Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 2815 Fall 2016 | HTCinc.net Photos provided by Thompson Farm and Nursery. Now in its fourth generation of family ownership and operation, Thompson Farm and Nursery still operates with a green thumb, a savvy sense of entrepreneurship and a heart for family. Aside from being rich in history, the farm is also rich in variety. In addition to supplying a wide variety of plant material for local homeowners’ associations and other nurseries in the area, the farm currently produces tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, onions, corn, oats and potatoes. The Thompsons take pride in being adaptable and forward-thinking — characteristics that help keep the farm on top of current trends and functioning through difficult economic times. The family added a third greenhouse in 2008 to grow produce hydroponically — in essence a way of growing plants without soil. Thompson Farm and Nursery is also home to history tours, school field trips, a petting barn, event venues and much more. They even have a general store that sells everything from pumpkins, to homemade preserves, to cornstalks and concessions. But before this space morphed into the hub for family fun that it is today, the farm was a meal ticket for Julious, Amanda and their 15 children — 12 boys and three girls — most of whom remained close by for the majority of their lives. While the family now has more efficient means of travel than Julious' covered wagon, family and fresh produce remain at the core of the operation. The farm's original barn, built in 1910, remains on the property as one of Horry County's oldest structures. Even at over 100 years old, the building still serves as a gathering place to celebrate the history of the Thompson homestead. And, while the farm's bountiful past is comforting, it does not make it invulnerable to Mother Nature — the Thompsons are at the mercy of the weather just like every other agricultural enterprise. However, with a smidge of resourceful creativity and a healthy amount of grit, the farm has managed to stay afloat. During times of local economic turmoil, Thompson Farm and Nursery diversified to areas such as education. Over the years, the Thompsons have enlightened the community on the importance of locally grown vegetables and other plants, and still maintain a number of ongoing educational programs to this day. As fun as it is, students who visit the farm get more than just a field day — classes there teach students about planting, insects and life cycles of farm animals. Other educational programs have included "Snakes Alive," featuring slithering reptiles from around the globe; "Amazing Alligators," a showcase of local gators; “Animal Tracks Nature Detective” and more. And, the petting barn is undoubtedly a big hit among kids and adults alike. Another visitor favorite is the 6-acre corn maze — this year's design features a tribute to the area's very own hometown heroes and College World Series national champions, the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers!