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Ag + Art Tour celebrates local farmers and artisans in Barnwell, Allendale counties


Over two weekends, hundreds of locals and tourists gathered at farms across Barnwell and Allendale counties for the regional Ag + Art tour, which celebrated farmers and artists from throughout the region.
On June 1, Hanberry and Sons Family Farm, Well Springs Farm and the Allendale Farmers Market were the first locations for the events.
“The main goal is for this to become a holistic place. We not only have the farm but other therapeutic things going on. I think people need to have a safe haven,” said Phyllis Smart, owner of Well Springs Farm in Appleton. They had vendors and live music.
At Handberry & Sons Family Farm in Martin, George and Mia Handberry are raising the seventh generation of farmers with their sons.
“Truly is a family affair. George and I order the seeds. We mix our own compost fertilizer. Grow everything in our greenhouse and check it every day. Then we bring it out here and get on back of tractor….and plant every single one by hand,” said Mia.
On June 8 and 9, seven locations throughout Barnwell County hosted attendees for the events.
At Windmill Farms, a farm in Williston that participated in the tour, stained glass artist Stacy O’Sullivan sold pieces alongside farmer William Shipes.
“A lot of people don't know some of the smaller local businesses that do arts and crafts,” said Shipes, who gave tours of his farm to visitors. “This gave them a chance to get to know some people and to make some contacts.”
Although locals made up a large number of the attendees, people from as far as Charleston and North Carolina came on the tour.
“It was a great opportunity to see where our food comes from, while supporting the arts and culture of the region,” said Bob Snead, president of the Southern Palmetto Regional Chamber, which organized the event with Clemson University Extension. “It gave us the opportunity to spur tourism to our area and feature some of our greatest regional assets. We had the honor of meeting folks from all over the state, some of whom were visiting the region for the first time.”
Shipes also said the event helped reconnect locals to the food system. At Windmill Farms, Shipes brought attendees through their fields and discussed different agricultural practices.
“It was really good getting everybody to see how hard we work and what we’re doing,” said Shipes. “A lot of times you don't get that interaction in the market because there's so many people coming and going and you don't get that personal experience. A lot of people don’t even know what a tomato plant looks like, they only know what a tomato looks like in the store.”
Rodney Oakley, a new farmer at Oakley Family Farms, said the tour helped his farm get more exposure. Within the local community, the farmers market, Facebook and word of mouth are often the only ways that small farmers can market themselves.
“We don’t have a huge marketing push,” Oakley said. Oakley Family Farms is a small-scale meat farm that also sells goat milk products like soaps and lotions. “It’s word of mouth, Facebook and our website. This has really helped us and exposed people to us. It gives us a shot.”
Other stops in Barnwell County included King George Lavender Farm & Mercantile, Peachey Farms, the Barnwell Farmers Market, the Barnwell Primary School Garden & Space Chicken Program, the Little Red Barn Pottery & Art Gallery.
The tours in Allendale and Barnwell counties are part of a statewide tour. Snead said they plan to participate in the statewide Ag + Art Tour next year and make it even better.
Go to to learn more about tours in other counties and to stay updated on the 2025 tour.

Elijah de Castro is a Report for America corps member who writes about rural communities like Allendale and Barnwell counties for The People-Sentinel. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep Elijah writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today.