Fresh From Steve’s Farm: Sweet Corn, Beans, Peas, Catfish And More

June 30, 2009

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In 2002, Steve Hiebert and his family planted six acres of sweet corn on their Walnut Hill farm. It was the start of a booming business that now offers a variety of fruits and vegetables, and even a little fishing down on the farm.

stevesfarmfront.jpgSteve said he always wanted to farm. But the traditional crops like cotton and catfish were not appealing on his relatively small farm because it is hard to compete with cheap catfish from China or cotton from India.

“We were looking for a niche,” he said. “I was not looking at leasing more land than I already owned. I was a farmer at heart and wanted to remain a farmer. The sweet corn was what I could do.”

The idea to grow sweet corn and retail on the farm came from a friend in Arkansas. After that first year, Steve realized that specializing in produce farming was what he wanted to continue to do. Along the way, his wife suggested peas and customers requested butter beans.

This year, Steve has 30 acres of sweet corn, 20 acres of peas and 20 acres of butter beans.

steves-farm12.jpgToday, Steve’s farm is a far cry from that first six acres of corn that was hand picked, hand sorted and hand bagged. The corn is graded on a mechanical conveyor line; the butter beans are machine picked — it’s hard to find someone willing to pick butter beans, Steve said, and the beans and peas are available mechanically shelled. No more sore fingers from shelling — the peas and beans are perfectly shelled in minutes with almost no debris remaining in them.

This time of year, they are picking 70-80 bushels of peas per day, but Steve’s claim to fame is still his Steve’s Homegrown Sweet Corn.

“There is no fresher or better tasting sweet corn than corn that is picked the morning you buy it,” Steve said. “It does not spend days on a truck from California, plus there’s not all of the fuel spent to haul it. It just makes sense to get it from the local guy.”

steves-farm10.jpgSome of the produce is sold wholesale, but most is sold at retail farm fresh from the Hiebert barn in Walnut Hill. In addition to the corn, butter beans and peas, Steve’s Farm also sells cantaloupe, watermelons and other seasonal produce.

And then there’s the fishing.

Steve’s pond is open and stocked with farm raised catfish.

“It’s not just fishing; it is the experience,” Steve said. “Dad’s don’t need a new boat and a trip to the river to fish with the kids. They get tired, and they might not catch anything. But here, they love it. The kids almost always catch fish, and they always have a good time.”

Anglers can bring their own bait and tackle, or Steve “will rent you the poles, sell you the bait, clean your fish, sell you a cheap ice chest and you can head home with your fillets and your happy campers”.

Steve’s Farm and his catfish pond are located at 1201 South Highway 99 in Walnut Hill, about a mile and half off Highway 97. The farm and the catfish pond are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday until the end of September. For more information, call (850) 327-4020 or visit www.StevesFarm.net online. Steve says to call ahead if you are driving very far if you want a specific item; the corn, peas and beans can sell out quickly some days. He does take orders.

Pictured above: Some of the fresh produce available at Steve’s Farm in Walnut Hill.¬† Pictured below: An automated butter bean picker at work Monday afternoon. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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Comments

20 Responses to “Fresh From Steve’s Farm: Sweet Corn, Beans, Peas, Catfish And More”

  1. David & Helaine on March 6th, 2011 9:38 pm

    What a total treat to visit and buy from Steve and his WONDERFUL family. The corn is THE BEST and sweetest we have ever eaten. Every person we have given some to wants more and wants to know where it was grown. It is yummy, yummy, yummy.
    Also the variety of beans from pink eyed peas to butter beans and more are so fresh and delicious. If you get lucky you will happen on to okra, melons and more but these wonderful and healthy veggies go quickly.
    Even better than the produce is this warm, loving and hard, hard working family; they are are sweet as the corn!!!
    We drive from Pace but it is worth it……thanks!

  2. Carolyn Thomley on November 10th, 2010 11:15 am

    BEST CORN EVER. I go up there every year to buy corn. I always buy more bushels than the year before. Love this farm and God is surley blessing this family.
    Carolyn

  3. steve hiebert on October 3rd, 2010 9:36 pm

    We’re open 6 days a week for fishing during October yet, then we go to Friday afternoons & Saturdays, or by appointment during the winter months & early spring. Fall produce harvest is now underway.

