Celebrate Clay County: A cornucopia of agriculture history

By Archives Supervisor Vishi Garig A service of Clerk of Court and Comptroller Tara S. Green
Posted 11/22/22

CLAY COUNTY – November is a month during which we give thanks for the bounty our farmers and ranchers bestow upon us. Clay County was not too long ago a county known mainly for its farms, dairies …

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Celebrate Clay County: A cornucopia of agriculture history

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – November is a month during which we give thanks for the bounty our farmers and ranchers bestow upon us. Clay County was not too long ago a county known mainly for its farms, dairies and ranches – a literal cornucopia of fresh fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy products and livestock flowed from the county, filling tables and the bellies of many.

In the past, Orange Park was known for strawberry crops. All over the county dairies dotted the landscape with the most well-known being Gustafson’s and Foremost’s Shadowlawn Dairy. And lest we forget, the most famous agricultural experiment in Clay County, Penney Farms.

You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that, even today, Clay County has more than 400 farms of differing sizes and types: livestock, hay, timber, beekeeping, hydroponics, aquaponics, vegetables, fruits to some citrus. In 2017, the value of farm products sold in Clay County was $5 million.

Make time to visit the Amazing Grace Crop Maze this holiday season, attend the Clay County Agricultural Fair in April or visit a U-pick blueberry farm like Blackberry Hill Farm in Middleburg, Seamark Ranch in Green Cove Springs and Blu By U Blueberry Farm inh Maxville when in season. You’ll learn more about the cornucopia of products Clay County produced, both past and present.

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