One Family Growing Sweet Berries and Family Memories

Rome, GA |

Rows of ripe strawberries, beautiful skies, and family time – things you can find on U-pick operations across the state, just like this one, LCCL Strawberry Farm in Rome. A strawberry operation that was started by the McDonald family more than two-decades ago in an effort to create a place for families to make memories.

“You can see here we got three and a half acres on this side of the road. On the other side of the road, we have five acres. We started with a half acre those 22 years ago. It was the idea from some family friends back home that grow strawberries at Copeland Strawberry Farm. So, we did that. First year, we started with a half acre, and we’ve just been fortunate enough to grow over the years and been blessed. And some people say, my wife might say it’s a curse sometimes because we both have jobs and it gets a little hectic out here during strawberry season, but we’ve been blessed and it’s been a good venture for us,” says Lance McDonald, Owner of LCCL Strawberry Farm.

This year is their twenty second crop, and as you can see, they’re already off to a great start as they’ve got tons of ripe berries that are just waiting to be picked.

“We usually start going around April the 10th, usually once middle of April hits, we’re pretty wide open and we go pretty strong through the end of May. Toward the end of May and into the 1st of June, we will still have berries, but it starts to slow down, and we may have to close some days and let them ripen back up to have enough for people to come in and pick, but that’s usually the normal season for us; is second week of April into the first week of June,” says McDonald.

Over the years, they’ve managed to build quite the name for themselves, as he says they have people that come from all over to pick berries at their farm.

“We’ve been blessed and fortunate to have the support of the community. We have people out of Atlanta and the Chattanooga area that come down here to our farm and pick. It’s just great and it’s rewarding for us. When you get those good compliments and people say thank you for allowing us to come to your farm, you can’t get a better compliment than that,” says McDonald.

However, as you would imagine, it takes a lot of hard work to manage an operation like this one, but McDonald says it most certainly is a labor of love as they enjoy meeting those that come out to the farm to make memories with their families.

“We have a lot of good people that help us out here, and we’ve been blessed in that situation to have these people to come out and help us. We’ve had people that’s been with us for many years. The other; there is spending time with family and getting to meet new people. We meet somebody new and different every day. It’s just been a great experience and we’ve had a lot of fun with it. It’s just a great experience for children to come out, some children that come from the city, they may not know what it takes to grow a strawberry or even know where a strawberry comes from, but for them to come out here and be together as a family and enjoy our farm, it just means a lot to us,” says McDonald.

By: John Holcomb