A New Vision is Growing

After lying dormant for ten years, LushAcres Farms - located on 340 acres of Thornwell's Clinton, SC campus - is being reinvented into a vibrant enterprise to support Thornwell’s mission to build strong children and families, while enhancing the surrounding communities.
Over time, the farm will introduce local agricultural products, opportunities for the community, event space and much more.

See our timeline below to learn more about what we are planning (and planting)!
We look forward to being a part of your family traditions for years to come.


A growing future lies ahead.

Click on an image for details.
2020
Sheep

 

Anticipated Start: A small flock of sheep were brought to the farm in the Fall of 2020 and we look forward to adding more to the flock in the years to come.

 Background: Sheep are a great addition to a cattle herd. They do not really compete that much with cattle for food as they graze on different vegetation.

 Utilize: We will sell lamb meat in the on-farm market, as well as wholesale. While this is a product that many are not accustomed to, it is lean, healthy, and great for special occasions and events.

 Expect: Lamb will be available in our market and wholesale by 2022 with the introduction of new sheep to the flock.

 

2021
Honey and Bees

Anticipated Start:  We will be adding bees to the farm soon and will be increasing production over the coming years.

Background: Natural bees populate this area and are a great source of health for plants. After doing research, we found out that Laurens County has one of the largest Honeybee Associations in the state!

Utilize: We plan to incorporate bees into all our crops as a natural way to pollinate and produce good yields. Honey from our bees, and potentially other local producers, will make for great gift sets or party favors to be purchased at our events! 

Expect: We plan to start offering local honey as soon as we open our market in 2021.

Chickens: Meat

Anticipated Start: We will begin raising broilers in the Spring of 2021.

Background: Chickens will be a great source of fertilization for our pastures. The chicken meat is also a great addition to our meat line up as it is very lean and a very healthy choice.

Utilize: Much like the beef and other meats, we will sale these in our on-farm market as well as in other retail and wholesale markets.

Expect: We expect to have chicken available to purchase by May of 2021 to coincide with the first opening of our market.

Chickens: Eggs

Anticipated Start: We will begin with a flock of laying hens in the Spring of 2021.

Background: Much like the meat chickens, our layers will be a key part of our pasture fertilization program. Birds can always be seen following herbivores in nature and these layers will do just that. We will move them behind our cattle and allow them to range in chicken shelters out in the sun and on pasture as they love so much to do.

Utilize: Our eggs will be a key part of us building relationships with local vendors, stores, as well as restaurants. We like to think of them as an edible business card. We also look forward to being a go-to spot for farm raised eggs in the community through our farm market.

Expect: We will have eggs available as early as May of 2021. Availability of eggs will expand over time.

Cattle

Anticipated Start: We will start to build a breeding herd in the Spring of 2021, adding to it each year as we expand. We will also purchase some weaned calves to begin our grass-fed beef production.

Background: Grass-fed and locally raised meats are very sought after today. People have started sourcing their meats from local farms and even having them delivered to their home by mobile delivery or by shipping. We look forward to offering this to our local consumers, as well as wholesale to restaurants in the surrounding counties.

Utilize: We will sell meats that we raise in our on-farm market, as well as to restaurants and other wholesale options in the area. We also look forward to being about to use the meat in our concessions at events, festivals, and weddings in the future.

Expect: We expect to start processing beef in the Fall of 2021 and for many years to come.

Fall Festival and Corn Maze

Our festival calendar will be starting with a Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021. We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year. Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family. It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique way to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

Come join us for the Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021!

2022
U-Pick Berry Retail

Anticipated Start: We planted the first plot of strawberries in the Fall of 2020. We look forward to our U-Pick strawberries starting in 2022.

Background: U-pick is an exciting and fun way for people to experience and learn more about the farming operations that we have on the farm.

Utilize: We can’t wait to fill our fields with spring and summer berry picking visitors. In addition to U-Pick strawberries, we also plan to add blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in time. 

Expect: We plan to have our first Strawberry Festival in the Spring of 2022 and will open to sell U-pick strawberries that season. Other berries and U-pick options will follow in the coming years.

