Gone With the Wind
Thursday 8th of December 2011 07:49 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
More than 100 years before Kansas even became a state, the son of Major John Boone planted live oak trees in 1743, arranging them in two evenly spaced rows. It took two centuries for the massive, moss-draped branches of 88 trees to meet overhead, forming today's natural corridor at Boone Hall Plantation.
As I peered down the long dirt driveway of the plantation near Mt. Pleasant, S.C., I couldn't get the theme song from "Gone With the Wind" out of my head.
We've been celebrating Kansas' 150th birthday this year. But Kansas is just a toddler when compared to the history steeped in one of America's original 13 colonies.
Boone Hall is also one of America's oldest working, living plantations. This is the fourth home on the site, and it's only 75 years old, built in 1936.
They've been continuously growing and producing crops for more than 320 years. Once known for cotton, indigo and pecans, the plantation now operates a U-Pick farm with strawberries, tomatoes, and pumpkins, as well as many other seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Consider this: Our farm just became a Farm Bureau Century Farm a few years ago. They've been growing crops on this plantation for three times as long.
I asked a tour guide if the profits from the U-Pick operation went back into the upkeep of the home and grounds.
"What profits?" he answered.
Our visit to Boone Hall was the only rainy morning of the trip, but the moisture just added to the beauty of the gardens.