Family Farm is Changing Lives with Organic Produce

August 14, 2018

Jeph, Jerry and Joe Watson represent 3 generations of family farm ownership. Photo by Jim Mitchell.

Watsonia Farms is buzzing with activity as a load of freshly harvested, organically grown corn rolls in from the field.

Most of the plump golden ears are picture perfect, but nestled among the load are some that don’t look like those you would buy in a grocery store — a few rows of kernels missing here, a bent shape there, or an ear with uneven coloring.

These ‘imperfect’ ears can’t be sold but are still packed with nutrition, so the farm donates them to Golden Harvest Food Bank. “They might not all look perfect, but they sure are tasty!” says Pam Watson, a member of the 3rd generation of family farm owners. “I hope the families you serve enjoy them as much as I do.”

Kori Watson, director of Food Safety and Sales at Watsonia Farms, smiles as she indicates the fresh ears being shucked and sorted.

“It’s so special knowing that we’re involved in the seed, we’re involved in the plant and the planting, and in taking those steps to make sure that it’s safe and delicious for everybody to enjoy — even those that are not able to buy it,” Watson says.

Both Pam and Kori have worked as school teachers, and both have witnessed the heartbreak of a hungry student who is clearly not getting the food he or she needs to thrive. “You always worry about those children who aren’t getting enough to eat,” Kori says. “When you see they aren’t getting square meal at home, you know they aren’t getting the fresh foods they need either.”

Corn is just one of the many organic crops grown on the 100 year old family farm nestled in the lush green landscape of Monetta, S.C. The farm also produces 18 other fruits and veggies: squash, peaches, grapes, tomatoes, and kale to name a few. Watsonia Farms donated over 63,000 lbs. of mixed fruits and vegetables in the past year to feed local families in need.

Though the farm is not in Golden Harvest Food Bank’s 30 county service area, the food bank is able to partner with Watsonia Farms through a shared abundance agreement with our sister Feeding America food bank, Harvest Hope Food Bank.

This partnership is a perfect example of the way food banks across North and South Carolina are able to work together to end hunger through our new regional food bank association, Feeding The Carolinas. Visit feedingthecarolinas.org to learn more!