Indigo Farms owners worried Carolina Bays extension project could eliminate farm

Indigo Farms owners worried Carolina Bays extension project could eliminate farm
The owners of Indigo Farms are worried. (Source: Patrick Lloyd WMBF)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) - The Carolina Bays Extension project could potentially provide many conveniences for drivers throughout both South and North Carolina. The project would extend S.C. 31 from S.C. 9 in Horry County to U.S. 17 in Brunswick County.

The proposed plans, however, have the owners of a farm at the state line worried.

For generations, Indigo Farms has served people near the Brunswick County and Horry County line.

“It’s been here over a hundred years,” farm owner Sam Bellamy said. “My grandfather actually farmed this piece of land here, and my great grandfather was here before that.”

Bellamy and his family don’t just sell the fruits and vegetables from their farm at their produce market. They’re also very involved in the community, holding strawberry pickings and even hosting a race between the Grand Strand Runners Club and the Wilmington Runners Club, which is known as the Battle at the Border.

“I’ve tried hard to make people aware of the value of agriculture,” Bellamy said.

However, as time goes on, the Carolina Bays Parkway northern extension project becomes closer to becoming a reality. It’s a reality Bellamy and his daughter Sallie Lun are worried could destroy their livelihood.

“If they take a large portion of the farm, that could completely eliminate the farm,” Lun said.

Five out of the nine potential routes for the Carolina Bays Parkway extension would go directly through Indigo Farms.

“And then there wouldn’t be a business,” Lun said. “That would be my biggest concern is that we didn’t have a farm when they were done.”

Indigo Farms prides itself on being the only certified organic grower in Brunswick and Horry counties. However, if S.C. 31 eliminates the farm, the father/daughter team are worried for what would happen next.

“It’s not like a regular business where you can set up somewhere else,” Lun said. “Once your land is gone, your farm is gone.”

A public input meeting will be held Wednesday at the VFW post, located at 111 S.C. 57 North in Little River, from 4 to 7 p.m. Representatives from both the South Carolina and North Carolina departments of transportation will listen to the public’s thoughts on the proposed plans.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.