Lewis Farms is a family-owned operation managed by Loyd and Sarah Lewis. The husband and wife team have been farming for more than 40 years and sell only what they grow… and they grow plenty! This bounty is available for purchase at the roadside stand located in front of their home on Mondays through Saturdays, and at Foothills Farmers’ Market in Uptown Shelby and at the farmers’ market in Lincolnton.
Shop at the Lewis Farms stand and you’ll find almost anything you need. Their diverse product line includes strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, squash, southern peas, okra, peppers, various greens, cabbage, collards, kale, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. Loyd is an avid beekeeper, using insects as crop pollinators and offering their honey for sale.
Lewis Farms is famous for their heirloom tomatoes, grown for color and flavor instead of long shelf life. Cherokee Purple, a customer favorite, is a cultivar originating from Tennessee and reported to have been grown by the Cherokee people more than 100 years ago. The fruit has an unusual purple/red color and is beefsteak in style, with green shoulders across the top. They have a dense, juicy texture and small seeds. Their low-acid flavor is smoky/sweet, often compared to that of the ever-popular Brandywine. Growing alongside the Cherokee Purples are the more traditional red tomatoes, including the Biltmore (a customer favorite), Mountain Fresh and Romas.
Loyd and Sara provide most of the labor associated with production and sales, with assistance from a hired hand and Loyd’s nephew, Thomas Lewis. The operation is labor-intensive, and Loyd is always looking for ways to work smarter. Other than the marrying Sarah, Loyd says that one of the best moves he ever made was stopping along the roadside to watch a farmer near Chimney Rock harvest sweet potatoes. He asked the farmer about the implement that allowed him to run so quickly though the fields with his tractor, cutting the vines and turning up the potatoes along the way. Soon after Loyd returned home, he bought a 70 year-old two disk Dearborn Plow, removed the front disk and put it to work. He even bought a spare just in case the original ever wears out.
Loyd recently purchased a machine that will enable him to grow more vegetables on plastic. With this new technology, Loyd will get his crops ready for market earlier in the season, conserve irrigation water, reduce soil erosion, prevent weeds, and reduce the soiling of his lettuce and other low-growing crops that results from splashing rain. Lewis Farms also sells vegetable transplants and sweet potato plants (slips) to home gardeners and commercial growers in the spring and summer. One of the largest orders for slips was from a commercial grower in South Carolina – 20,000 of them, all pulled, counted, and bundled by hand!
Loyd and Sara take great pride in growing and selling the very best quality farm-fresh produce available anywhere, and enjoy the many friends and loyal customers they meet in the process. When you shop with Lewis Farms, you are supporting a dedicated farm family and putting something nutritious and delicious on your plate!