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253. Farmer’s Market Podcast | SCA Farms | Stefan Holt | South Carolina
19th November 2018 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:11:54

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I’m excited to introduce my guest who also has a podcast called the Farmer’s Market Podcast to talk about some of the success he’s had!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m in South Carolina. I’m a local cause I’ve been her the longest, but my dad was in the Military, Stefan is a German name. I’m an army brat. My career as far as when I went to college is mainly broadcast television and into digital media and marketing. Did a stint with a fragrance company. I’m always appreciative of the experiences I’ve had and led me to be the marketing director

For the past 2 years I’ve got the bug for market farming. You can’t really count your first year. Really heavy this past year. 

So you went from pasture to following a plan of following a market farm. You are already selling at the farmer’s market, I see there’s a list of crops on your website. Tell us about the transition from pasture to producing food. 

It’s a journey. It’s not easy. I’ve always been a hard worker. If you ask people that now me, I’m a get it done kind of guy. I can have fun but I like work.

SCA Farms

farming is relatively new, 12 acres

2 acres of pasture

horses to different barn

I’m looking outside. It’s either got to have animals on it or something growing. There’s really nothing going on on this pasture

I’m a big believer in something should give back, conservation land birds or animals

had this pasture land. I believe in farming is that everything has a purpose. 

What can I do with limited equipment. I always wanted. I was so close to getting one of these big farm, tractors.

Now I really understand. I started out just doing reserach. A lot of research I was doing.

I used tarps over the winter my frist year.

let me look into some gardening or planting

got into market garden style intensive 10 inch walkways

bunch of guys online doing it market

Curtis Stone and Canadians

followed those guys

the Lean Farm

Ben Hartman

Ray Tyler out of Tennessee

I like lettuce

broadcast and now doing a farming

I’m in SC

I’m a local because Ive been here the longest

part German

dad was in the military

army brat

my career as far as when I left high school went to college


heavy into digital media and marketing

stint with a fragrance company

I’m always appreciative of the experience I have had

marketing director for a finance company

got the bug for farming

market garden style farming for the last 2 years, can’t really count the first year

say two years

I’ve always been a hard worker

I’m a get it done kind of guy

pasture for horses

SCA farms

started out

horses left to another barn

barrel racing made sense

got to do something

something growing in it

things have a purpose

watching beauty and relaxing

learned since farming

has a purpose

is kind of wasteful

turning the pasture into a productive field for crops

limited equipment

always wanted a tractor

close to get a big farm tractor

put a down payment

something fell through

selling so cheap they needed the money soon as possible

keep the money

I wish you the best

missed the opportunity to get ta big tractor

means to farm put your hands in the dirt

doing research

a lot of the research

other farmers who boot strapped it

I used tarps for over the winter

my first year

got rid of a lot of the grass

decomposed allowed the micro-organizers

I am not a believer in spraying, pesticides or putting chemicals on anything and my wife will tell you the idea of eating from the stores, I don’t know what’s been sprayed.

eating organic

knowing what Im growing

some pests

see OSEM bites

it’s about organics as your gonna get

start the organic seeds

The only thing I spray is water, that’s kind of how I started.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

I will tell you, growing up in the military you hop from place to place

we stayed on base, when I say that and even when we weren’t on base, my whole high school I spent, we were overseas in Germany in a little town

never had an experience

My dad always did little stuff around the house but my grandma had a garden in the back of her yard, it was a pretty big yard. It was as a little kid. She used to grow stuff all the time. She would get fresh blackberries. 

Made a blackberry cobbler that I loved

We didn’t spend a lot of time, she was in Clarksville, TN.

She always wore that the old school smock like a one piece and boots and that smock. She’s be in the house cooking breakfast and go out to the garden and that’s what she would wear all day.

Reminded me of old school, she had a little bit of indian in her but reminds me of 

old school farming women

  • hearty stock
  • don’t mind to get dirty

My dad does the tomato plants and all kind of things at his house in Columbia. I think it’s in the genes

now that I am doing it

I have 4 kids

after about 2 you loose track

4 kids

2 boys 2 girls

when your raising kids, it’s the same thing when you’re raising plants. A baby is defenseless. 

seed is defenseless

it’s either gonna grow or it’s not

like a little child

teach your children

become somewhat a mature plant like teenage kids, they grow up like an adult. But when you see your plant grow up

you know what it took to raise and grow your produce

There’s an attachment to that, you can share that with children


when they make a difference

You’re hoping that when you grow your vegetables or they grow out in the world that they make a difference in someone world.

philosophical answer but that’s how I feel when you’re growing stuff.

