LAUREL HILL — Plowin’ It Forward was originally meant to be a father-daughter project for Frankie Maddox and her dad Franklin “Boe” Winburn so she could make use of the land around her Marston Road home.
The duo planted an acre and a half of crops with an old-fashioned hand plow — that later became part of the business’ logo — last year and filled the garden with a little bit of everything.
“We wanted to use the land and have the land help pay for itself,” Maddox said. “Me and my daddy decided to start farming and we were going to do it together this year.”
The produce stand currently has okra, watermelons, cantaloupe, beans, tomatoes and several different varieties of cucumbers and peppers.
In the fall they will offer pumpkins, hay bales, corn stalks and outdoor bows. Just in time for the holidays, Maddox will harvest collard greens, turnips and mustard greens for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
During their first year, the produce stand consisted of three large spools and a beach umbrella. In the off-season, Maddox and her dad built a small wooden shed with an awning to house the business.
Maddox got choked up thinking about her dad, whom she unexpectedly lost in March. She is now getting help from her mom Nancy, who is responsible for canning some of the vegetables.
“This is our first year canning — okra, pickles and blueberry jelly,” said Maddox. “She decided to add that this year and it has taken off. Everything is jarred because, with produce, we’ve got a short span so people buy the jars.”
Nancy also helped come up with the name Plowin’ It Forward — as a play on paying it forward — one Sunday at church.
“I wanted something that had meaning and the first year we did the planting we used a hand plow that was my daddy’s daddy’s,” Maddox said. “Momma slipped me a note in church and that’s when she said ‘Plowin’ It Forward.’ The red and white gingham has become our signature, too, because presentation is very important to me.”
Plowin’ It Forward opens the first week of June and will close when the first frost hits.
Today, Myra Stone Photography will make use of Maddox’s 1929 wagon that sits in front of her house for photos with some fresh watermelons.
“She wanted to do some produce pictures and asked if she could do it here,” Maddox said. “She’s considering doing seasonal pictures because we will have pumpkins and mums in the fall.”
The produce stand, located at 21701 Marston Road in Laurel Hill, will be open until 6 p.m. Saturday and will reopen on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday the stand is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — but just because the stand is closed doesn’t stop some people, Maddox said.
“People will stop by and want to buy something, and if I’m here I don’t turn them away,” she said. “When we close at 6 p.m. though it’s back to picking. We pick early in the morning and late in the afternoon so we’re not having a heat stroke.”
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]