Location: Mountain Grove, Mo.
Owner/Manager: Wayne Simpson (pictured) and daughter Debbie French
History: The farm has been in Wayne Simpson’s family for more than 75 years. Wayne has lived at the farm 65 years, and he began growing grapes 49 years ago, adding strawberries 39 years ago. They began to sell other produce 10 years ago. The current farm consists of 120 acres; more than 20 acres are fruits and vegetables. With the passing of years, the family has cut back on the amount of land used for produce. In years past, Simpson’s farm had a corn maze and pumpkin patch in the fall, but recently has concentrated on grapes and strawberries. Wayne has two helpers who work as needed with projects around the farm.
Wayne loves being close to his land. He has worked as a dairy farmer and carpenter, but his greatest love is planting and caring for his strawberry plants.
“I like strawberries; they have a mind of their own,” he said.
Wayne enjoys being active, and at age 80 has no plans to slow down.
“I love being out on the tractor,” he said. He and daughter, Debbie French, have built a successful business cultivating home-grown produce that attracts people from miles around.
Debbie has seen the popularity of their products remain steady over the years.
“They waited over an hour to get out to the field,” Debbie said recalling the popularity of their pick-your-own strawberries last year.
Products: All produce is sold at the farm. The farm produces Chandler strawberries and Catawba grapes, which are used for wine at Stone Hill Winery. The farm offers tomatoes, potatoes, onions, green beans, cucumbers, peppers, okra, squash and zucchini. The strawberries are one of the biggest sellers. “Pick your own” are sold for $2.15 a pound. Pre-picked for $3.15 a pound.
They are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During strawberry season, they are sometimes open Sundays, after church.
Future: The Simpson family plans to continue providing fresh produce as long as the public is interested in buying them.