  4. Fredericka Thompson on September 30th, 2010 11:32 pm

    What produce is available now? When does the fishing begin again. So sorry we missed the deadline for the fisthing this time. Thanks

  5. Mr. Mark on July 26th, 2010 8:40 pm

    Missed the first crop of peas, looking forward to the second season. The okra was absolutely divine, and the corn “handed down from the heavens”. I am looking forward to coming back season after season. Thank you Steve and team, I personally want to tell just how integral farming is, and also I value all producers as it is a 24 hr labor intensive job and/or hobby (in my case). Much Appreciation Team Steve, I am ever more thankful and supportive of any “Producer”. See you in a few months.

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Mark “Doc”

  6. larry on July 9th, 2010 2:50 pm

    Man the fishing out there is wonderful within a hours and a half i caught up to thirty pounds of fish thats some good fishing… u will never get to put your frod down and the people out there are just wonderful and they make sure u have what u need… i recommend everyone to come out there…

  7. Rhonda on February 23rd, 2010 11:40 am

    For any of you who have never experienced the fishing at Steve’s. Let me tell you, my husband and I have been going there over the past year and everyone is so nice and friendly and you catch some of the biggest darn fish I have ever seen. There has not been a time that we have went and not came home with a cooler full of catfish. The boys that work out there and clean the fish are just as nice and friendly too. Just a bunch of good ole country boys!! We will see you guys soon.

  8. walls ray on November 23rd, 2009 10:43 am

    i have enjoyed taking my family and friens to steves to fish the fishing is great and the taste is even better my g kids love it the cost is minimal compared to the results which is maximal

  9. Robert Murphy on August 5th, 2009 6:54 am

    The best corn and vegetales I have ever eaten and the best catfishing ever. If you can’t catch fish here, you can’t catch fish.

  10. an observer on July 3rd, 2009 12:16 pm

    are they going to be open on the 4th at all???

  11. sharon on July 2nd, 2009 9:46 pm

    For whoever is interested these are the prices for pinkeye-purple hull peas – $19 / bu. unshelled and $24 shelled.
    The green butterbeans are $21 unshelled and $26 shelled. Speckled butterbeans are $27/bu. and are only sold shelled.
    I work at Steve’s Farm and it is an amazing place!

  12. Debra Garrett on July 1st, 2009 8:41 pm

    I live in Louisiana and have been coming there for 5 yrs. This is the best corn I’ve ever had. It is never too dry and always so ever sweet. The beans and peas are excellent.

    Going tomorrow.

  13. Jacob A. Garrett on July 1st, 2009 1:41 pm

    we live in Milton and we always go to mr steve’s house. my daddy is good friends with mr steve and i love to visit to watch the tractor. everybody should go to mr steve’s farm it is fun and always full of good food. mr steve is a good man.

  14. Kathy on July 1st, 2009 11:03 am

    Thanks NorthEscambia.com. I have heard of Steve’s for several years and have asked and asked to get directions or enough info to go there. Thanks to you I have all the information I need. We are expecting company this month and plan to take them there.

  15. an observer on June 30th, 2009 2:06 pm

    How much are the peas and butter beans per bushel?

  16. Michelle Cayson on June 30th, 2009 1:05 pm

    We love this place. Just wish we could go more often.

  17. Elizabeth on June 30th, 2009 9:19 am

    Since the corn we get out of our own garden is fantastic, we’ve never had it. But we bought some butter beans from Steve. Like he said, we don’t plant butter beans, being one of those sorts who doesn’t like the back breaking job of picking them. They were a bit on the pricier side, but WELL worth it. They were good quality and nearly 100% free from shells. They look like they came from a home garden, not a huge farm.

  18. Gerri on June 30th, 2009 9:14 am

    I was amazed at how clean the butter beans and peas were! There was not even a small handfull of shell left out of a whole bushel, and virtually no bug stings either. On top of that the taste was great. Sure beats what you get in the grocery stores that is already processed and frozen.

  19. Casandra on June 30th, 2009 8:26 am

    Having lived in Iowa and tasted some of the best corn there is, I was skeptical when I first tried Steve’s sweet corn. But let me tell you, this is the best that I’ve ever had, bar none. We even ate it raw! Can’t wait to make a trip over to Walnut Hill this summer!

  20. Nikki on June 30th, 2009 6:41 am

    Congrats Steve and your family on how you have grown over the years. Best corn, peas and beans we’ve ever had!!!! I would recomend all of it to anyone.





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