For three centuries, members of the Stewart clan have farmed in Laurens County, a tradition that continues today at Stewart Farms, as three generations of family work to operate the bustling farm and nursery. Seasonal events throughout the year bring visitors to the farm to experience its pastoral setting and taste the products of its fertile soil.
Springtime welcomes the arrival of bright, juicy strawberries, to be picked by visitors or purchased in a gallon bucket to make jam, pies, and sacrifices to prevent the wrath of Strawberry Shortcake. Blackberries crowd trellises in the warmer months, and cantaloupe, corn, tomatoes, squash, and watermelon grow in multitudes throughout the summer. At the end of September, the farm’s 5-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch draws jack-o’-lantern carvers out, and its corn Maize tests the navigational skills of explorers young and old. And in the winter, the farm offers a large selection of farm-grown Christmas poinsettias.
The Generous Garden Project works to combat hunger in local communities by growing a steady supply of fresh produce, which it donates to local ministries and food banks. Volunteers plant and harvest vegetables in a 4.5-acre garden in Greenville, and share their skills by teaching others how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Local farmers also call upon The Generous Garden Project’s volunteers to glean crops that would otherwise be left to rot in the fields or be plowed after a harvest.
Ax-prentices can visit the Greenville Guitar Academy—which is under the guidance of owner Stephen Williams and his experienced staff—to wail, shred, riff, and strum their way from atonal ignorance to the heights of music nirvana. Half-hour private lessons are available for any experience level. Secure from acoustic interruption in one of the academy’s practice spaces, novice players and road-hardened rockers alike can perfect their jazz, blues, metal, slide, and other string styles with guidance from seven personable and knowledgeable instructors.
A local cultural stalwart for more than 60 years, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra now proudly boasts world-class wand-wielder Edvard Tchivzhel as its conductor and music director. During the Grand Finale concert, Tchivzhel will lead skilled musicians through the melodic maze of Dvorak's Symphony no. 9 and Mussorgsky's engaging Pictures at an Exhibition, which synthesizes the aural and the visual better than a loud tropical shirt. Audience members in the upper balcony seats may check out free MP3 players proffering a wealth of concert information to additionally enliven listening.
Designed by 1997 PGA Championship—winner Davis Love III, The Patriot Golf Course spans 7,045 yards of lush, rolling terrain flanked by the docile waters of Lake Greenwood. Rounds begin and end at the faux–brick ruins that surround the first tee and 18th green, which replicate a Revolutionary War fort—a tribute to the fact that the war's first land battle was waged nearby and a solemn reminder to modern golfers never to submit to the tyranny of chronic slices and snap-hooks.
Diamond Hill Mine sets visitors loose on 5 to 6 acres of dumps and spoil piles, challenging them to unearth the property's cache of quartz crystals and pieces of amethyst. During outings, explorers use their own rakes, shovels, and tools while excavating the land, or while trying to find un-dug veins, where some crystals have gone undisturbed for more than 400 million years. Every piece found on the property is authentic, meaning the mine hasn't been planted with artificial crystals or with forgotten hidden engagement rings.