|In 1899 Albert and Lina Frost Stacy purchased a 24 acre farm outside Marietta, Ohio for $2400. Five generations later, that same 24 acre tract, now known as the Stacy Family Farm, is home to the most delicious strawberries and white sweet corn in the region. When Albert and Lina purchased the farm its primary use was dairy and orchards. The farm experienced many changes over the next hundred years.|
|A generational change left Merle and Wilma Stacy running the farm, with children Ralph, Leo and Paul. Barns were built out of wood that came from trees in Lowell, Ohio and floated down the Muskingum River directly to the Stacys.|
|Another generational change led to Ralph and Joan Stacy managing the original 24 acres plus an additional 7 acre farm they purchased nearby with children Bill, Beth and Bruce. The business changed from mainly dairy to truck crops. Generations joined forces as Ralph and Bill increased production on the farm. A packing shed was built to send produce to larger cities, such as Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Over 100 acres of additional land was rented to expand the crop production. Once production was in full force, tough economic times set in, cutting production back to the farmland owned by the Stacys.|
The farm remained in production with Bill, now known as Farmer Stacy, and wife Janet running the operation. Truck crops, such as corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peppers, and squash, remained the main source of income.
In the 1990s, the Stacys learned a way to grow strawberries that was not common in Ohio – plasticulture. After visiting farms and talking with experts in Virginia and North Carolina, Bill and Janet, along with kids Amanda, Todd and Tyler, decided to attempt plasticulture strawberries in southeast Ohio for a minimum of five years. 1995 marks the first year the Stacys sold strawberries on the farm in Oak Grove. They began with a single acre of plants and to accommodate Bill and Janet’s off the farm jobs, they opened to the public from 3:00pm – 8:00pm.The Stacys have continued to learn and improve their methods of raising and selling strawberries. In 2000, the Stacy Family Farm received a Century Farm Award from the State of Ohio. They attend the North Carolina Strawberry Expo every year and were recently recognized and asked to present as a showcase farm at the expo in 2007.
In 2010, the Stacys now have 5 acres of strawberries, more definitive hours, advertising methods, manpower, and even offer educational tours to school children that come from up to 75 miles away to visit the farm.
In 2012, the Stacys purchased the ODNR State Tree Nursery located at 27515 State Route 7 with plans to expand. The first step was moving all of the strawberries to the new location and adding 4 acres of blueberries. Crops to come in the future include blackberries, raspberries, brambles, and more.
The future of Stacy Family Farm looks very bright as the next generation continues to work together, all pursuing careers that are an asset to the farm. Amanda graduated law school and is currently practicing Ag Law in the Columbus Area. Todd graduated from OSU ATI and has returned to the farm working full time and also off the farm full time. Tyler has graduated high school and is pursuing a career in welding.