In 1994, we purchased property at 2700 Holland Road in Apex, NC. At that time the only thing here was a soybean field surrounded by trees. We got busy. We built the entrance and the road coming in. We put up some out buildings and had power and phone lines installed.
In February 1996, our family of five moved from a Cary neighborhood to the country. We knew we needed to find a way for the property to pay for itself. That's when Karma decided it might be fun to grow strawberries. She had great childhood memories of her family picking strawberries by the trunk full in southern Illinois, where she grew up. She wondered if they could grow strawberries here at their farm and help make great memories for other families. We attended our first Strawberry Expo in November 1996. There was certainly a lot to learn and a lot of equipment needed that we didn't have. We also learned it takes lots and lots of water for growing and also frost protecting strawberries. We got busy again. We dug an irrigation pond and put in under ground water lines. With absolutely no farming experience, we placed our first plants in the ground in October 1997 and harvested our first crop of strawberries in April 1998. We have been growing ever since.
April of 2018 will mark our 20th year of growing strawberries! We owe much of our success to what we learned through the North Carolina Strawberry Growers Association, great mentors, and a group of dedicated professors at NC State University.
We are quite proud of what we have accomplished. Karma was the first woman to be named "Grower of the Year" by the North Carolina Strawberry Growers Association, in 2005. Buckwheat Farm was named "Best of the Triangle" by Independent Weekly, in 2008. We were also featured on the farm tour for the Southeast Strawberry Expo, in 2011.
Currently, Karma is Treasurer for the North Carolina Strawberry Growers Association. We are also proud members of NC Farm Fresh, Goodness Grows in NC, NC Blueberry Council, NC Adopt-A-Highway Program, NC State Beekeepers Association and Wake County Beekeepers Association.
We look forward to meeting you and having you enjoy a little country farm, where Apex is growing all around!
Jim and Karma Lee