Keeping the family farm
Helen Legare-Floyd has a farm. Not just any farm, but a 288-year-old family farm on John’s Island. She, along with her brother and sister, are ninth-generation descendants of 18th-century planter Solomon Legare, and together they work to make it profitable.
To be able to hold on to a family farm in modern times is a challenge, but the Legares have been able to use creativity and practicality to keep their legacy in place. They have combined agriculture with agritourism. Raising livestock and growing produce are still a large part of their work, but by using the 300-acre tract and its resources for events from gourmet harvest dinners to summer day camps for grade school children to Civil War reenactments to Easter chick rentals, they are involving the community and making a living.
Legare-Floyd has found ways to make their farming business expand into all parts of the Charleston area. She organized a Community Supported Agriculture program where families pay a fee for a weekly box of produce. This business has grown to 140 deliveries. The farm also runs a butcher’s club. She drives her pick-up to deliver to a food co-op on Sullivan’s Island and to a gourmet sandwich shop in Charleston. Using leftover grain from five local breweries to feed livestock and old milk from a dairy plant to feed pigs, Legare-Floyd has demonstrated resourcefulness.
Legare-Floyd says that graduating from Clemson is one of the biggest accomplishments of her life. She wanted to say she graduated from Clemson, so she left the farm to study agronomy and horticulture.
￼￼￼“I get to do something I enjoy, something I love, every day,” she says. Solomon Legare would be proud.