I think listeners will relate to that and that’s why were interested in that. I call my listeners green future growers because we’re interested in sustainable practices and growing a greener world.

It takes a caliber person to get out there and do the work.

the weight loss program is grow your own food

I didn’t know the

You never see it till the end, you don’t know till you see a crop come in

go out an harvest it

once you see that happen one time you have confidence you can do it again and then replicate it.

I did it with lettuce can I do it with arugula?

hey arugula works can I do it now with kale?

you start to build confidence

what seeds you’re purchasing Non-gmo, organic

your supplier

nurture that plant in order to have a bountiful harvest

Carolina farm Steward conference in durham. I’m gonna meet a lot of folks that are going to have a wide variety of beliefs on what they grow and why they grow it and how they grow it but it all boils down to people trying to grow the most good food. 

Im looking down at Mike’s minifarm. It still seems like almost one of our 2 wells is always running out. I always wonder how we are ever going to produce enough food for other people, it’s hard enough for us to grow enough for us. I think Mike has grown enough potatoes this year for us, I think he harvested 250 lbs  if that doesn’t last IDK what will. 

Kale this year, I learned with it how easy it is to grow and get a strong crop and I might not grow spinach ever again. Other things we struggle with, tomatoes are really hard. Corn is so hard in our climate, he was so close this year with a nice crop. Plus kale is so much stronger. Arugula. 

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

Several things grew really well, arugula grows here well

without a doubt I can get an arugula crop if not every week it’s pretty much every other week, it does really well in this climate. 

We’re in upstate area in S Carolina



2 hours in between, basically near Clemson (who won the national championship a couple of years here)

  • upstate
  • rich area

down from asheville

hour and a half


green ice

recommended by


Clemson University Extension program

good crops to grow in certain areas in South Carolina especially in this area.

I grow a variety of lettuce called green ice

2 different types of kale that I grow.

did the red Russian

I’m partial to a blue scotch curl

grows really well

gets really mature it really tastes great!

tastes great

I’d love to be known as the lettuce king of Lawrence county

but I don’t have an aspiration of having rows and rows of lettuce

easy at the farmer’s market who have red tomatoes

I don’t grow tomatoes necessarily, it’s not my speciality not what I want to be known for

cherry tomatoes


everybody I know can grow radishes even if you have never tried, they are very easy to grown

as long as you have some loose 1-2 inches of soil

bumper crops of radishes

We did french breakfast radishes they taste amazing.

Want to here something about radishes this year, I just happened to see this post on Megan Cain’s Creative Vegetable Gardener, is that you can saute them, and I ate so many of them this spring!

now that I am growing vegetables! 

A lot of people say I am turning into my dad

he did a lot of pickling

getting into pickling and jarring

pickle radishes

didn’t turn out very well need to figure out a recipe

Like you said, sautèing radishes I have heard of roasted radishes

roasting radishes I’m partial

salad and prepare it

took my cucumbers that I pickled this year I had them with some radishes

carrots and celery

I basically blend them up in a mixture

fine type of mixture

lay that on top of my kale

oil based vinaigrette

It’s the best salad

I can eat that till I’m blue in the face!

I’m not gonna say it’s contributed to my weight loss

I always feel like I have a full meal

It blends up the radishes, even if you are not a consumer, it’s blended so well you only get a little taste. 

I’m sure it tastes good with the pickle vinegar in there. 

In S Carolina you can go to almost any store and you see all these different relishes

Maybe it’s my German blood I love pickles

pickled herring!

IDK why I saw it when we grew up in Germany

German market selling everything!

  • fish
  • bread

lined up with people

If someone has a recipe for pickled herring please share.

great recipe

definitely post it or send it

pickling recipes

I try to keep it simple on the farm

I don’t want to complicate thing

When you complicate things it cause you to think and work more

lose energy and I’d rather put it into the plant.

Keep it simple, I always like to start small. It sounds like you started off gigantic!

planting about 2 acres

where I’m planting it’s probably about 

40 x 100’


not much but if you are planting intensive, market garden style

a 50’ row in lettuce multiple times in a season will produce a lot of lettuce.

For sure!

It will produce a lot of lettuce

You were asking how did I get from pasture to market?

the first year I had no intention of going to the market, none, zip, I