Written By Kayla Knight Audette
Photos By Magazine Photographer Tori Steyne
The Bowers name is familiar to many in and around Newberry; chances are you have met them, done business with them, or enjoyed a delicious meal that included a product of their farm. But this farm family is more than early morning chores and rounding up the cows that have wandered from the pasture. The Bowers family of four includes Brandon, Sarah, and their two children; however, they are more than a traditional family of four, with extensions in the form of three Golden Retrievers, and nearly anyone who has ever crossed paths with the Bowers.
Bowers farm as it is today began in 2010 by Brandon Bowers on land that has been in his family for over 75 years. While the dream of the family farm came from Brandon’s love of the outdoors and an early start with livestock, Sarah has quickly flourished as the “Reluctant Farmer’s Wife”and together they have created a space full of love, compassion, and gratitude. Bowers Farm is located in Pomaria and prides itself on being a “local, sustainable farm producing the best food you can find for your family.” They raise a variety of livestock on the farm using responsible and sustainable farming methods in an effort to provide healthy food for families while utilizing practices that care for both the land and the animals. As Sarah phrases it in one of her blog posts, this approach to farming mimics “an animal’s natural instinct and stewarding the land you’ve been entrusted with, honored God, creator of all.”
The Bowers foster a strong sense of community and work to build and support community whenever possible. Their community spans many circles, and its endless tendrils bridge farm, faith, business, and neighborhood through conscious efforts. In today’s modern age, social media is one of the most utilized methods to connect with our communities. Sarah has found one of her passions in sharing about all things related to farm life, family, parenting, and more through her blog and associated Facebook page, titled “Confessions of a Reluctant Farmer’s Wife.” The blog offers a glimpse into their family and the things that matter most to them – and at the core – their faith. The Bowers’ strong faith and their compassion for others are evident in their farm life and are demonstrated through the way they have opened their home and hearts to guests with boundless hospitality.
Each year, the farm welcomes guests for a weekend of sharing, teaching, and connecting by serving as a host site for the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour. Bowers Farm has served as a host site since 2017. Not only are visitors able to get a glimpse of the farm and what it has to offer, but local artisans set up booths displaying and selling their creations. Each year during the tour, a visitor is sure to meet the immediate Bowers family as well as their extended family and friends that come along to help cook, give tours, answer questions, and make the weekend run smoothly.
Over the last couple of years, the Bowers have also opened their home for out-of-towners and guests traveling in campers or RVs with the ability to connect to utilities and take in the incredible sunset views from the farm. For those seeking respite or needing a quiet place to rest their bones but don’t have an RV or camper, the Bowers have recently completed a guest suite for farm getaways complete with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. The Bowers and their farm are also opened to visitors of the four-legged variety through their hosting of pets using Rover services. Through their faith community and affiliation with the ELCA, the Bowers have welcomed international students at Newberry College into their home, especially during the holidays, when the students are unable to travel back to their home countries. While the ELCA facilitated the connections, the Bowers welcomed the students into their home as members of their community.
In each act of hospitality, compassion, and graciousness, the Bowers are always serving their greater community. Their participation in the Ag + Art Tour does serve as an opportunity to grow their business, but more than that, it is a time and place to bring people together. The inclusion of local artisans helps to support their business and other small businesses in the community. By opening the farm as a place for travelers and vacationers to stay, the farm is doing its part in bringing traffic to Newberry County and highlighting all that the area has to offer in dining, shopping, and local activities.
One of the more recent and possibly most exciting ways that the Bowers are serving their local community is by nurturing the youngest of the flock. In June, Bowers Farm hosted their inaugural summer camp for children aged 3-5 years old and gave kids a chance to get hands-on learning on a real working farm. The camp was a success from launch – within three hours of registration opening, all spots were full – and fostered learning, an understanding and appreciation of farming, and bounds of summer fun!
But more than fun is fostered in the Bowers family. As Sarah shares on her blog and social media, the family is a licensed foster family, giving them the ability to open their home and family to children in the foster care system. The Bowers official licensure came through, followed quickly by their first placement, which coincided with the first week of the COVID-19 shutdown. Through one of the most difficult times for many people around the world, the Bowers family was able to serve as a safe place for a child within the South Carolina foster care system.
A community is only as strong as the people that live and work within it. Through their farm, welcoming hospitality, and their dedication to being compassionate and gracious in all things, the Bowers Family encompasses all that Newberry County has to offer.
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