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MidSouth EC News

Ripe for the Picking

A trip to Jollisant Farm made for a sweet day

Freshly grown, organic fruits and vegetables are highly sought after in today’s world. There is something wholesome and comforting about knowing exactly where the food we feed our families comes from. Buying from small, rural farming operations is a great way to get an educational experience while shopping locally.

We recently had the chance to visit Jollisant Farm, a hidden gem off County Road 203 in Plantersville, about 45 minutes north of Houston. The typical draw to the area has been the Texas Renaissance Festival, just a few miles south. However, the festival is a seasonal experience, while our friends at Jollisant Farm offer visitors year-round, family-friendly fun in Plantersville.

Our visit began on a foggy, crisp morning as we approached the entrance to the farm. A neighbor’s dog lounged in the county road as if to tell us, “Slow down.” This was our chance to change gears from our daily hustle. Fields of strawberry rows painted the landscape as we drove to the barn. Looking out of the car window, the fog made a gentle white blanket over the plants, with the red of the fresh strawberries dotting the canvas.

Erin Hughes

Upon arriving, we were greeted by a friendly employee who offered to give us a tour of the grounds. As we began the tour, a gentleman with a memorable hat approached, introduced himself as Larry Jollisant and quickly agreed to lead the rest of our tour in a buggy and share a wealth of knowledge, facts and fun information about his farm.

Farming is a long-standing tradition for Jollisant. Established in 1955, Jollisant Farm was initially a working dairy farm, where Jollisant was provided a unique upbringing and learned a true respect for hard work. The dairy business closed in the early ’70s, leaving only the barn and garden. Around 2008, the Jollisants began selling produce locally, and by 2012, they had converted to a “pick your own” operation, allowing visitors to pick their own vegetables and strawberries.

The venture proved to be a labor of love and hard work—as evidenced by the way Jollisant cared for and spoke about his plants. We learned about the different types of strawberries, their lineage and the best color plastic to use on raised beds. From learning about the steps taken to provide a quality, organic product to the adventures of running a farm open to the public, we truly enjoyed our tour of the facilities and all of the information that was shared. During our discussions, we were handed fresh strawberries, ripe and right off the plant, to try for ourselves. Talk about a tasty treat!

The best part is that anyone can come to Jollisant Farm and take part in picking their own produce, including a selection of fruits and vegetables that vary by season. A full list of the produce grown at Jollisant Farm can be found on its website. From strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and watermelons to pumpkins, carrots, kale, cabbage, Swiss chard and red potatoes, there is something for everyone—just call ahead to confirm what is in season.

Erin Hughes

Upon wrapping up our tour, we proceeded to the gift shop to weigh our freshly picked strawberries and stock up on some of the canned goodies they have available for purchase. Spicy homemade pickles, fresh strawberry jam and raw honey produced on the farm were the first items we grabbed off the shelf. With the option to purchase angus beef, fresh pork, organic eggs, handmade soap and other items in the storefront, it was hard not to just purchase a full basket of groceries.

We closed out our visit with a hearty handshake and began our journey back to Navasota. Upon leaving, we saw a sign that read, “Take Your Time Leaving But Hurry Back.” Yes, sir. We hope you all will take the short drive to visit Jollisant Farm and stay a while.

Mid-South Synergy wants to give a big thank-you to Mr. Larry Jollisant and the staff at Jollisant Farm for taking time out of their day to share their passions with us. We truly enjoyed our visit and can’t wait to return with our families. We appreciate them as valued members of Mid-South Synergy and our community.