Farming is often a family adventure that evolves and expands with each passing generation. Located in High Point, Ingram’s Strawberry Farm has been under family operation for over 100 years and has grown from growing tobacco to a variety of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, squash, cantaloupes, and pumpkins.
“We are a part of the Century Farm Program because my husband’s family has farmed this land since 1856,” Rhonda Ingram said, “and we have since evolved to become one of the biggest strawberry growers in Guilford County.” Rhonda’s brother-in-law, Chris, spent many years working as an extension agent in Wilson County, where he discovered the profitability of the strawberry industry. “In 1995, when Chris saw what farmers were doing with strawberries in the Wilson area, he did what any good extension agent would do and encouraged us to start growing them,” Rhonda said, “since that first year of growing Chandler strawberries, we have found tremendous success with them and the vegetables as well once we started them in 2007.”
A typical day on the farm during strawberry season starts early in the morning by picking berries in the field and making boxes of pre-picked berries to sell at the farm stand that day. “Once people start arriving at the farm to pick their own berries, the day can fill up with a multitude of activities, including school tours, market deliveries and helping customers in the dessert barn,” Rhonda said.
In the fall, Ingram Farms offers many agritourism events for the public, including a fall festival where customers can pick their own pumpkins. “When people picture a pumpkin patch they always think of Charlie Brown perfection and we try our best to replicate that picture,” Rhonda said, “but these events are about enjoying the farm and having fun.”
Although they do face daily challenges on the farm, Rhonda says every part of the job is enjoyable when you are helping educate the public on the importance of agriculture and providing a product that people love. “I wouldn’t trade anything for what we have accomplished as a family,” she said, “it’s not the perfect picture that you sometimes see presented on grocery store shelves, but it is always in-season, delicious and nutritious.”
Read the complete article at www.info.ncagr.gov.