Located on the eastern shore of Lake Keowee in Pickens County is 17.5 acres of farmland known as ‘The Happy Berry”.
“The Happy Berry” acreage was purchased in 1979 by Walker and Ann Miller, but was not planted until the fall of 1981.
Walker holds a PhD in Plant Pathology and Physiology and is a retired Extension Specialist for Clemson University.
“When I look at a plant, it talks to me. The symptoms that I see, tell me things,” said Owner and Plant Specialist Walker Miller.
The farm’s primary crop is blueberries, which make up more than 50 percent of the harvest, but it also produces a variety of other fruits including; blackberries, muscadine grapes, seedless table grapes, and figs.
Visitors can purchase pre-picked fruit or they can pick it themselves.
“We start the season with blackberries and then move on to blueberries, grapes, figs, and finally muscadines.” said Miller. “The season usually begins in late May or the first of June, but this year it started earlier than it ever has. It got warm quick.”
“The Happy Berry” is also conducting test planting on olive trees and persimmons, and if the testing is successful, the farm will add these fruits to the crop.
The idea behind the farm is to provide a place to pick plump, delicious, and nutritious berries. It is also a goal of the farm to provide an educational and fun experience for all ages, to contribute to healthier lifestyles and eating habits, and to show that local farms like “The Happy Berry” provide an essential environmental service for the future of the planet.
“We are part of the community, and we have a responsibility, we provide jobs, and we provide food for the community,” said Miller.
Visitors can ring a bell located on the farm for service, for calling customers out of the field if there is a an emergency, or for a donation to the “Sin Bucket.”
The donation money in the “Sin Bucket” is given to local charities.
On a sign beneath the bell a message reads:
“You know that, we know that, you know that, you have enjoyed the bountiful harvest while you were picking. If you feel guilty, atone for your sin by donating to the sin bucket”.
“The Happy Berry is a dream, and what made this dream possible was the support of my wife and two daughters,” said Miller.