Pigs

Anticipated Start: We plan to start raising some pigs out on pasture in 2022.

Background: Pastured Pork is a favorite of many. Who can pass up bacon and sausage? When they are raised on pasture and allowed to roam and root in a paddock, the flavor profile completely changes. Pork is not just “the other white meat.” In fact, pork raised this way will rival many steaks!

Utilize: We look forward to selling pork products at our on-farm market, as well as to restaurants and catering businesses in the area.

Expect: We will have pork products available beginning in 2022 or 2023.

Strawberry Festival

We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year. Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family. It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique way to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

We’re planning to host our first Summer Strawberry Festival in July of 2022!

2023
Summer Produce Festival

Our festival calendar will be starting with a Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021. We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year. Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family. It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique way to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

We’re planning to host our first Summer Produce Festival in July of 2023!

2024
Bees and BBQ Festival

Our festival calendar will be starting with a Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021. We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year. Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family. It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique way to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

We’re planning to host our first Bees and BBQ Festival in June of 2024.

2025
Tea

Anticipated Start: Our tea seeds will be planted in our greenhouse in the Spring of 2021, spend a year getting established and will then be planted into the ground in the Spring of 2022.

Background: We chose tea because it is a historically South Carolina product and growers around the state are trying to bring it back. We look forward to helping with those efforts, while also enjoying an amazingly beautiful plant on our farm.

Utilize: Thorwell’s farm branded tea can be sold in gift sets and tins and will be a great way for supporters to help us share the message and mission of Thornwell. We plan to sell this in our on-farm market, online, and through other retail establishments.

Expect: Tea products will be available by May of 2025.

First Flush Tea Harvest and Flowers

Our festival calendar will be starting with a Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021. We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year. Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family. It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique way to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

We’re planning our First Flush Tea Harvest and Flower Festival in May of 2025. 

2026
Christmas Trees

Anticipated Start: We have planted over 600 Christmas trees in January of 2021. Starting with Virginia Pine, White Pine, and Leyland Cypress. These will be our first few years of available trees, but more trees will be planted each year in anticipation of future growth.

Background: Christmas trees were selected not only because they bring new faces to the farm and inspire family traditions, but because they will also help us to share the mission of Thornwell at a time of the year that so many people are looking for ways to help.

Utilize: Cutting a tree down from Thornwell with the whole family will become a tradition for so many families around the surrounding communities. We can’t wait to share God’s blessings with others at Christmas and highlight the mission of Thornwell.

Expect: Mark your calendars! Christmas trees will be available for sale by at least December of 2026.

Back to School Festival

Our festival calendar will be starting with a Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021. We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year. Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family. It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique way to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

We’re planning to host our first Back to School Festival in August of 2026.

2027
Pecan Trees

Anticipated Start: Nearly 9 acres of pecan trees were planted in January 2021 as 2–3-year-old bare root stock.

Background: Pecan trees are as native to this area as mosquitos and pine trees! They grow well in this area and can play on the heartstrings of so many people who grew up picking up pecans in their grandparents' yard. We plan to create pecan gift sets and tins for people to buy locally or even online.

Utilize: The pecans orchard will also be utilized for part of the grazing program for our livestock, as well as an eventual event space. Want to get married outside in a beautiful orchard? We will be able to make that happen. We also look forward to hayrides through the orchard and the education of a crop that will be here long into the future.

Expect: We expect our trees to start to produce around 2027/8 and continue to hit higher production rates as the years go on.

Harvest Festival

Our festival calendar will be starting with a Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021. We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year. Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family. It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique way to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

We plan to host our first pecan harvest festival in September of 2027.

2028
Christmas Tree/Holiday Festival

Anticipated Start: Our festival calendar will be starting with a Fall Festival and Corn Maze in 2021. We then plan to add a new festival each year until we have around 8 in one year.

Background: Our festivals will allow us to feature and sell our products in the local community, seasonally, as well as welcoming visitors to Thornwell for activities that are fun for the whole family.

Utilize: It is likely that many people who might attend these festivals have never heard of Thornwell. This is a unique to share the mission and story of Thornwell. Plus, visitors will know when they buy gift and products from the farm, they are helping serve children and families in need.

