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Grovetown farmer grew up in gardening

Posted: December 14, 2014 - 12:13am
Earlier this fall, Augusta Locally Grown organized a crop mob at Foster Olson's property.  Olson, a Columbia County resident, plans to build a retirement fund through his farming.   Special
Special
Earlier this fall, Augusta Locally Grown organized a crop mob at Foster Olson's property. Olson, a Columbia County resident, plans to build a retirement fund through his farming.

Foster Olson has long known that good things come from the Earth. In fact, as owner of Grovetown Farm and Gardens and Clyde’s Fresh Produce, the Grovetown resident has been tilling soil and planting crops ever since he was a
child.

“I grew up in Columbia County,” said Olson. “My granddad was a dairy farmer and a truck farmer. My mom grew up being a truck farmer.”

It’s only natural that Olson, too, would grow up working the land. Growing up, he was responsible for tending a patch of farmland that his dad had planted with melons and other vegetables. In order to earn his spending money, Olson, along with his siblings, would tend the crops, later picking and selling them.

Olson says he’s always had a large garden. For the past 16 years, he has owned Grovetown Farm and Gardens. It is at his shop that many purchase his tomatoes, squash, okra, cucumbers, melons and beans.

It was in the summer of 2013 that Olson decided to establish Clyde’s Fresh Produce and begin selling his vegetables through Augusta Locally Grown’s Evans Towne Farmers Market.

“Most of our land is horse pastures,” he said. “But we have land on which to produce extra vegetables.”

Earlier this fall, Augusta Locally Grown organized a crop mob at Olson’s property. The nearly 40 participants helped to plant fruit trees and blueberry and raspberry plants, as well as scuppernong vines.

“We planted about 40 trees and 30 blueberries and raspberries,” said Olson, who uses no insecticides or pesticides on his plants. “We’ve since planted 40 more trees, including some pecan trees.”

Olson is looking to create a retirement fund from his fruit and vegetable sales and, in the process he plans to meet the demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables head on by doubling much of his crop production.

“This coming year, we plan to double our tomato and melon crops,” he said. “We have about 900 strawberry plants that will produce in May and June.

“Basically, from this is going to become my retirement fund,” added Olson, who hopes to retire in the next 5 to 10 years.

Currently, Olson has carrots, cabbage and lettuce planted and is selling those items through Augusta Locally Grown’s online market.

“This is the really slow time of the year,” he said. “The peak of winter will be February, March and April.”

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