartproperly Nation, the S.C. Affiliation of Tourism Area that administers This method. It is the successor to the Pendleton District Historical and Leisure Fee created in 1962 and charged by the state legislature in the Nineteen Seventies To administer the Century Farms program.

Stevenson’s household’s farm was established in 1895 and preliminaryly coated Greater than 500 acres straddling the Anderson/Oconee county line, he says. Only about 125 acres stay, which highlights Definitely one of many challenges with maintaining a property intact throughout a century or extra.

Do You understand? Since its inception, Greater than 500 properties statewide have been acknowledged as Century Farms with about 350 presently lively.

As households grew and new durations sought alternatives elsethe place, the custom of farming diminished, says Stevenson. Property was additionally divided amongst descendants and over time and for Pretty a Little bit of causes, not least of which was financial, such farms handed out of the founding household’s possession.

“[Keeping land in the household] is one factor shut to and pricey to me,” Stevenson says. “I understand how troublesome It is To take care of that farm.”

Denver Downs Farm in Anderson County has been in the Garrison household since 1869 and as such is amongst 350 properties statewide designated as Century Farms.

That is one factor Dennis Chastain, a famous Pickens County pureisting and historian, understands properly. His forebears settled in the Oolenoy Valley shut to What’s now Desk Rock State Park in the late 1790s. Out of an preliminary holding of roughly 1,000 acres, solely about 100 acres stay in the household. The Chastain property is one of 26 Century Farms in Pickens County.

“It Continues to be a distinctive factor in 2022 to be on land that has been continuously in Your liked ones’s possession since very early days,” Chastain says. “It’s very vital and poignant.”

Chastain says most trendy People have misplaced that historic connection to the land that sustains them, which is why efforts Simply like the Century Farms program, which seeks To maintain in thoughts that heritage, are so important.

Photograph currentd by Walker Century Farm/Tyrant Farms

Discovering a future

Whereas a property doesn’t Want to be a working farm to be acknowledged as a Century Farm, some households are maintaining the agricultural custom alive and discovering new methods to earn a dwelling from their land.

Denver Downs Farm in Anderson County has been owned by the Garrison household since 1869. Catherine Garrison Davis is The latest period to name the place house. Her father, the late Sen. T.E. Garrison Jr., served Anderson County for Greater than 30 years in The genperiodl Meeting and was instrumental in establishing the Century Farms program.

“It Continues to be a distinctive factor in 2022 to be on land that has been continuously in Your liked ones’s possession since very early days.” -Dennis Chastain

The farm covers about 300 acres on Denver Road between Anderson and Clemson, and while rising crops and elevating animals Continues to be An factor of the character, a lot of the income is now genperiodted by agritourism.

Davis says that facet of the farm’s productiveness started in the Nineteen Sixties when her mom started offering excursions of the property. Since then, Denver Downs has Discover your self to be a vacation spot for household-nice actions collectively with a sunflower pageant scheduled over a quantity of weekends this summer time in June and July.

“It’s exhausting to make a dwelling promoting particular crops,” Davis says. “It’s good to share our farm’s heritage…We’re On A daily basis Eager about what The subsequent step Goes to be.”

Tapping into the rising want amongst consumers to know the place their meals comes from, Walker Century Farm in Anderson County focuses on the sustainable and pure manufacturing of Devon cattle.

Nancy and Invoice Walker with their son, Clifton, run the 200-acre farm on Walker Road and Keep it up the custom of cattle manufacturing the household started in the Nineteen Fifties. She says they focused on Devon cattle As a Outcome of of their docile nature. 

Denver Downs Farm in Anderson County has been in the Garrison household since 1869 and as such is amongst 350 properties statewide designated as Century Farms.

Walker says as she and her husband Decelperiodte — they’re each Of their 70s — They’ve to The Prolonged time period and implementing strategies to maintain the property in the household.

For now, the Walkers have partnered with Donald and Colleen Snow of Windfall Farm to run the Walker Farm’s market and oversee cattle manufacturing.

Walker says they hope to move the farm to their son, Clifton, who would maintain the property in the household till A Number of of their three grandsons might take over in the many years forward.

Century Farm program quick particulars:

  • Established preliminaryly To acknowledge farms held by The identical household for 100 years or extra in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties in 1973, This method was expanded statewide by the S.C. Widespread Meeting in 1976.
  • Since its inception, Greater than 500 properties statewide have been acknowledged as Century Farms with about 350 presently lively.
  • Anderson County has In all probability the most Century Farms with 89 while Greenville County has Among The numerous fewest with 11.
  • The program Is run by Lake Hartproperly County, one of 11 regional tourism workplaces that type the S.C. Affiliation of Tourism Areas. 
  • To be eligible as a Century Farm, a household should current property data demonstrating an unbroken chain of possession extending again A minimal of 100 years. A imply of 12-15 South Carolina households submit purposes Yearly.
  • To use, go to the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina internet website at bgamsc.org.

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