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winter 2018
Reedy Farms

Working Reedy River Farms

DuBose brings urban farming to downtown Greenville.

George DuBose ’09 says family and friends thought he had lost his mind when he left the master’s program in English at Clemson University to become a farmer.

Farming, after all, is risky business—dependent on the weather, backbreaking labor and lots of luck.

But DuBose knew what he was doing, or at least he did after internships with sustainable, community-supported agriculture farms in Hot Springs, N.C., and Greenville, S.C.

“I wasn’t born to be inside all day, but I also love being in an urban environment,” he says. “Starting Reedy River Farms was a way for me to be a farmer in the city, and I’ve got a good market of restaurants right here in downtown Greenville.”

He found the perfect place to begin planting, rent free, on the Swamp Rabbit Trail just blocks from Main Street.

“It’s on a river bottom, and the area floods, which leaves behind good silt,” says DuBose, who grew kale, Tokyo turnips, cherry tomatoes, amethyst basil, patty pan squash, okra and lemon cucumbers this summer. He’s already started the seeds for his fall and winter gardens as well. “I always try to keep something to sell,” he says. “I like to have a constant supply of fresh produce.”

Being right downtown cuts down on the cost of transporting his product to market. He also likes that chefs can come visit the farm to see firsthand how the food they’re serving is grown.

“I talk with chefs to see what they want me to grow,” says DuBose. “Only certain crops, like those with a quick date to maturity, are profitable on an urban farm.”

DuBose works the farm himself with the help of family and friends. He also has a few community volunteers who have full-time jobs but want the therapy and satisfaction of getting elbow-deep in the soil, sweating and watching their hard work bear fruit.

DuBose and Reedy River Farms have been featured by Jamarcus Gaston on WSPA's Studio 62, in the local newspapers, at Swamp Rabbit Grocery, at the Swamp Rabbit Inn and in other local restaurants. Also look for Reedy River Farms on Facebook.