If you venture outside of Marietta, Ohio approximately five minutes, you’ll see a sign for Stacy Family Farm. The Farm, located in Reno, Ohio attracts visitors from all over who are looking to pick fresh strawberries.
Stacy Family Farm has a long history that dates back to 1899; when Albert and Lina Frost Stacy purchased a farm outside of Marietta for $2,400. During this time, the farm was used for mainly dairy production and orchards. Merle and Wilma Stacy were the next generation to run the farm, followed by Ralph and Joan Stacy. Ralph and Joan had three children, Bill, Beth and Bruce. Together, they expanded the farm and focused on producing crops that could be shipped to larger cities.
“You can see it build from one generation to the next, my grandfather started off with a team of horses and it progressed from there,” Bill Stacy said.
Bill and Janet Stacy, along with children Amanda, Todd, and Tyler, are the current generations on the farm. While the kids all have grown and are pursuing careers, they are still around to help on the farm when needed. Amanda went into agricultural law, Todd graduated from Ohio State ATI and still farms and Tyler is a welder.
“Even though some of the Stacys have gone onto other careers, growing up on a farm has helped setting goals, and being driven and disciplined in life” Bill said.
Bill and Janet began selling strawberries on the farm in Oak Grove in 1995. Since then, they have purchased the ODNR State Tree Nursery in Reno, Ohio, where they are currently growing and selling strawberries. In the future, the Stacy’s plan to sell more produce, including blueberries, raspberries and brambles.
Stacy Family Farm allows customers to pick their own strawberries (U-pick) and also have pre-picked strawberries available for purchase. The Farm is home to 92,000 strawberry plants.
In addition to the public coming to pick berries, Stacy Farm also welcomes school field trips. The idea for field trips came about when Todd, Bill and Janet’s son who is now 24, was in first grade. He was the only farm kid in his class and they had a “dress cool day” at school. Todd wore his Carhartt overalls and boots and was voted the coolest dressed in the class.
Janet was amazed, since this was a usual outfit for a day on the farm. She contacted Todd’s teacher and asked if they could bring the kids out to the farm to see how everything worked.
“The teacher said she thought I would never ask. She was so excited at the opportunity,” Janet Stacy said.
The field trips started with Harmar, then Marietta City schools, and then kept spreading. New Concord is the newest school to come to the farm.
When the kids visit the farm, they learn about the history of Stacy Farm and what happens on the farm on a daily basis. The kids have the opportunity to see a colony of bees, and learn all about the bees and why they are important to strawberries. The kids also learn about what weather is best to grow strawberries. The kids always leave with a container of their own strawberries that they pick themselves.
“We have a saying here, ‘The greener the meaner, the redder the better!’ so that the kids remember what color berries to pick,” Janet Stacy said.
Stacy Family Farm sells their produce at Farmer’s Markets, including the River City Farmer’s Market and the Farmer’s Market on Front Street.
“I think it is a great opportunity” Janet said, with regards to selling their produce at the Front St. Farmer’s Market.
The Stacy’s value the support from the public, whether it is purchasing produce at a Farmer’s Market, sending kids on a field trip, or stopping by the Farm.
“We appreciate the support of the community, without it none of this would be possible,” Bill said.
The Stacy’s enjoy working on the farm and the rewards that come with the job.
“The most rewarding part of the job is seeing families come in and make memories that last,” she said.
If you would like to make a memory with your family at Stacy Family Farm, they are located at 27515 OH -7, Marietta, OH 45750 and open Monday – Sunday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. If you are looking to pick berries, you should check their Facebook Page for the best picking times in accordance to the weather (Search Stacy Family Farm). While strawberry season is coming to an end, the blue berries will be ripe soon enough!