In 1946 Sam Garner purchased a portion of this land and started farming tobacco, corn and soybean. All these crops were sent to the market. They also tended to pigs, chickens and a large vegetable garden for their own consumption.
Sam Garner’s son, Clayton Sr., and Clayton’s wife, Terry, worked on the farm and in February of 1967 their house on the farm was completed. They had three children: Sharon, Sheila, and Clayton Jr. All have been involved in one way or the other here on the farm.
In 1980, the farm passed to the next generation and Clayton and Terry continued to farm tobacco, corn and soybean.
In 1982, Terry started selling produce under a tree in her yard and by 1986 they had two small stands located on the property. One is what is the main produce stand today (but only a portion of it stood at that time) and the other was used in front of what was the U-pick strawberry field. Folks would come from all over the area to pick strawberries for canning and freezing and the tradition still stands today.
Over the next two decades, Clayton Sr. and Terry would purchase and lease more farm land and continue to farm tobacco, corn and soybean for the market and a wide variety of seasonal vegetables for the produce stand. Terry also grew and sold fresh cut flowers.
After 58 years of farming tobacco, the Garners received the government buy-out and discontinued the tobacco fields in 2004.
The 3rd generation Garner siblings have all had their involvement with the farm.
Sharon tends to the Sunflowers, Zinnas and Gladiolas sold at the produce stand.
Sheila built and opened the Garden Patch Kitchen in 2007, specializing in farm to table pies, cakes, sweet breads, quiches and an assortment of jams, jellies and canned tomatoes.
Clayton Jr. started working the fields when he was 12 years old and in the early 1990’s started his hot house tomatoes. Today he and his wife, Sherri, tend to all aspects of the 300-plus acres of farm land, Garden Patch Kitchen and produce stands in Newport, New Bern, and Beaufort Farmers Market.
At the beginning of 2015 Garner Farms welcomed the new addition of The Plant Stand & Garner Landscaping owned by long time friends Greg and Jackie Garner. This provides a one-stop shop for fresh produce and beautiful flowers, plants and trees.
Both businesses then joined forces to bring the Easter event on the farm and Garners Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.