Expect: We’re planning to host our first Christmas Tree/Holiday Festival in December of 2028.

Weddings and Events

Anticipated Start: As our farm enterprises become more established, we will be naturally creating beautiful scenic areas for weddings, corporate events, and family gatherings.

Background: Scenic outdoor venues have long been a popular favorite for weddings and events because they capture the beauty of nature and generally cut down on the need for additional décor and costs.

Utilize: We will be capitalizing on our farm’s natural beauty and family-friendly charm to draw even more visitors to create memories and lasting traditions, while also supporting the mission of Thornwell.

Expect: TBD

About LushAcres Farms

Located on 340 acres of Thornwell's campus in Clinton, SC, LushAcres Farms is being reinvented into a vibrant enterprise to support Thornwell’s mission, to build strong children and families, while enhancing the surrounding communities. The children and families of Thornwell and the local community will thrive as they experience the crops, local products, and livestock who call the farm home. Accessible through a dedicated entrance off W. Maple Street, LushAcres Farms will be a working farm providing locally produced agriculture products, and learning opportunities with livestock, family friendly festivals and markets throughout the year.

What we’ve been up to lately

Each aspect of LushAcres Farms has been carefully thought out, ensuring efficient land use, opportunities for value added items from the products produced, and positive impacts and opportunities for Thornwell and the surrounding communities. Our team has completed extensive studies with Thornwell leadership, state agribusiness experts, community leaders, and other stakeholders, and we have a thoughtful, long-term plan for the farm at Thornwell.

LushAcres Farms Director, Brandon Bowers brings strong experience in livestock and agritourism, which compliments the farm’s strategic approach to diversify operations into livestock, specialty crops, and agritourism. These three divisions of the farm were identified by the steering committee, and a deeper land plan was developed, which included the creation of business model projections with a full 10-year strategy for the farm operations.

Currently, we have four farm staff and have begun with our first animal and specialty crop enterprises for the farm. Additionally, we have started land improvements including the perimeter fence, working areas, rotational crop plots and layouts, as well as making necessary equipment purchases.

Why Now?

As good stewards of the land we’ve been entrusted with, LushAcres Farms has been carefully planned to ensure it is sustainable and beneficial to both Thornwell and the local community. Regenerative agriculture also helps us to improve the land by adding minerals and nutrients back into the soil. Cleanup activities are helping to reclaim the land into pastureland and prepare land for our specialty crops. Two wells have been installed and will be used for irrigation. Ponds are also being reclaimed by cleaning the boundaries to encourage more aquatic life development. Over the last year, our teams have surveyed the land and installed a perimeter fence to prepare for upcoming farm operations. In short, implementing these sustainable farming practices now lay the groundwork for the next 50+ years.

Why Agritourism

The mission of the LushAcres Farms is to be a vibrant enterprise that supports Thornwell’s overall mission to build strong children and families, while enhancing the surrounding communities. By opening the farm to visitors from all over, we achieve this through agriculture education, community involvement and enjoyment, and continued support of Thornwell, both financially and through public awareness. We believe our farm allows people to come face-to-face with the beauty of God’s creation, enjoying all aspects of sustainable farming, nature and wildlife.

Additionally, we see agritourism as a way to ensure the longevity of Thornwell and all those we serve. When future visitors come to a festival, buy a locally sourced product in our market, or simply come to experience nature, they are not only creating lasting memories and traditions, but they are also ensuring financial support that goes directly to children and families benefiting from Thornwell’s continuum of care.

Lastly, we believe in building relationships. We want our farm to be the spot for special family gatherings like weddings or reunions. We want our farm to be a place where people know they are getting some of the best locally sourced products around. We want to be the place where the kids can’t wait to come and pick berries in the spring and pick out Christmas trees in the winter. That starts by understanding the importance of fostering community and making those meaningful connections that not only draw visitors in, but also keep them coming back. Our farm is more than fields and products. There’s a heartbeat here and a mission that simply means more. We know you will feel it, too. We can’t wait to meet you on the farm!
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