Mike’s farm is a family oriented business. Native to North Carolina, the business specializes in products from the region. It focuses on Agro-Tourism. This means it produces fresh farm produce to sell and use in their other enterprises. Mike’s Farm is involved in pumpkin picking, hayrides, and Christmas trees. It also farms many other crops.
Jess L. Lowe was a native of Ozark in Arkansas. His service as a marine made him travel to Camp Lejeune, where he met Lucille Bryan. Lucille was a local of Back Swamp in North Carolina. The two fell in love and got married. They settled in Back Swamp, as it was Lucille’s home community.
The couple bought a piece of land next to Lucille’s home and made it into a small tobacco farm. Tobacco was the main crop on the farm. They farmed and sold it to earn a living. The proceeds from the farm helped them raise their four children. In addition to tobacco, the farm had corn and vegetables for everyday use. The animals on the farm included;
· Pet bulldog
When the children grew, each went their own way. They got jobs and moved out of the farm. The farm remained with little care until the mid-1980s. Mike, one of the children, started working on the farm as a part time hobby. He was joined by his wife, Theresa. Instead of tobacco, Mike and Theresa grew Christmas trees. The farm began to see some success. This made Mike and Theresa decide to work on the farm full-time.
They diversified the farm into other businesses. They added a small gift shop, a full service bakery and eventually a restaurant. They named the farm Mike’s Farm and added an animal petting zoo for the children who visit.
Mike’s Farm displays incredible Christmas light show during the festive season. It has attracted many to view the lights and hang around the farm. There is a family atmosphere that creates a sense of belonging to visitors. It is similar to the home that Jess and Lucille built for their children.
Mike’s Farm has a section dedicated to strawberries and pumpkins. This is the pickin patch. It has been designed for the best of these crawling plants.
1. Strawberry patch
Strawberries picking season is between early April and early May. During the spring, the farm allows visitors to pick their own strawberries. There are also those that are already picked and ready for sale.
2. Pumpkin patch
Visitors can walk through the fields to pick the perfect pumpkin. They are picked in October.
This is probably the most popular event at the farm. It is available for both children and adults. Hayrides are relaxing rides around the farm. In October, the hayrides stop at the Pumpkin Patch so that visitors can take their pick. The rides are charged at $2 for everyone above 3 years old.
The pumpkins are charged at $0.69 per pound. There is a $3 minimum at the farm.
Hayrides are offered at the following times;
· Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
· Thursdays and Fridays: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
· Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There is a hayride offered during the Christmas light show. It is available each day of the week from late November to the end of December. The farm closes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day then reopens.
Onslow County’s original family style restaurant offers many delicacies. The recipes incorporate ingredients straight from Mike’s Farm. The dishes are served family style with a touch of country.
The tables are large and spacious. They are paired with comfortable rocking chairs on the front porch. These allow you to sit comfortably as you wait for your order.
The restaurant’s walls are decorated with pictures, trinkets and local antiques. They depict the County’s history and pride. The menu has many North Carolina favorites, including;
· Macaroni and cheese
· Country ham biscuits
· Pork loin and gravy
· Mashed potatoes
· Green beans
The meals are prepared with utmost care to resemble North Carolina’s recipes. They are charged at reasonable prices, with a full meal being less than $20.
The restaurant is open from Thursday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It remain closed between Sunday and Wednesday.
The Gift Shop
Each season brings different products to the gift shop. There are items relevant to each season. The gift shop offers gifts for all ages that are suitable for each occasion. The items are unique as they keep changing in each season.
It is open from Thursday to Saturday. Operating time is between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. Like the restaurant, the gift shop is closed from Sunday to Wednesday.
Mike’s Farm offers educational tours to students. The tours involve an old fashioned hayride. This follows the students around the farm, learning about nature and the crops grown. Students are taught about the farm and what goes into maintaining it. They are educated in farming practices that are relevant to each crop.
The tour includes harvesting strawberries and pumpkins. It also includes learning to make apple cider from scratch in the old cider mill. The Dream Big Motivational Magic Show is hosted by Chris and Neal. It is a great chance for children to receive encouragement.
The cost for each student is $10. This charge is the same for each chaperone as well. Teachers and teacher’s aides access the tour for free.
Mike’s Farm is a family based business that takes into account the community’s needs. It has incorporated North Carolina’s farm products into a multi-faceted business. The farm offers learning opportunities to students and nourishment to the community. The food at the restaurant is fresh and locally sourced. Eating at the restaurant gives travelers a sense of home.
The farm offers a gorgeous space to host events. There is enough space secluded for holding events. You can have celebrations, including birthdays, weddings and group cookouts. Mike’s Farm is a great example of staying true to yourself and offering service to your community.