Roger Frye & John Slayton
Grassy Creek Blueberry Patch – Grant Award: $6,000
“The grant kept us in business. We could not afford to buy the new plants and come out ahead.”
~ John Slayton
Roger has grown blueberries since 1965, a family trade starting with his grandfather, which he would like to pass on to his two sons. John assists him with maintaining the four-acre patch. It is in disrepair due to age, and Roger and John have plans for extensive pruning and renovation.
With the WNC AgOptions award, they will purchase 200 blueberry plants (the first portion of 1,000 plants to be replaced), a freezer to store any berries not sold that day, and a covered shed & picnic tables for customers to enjoy the afternoon.
They have market support from Walter Harrill with Imaldris Farms (2009 WNC AgOptions recipient in Buncombe County), who uses their berries for value-added processing. Roger and John will also increase the advertising for their U-Pick operation.