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Souvenirs From the Farm

Submitted: July 31, 2009 by Linda M. Erbele

A visit to a local farm can give you a different perspective about an area you're visiting. Many welcome visitors and offer products for sale - products you can take home with a comfortable knowledge of their origins.

Amidst the waterfalls, art galleries and historic sites of the Pendleton District in South Carolina for example, you can tour a goat farm, pick berries from head-high bushes and eat ice cream made with on-site grown peaches or blackberries.

Split Creek Farm in Anderson is a Grade A commercial goat dairy. There are some 450 goats frolicking in the pasture, half of which are milked twice a day. No hormones are used to stimulate milk production. When farm manager and cheese maker Evin J. Evans is asked about the freshness of the farm's awarding winning chevre or fromage blanc, she explains that Saturday's milk is cheese by Monday. In addition to the cheese, the farm sells yogurt, soap and fudge, all made with goat's milk. Besides the human farm-hands, Evans employs eight Great Pyrenees dogs and two Border Collies to work the farm. "They work at night," she explains to visitors who ask about the snoozing dogs.

A few miles away in Six Mile, stroll through five acres planted with six varieties of blueberries at the Happy Berry. The land is part of a 2600 acre plot originally granted by the King of England. The farm also has blackberries, figs, seedless grapes, free-range eggs and a variety of homemade jams and preserves. You can pick until you get tired, or purchase already picked quarts. There's a "sin" bucket on the way back to the parking lot, to drop in payment for the berries that got "tasted" out in the field.

To complete that nutritional basket, visit Callaham Orchards, in Belton for peaches, strawberries, nectarines, apples, cantaloupe, corn, squash or tomatoes, all grown on site. Or relax in the cool gift shop with some of the over 20 flavors of home-made ice cream. Just be sure you've packed the cooler for your next trip.