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Washington Farms to stop growing strawberries after this year

"Change is hard, but Donna and I have reached the age where we desire to simplify our lives and slow down a bit," said John Washington.

For many families in northeast Georgia, strawberry season at Washington Farms is something to look forward to this year.

But the owners announced on Facebook this will be the last year they will grown strawberries at both of their farm locations. 

"Change is hard, but Donna and I have reached the age where we desire to simplify our lives and slow down a bit," said John Washington.

The family has been growing strawberries for the last 26 years. Families would come to the farm picking the fruit - many of them making it a tradition. 

"After our first week of picking strawberries this year, I walked into our bedroom and my wife, Donna, was sitting on our bed with huge tears running down her cheeks," John Washington recalled. "I thought something terrible had happened. When I asked what was wrong, she said that she was writing her letter to all of you and it was just very hard and sad. It was strange because I was feeling the same thing."

Although this will be the farm's last year for strawberries there, they still plan on keeping other activities around like the pumpkin patch and corn maze. 

"We have had so many wonderful memories, which is why this is so hard for us. It just breaks our hearts to see this chapter in our lives come to a close. It has been our privilege to serve all of you, your families, and this community through our strawberry business," John Washington wrote in the post. "We are grateful for the opportunity."

Others are recounting stories with the Washingtons underneath the Facebook post, which has been shared more than 1,000 times and has hundreds of comments.

"Our oldest son is 22 & we started bringing our family to pick strawberries when he was a toddler," Susan Camp Hayes shared.

"My baby boy is now a preteen," said Brooke Wyatt Hubbard. "This was one of the few things in all the chaos of life we could do to simplify and get back to nature. Get back to what counts. Thank you for all the memories."

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