Pumpkins, goats, homemade cobblers, North Carolina apples, fresh muscadines, preserves and jelly – nothing says fall like a day at the farm!
When it comes to local farms, Ingram’s Family Farm in High Point is one of the best places to spend an autumn day. Ingram’s, owned and operated by husband and wife, Dean and Rhonda Ingram, is known for their strawberries, which they have been growing for more than 40 years. And while we love spending an early summer day picking the sweet, natural treats at Ingram’s, their fall experience is equally as magical.
On Saturdays, Dean and Rhonda gear up the tractor for pumpkin patch picking. When you head to their patch, you can select your own gourd to take home. Monday through Friday, Ingram’s country store is open from 12pm to 6pm. There you can purchase fresh produce, homemade jellies, jams, and preserves, and more. If your sweet tooth needs a little treat, their dessert barn offers ice creams, pies, and cobblers. And for the little ones (or the big “kids” who just love furry friends!), the animal barn offers the chance to pet goats, lambs, and rabbits, and see a variety of turkeys, chickens, and even peacocks.
While Ingram’s Family Farm is enjoyed by our community seasonally, the Ingram family doesn’t take a season off at the farm. In fact, the farm has been operated in High Point since 1856. Dean Ingram, whose family has owned the farm for six generations, grew up in High Point, and married another High Pointer, Rhonda. In 2007, Rhonda left her job in a research lab so that she and Dean could focus on the farm full-time. Their daughters, Casie, Mikaela, and Lauren, are all still part of the farm operations.
“All of our girls are still involved in the farming in different aspects,” Rhonda says. “We didn’t run them off!”
The term “family farm” isn’t just a catchy name at Ingram’s; it's truly what they have worked to cultivate – from their own family’s involvement, to the multi-generational families who create memories year after year at Ingram’s.
“We have people coming back as an adult who came out to the farm as a school child, now bringing their kids to pick strawberries,” says Rhonda. “It’s a tradition.”
She notes that over the years, the farm has grown from simply a producer of crops to a purveyor of experiences. More and more, the Ingrams heard their customers wanting to truly experience the farm. From strawberry picking in the spring and summer, to pumpkin and muscadine picking in the fall, Ingram’s continues to find ways to reconnect their customers to the crops we consume.
“There is a magic in seeing something grow,” Rhonda says. “You’re putting seeds in the ground, and it’s faith. We’re planting strawberries now, and you’re not going to pick them till next May. You stick something in the ground. You watch it grow, you watch it produce, and you watch it provide."
Often, schools in the area take field trips out to Ingram’s to give students an inside look into where their food comes from. Rhonda has even had social studies classes come out, in order to connect students to the understanding of how grocery stores are just one small part of the food supply chain.
“You don’t manufacturer food; you grow it,” Rhonda tells students. “Where is that growth happening? We connect them with the idea that they can grow something too.”
While the Ingrams could grow their manufacturer process to distribute their produce nationally, Rhonda says they don’t want to sit behind desks processing paperwork and order forms all day.
“We do it for a living, but we also do it for a livelihood,” she explains, joking that a farmer never calculates their hourly worth because the work takes place from sun up to sun down. “We are still a part of the process... I’m a planter. I’m a picker. If we lose that connection with it, we’ve overgrown what we like to do.”
As Rhonda explains it, their family never wants to lose their intimate connection to the process of growing and providing good, sustainable food for our local community.
“It’s exciting to know that you are doing more than just what you need for yourself, but you’re providing an opportunity for somebody to have something good and healthy to eat,” she adds.
Because at Ingram’s Family Farm, farming has always been about connection – connecting to their crop, connecting to their community, and connecting their customers to simpler times.
“I hope our customers experience a little bit of throwback... to simple fun and reconnecting with basic values,” Rhonda says of visitors to the farm. “That’s what visiting a farm does. It takes them back to a time they don’t even remember.”
During the pandemic, the Ingrams say they were very fortunate to still have a phenomenal season of produce sales. But they saw firsthand just how much their farm runs on relationships.
“Last year broke a lot of traditions and broke a lot of hearts,” Rhonda says. “Not having the families in the fields picking, the noise of the kids... it was a deafening silence.”
This year, however, the Ingrams have enjoyed seeing families back in strawberries fields, and now out in the pumpkin patch, harvesting four decades of family memories homegrown together.
Want to visit Ingram’s Family Farm? Explore their farm Monday through Friday from 12 PM to 6 PM, and enjoy visits to the pumpkin patch every Saturday until the end of the month. Located at 6121 Riverdale Dr., High Point, NC.
Discover our High Points,
The HPD Team