From Pumpkins to Flower Pickin'
If You Build It, They Will Come-- A Dream that Became Reality
by Campbell Sandlin, Sweet Grown Alabama Intern
July 7, 2022
The Bennetts started their journey in agritourism 13 years ago when Jim Bennett, current owner of Bennett Farms, had a vision of building something for future generations to enjoy. This 'Field of Dreams' is no longer a vision, but a reality in Cleburne County. Bennett Farms has created a legacy that will live on for many years to come. Jim and his wife Lexi have created a beautiful life on their farm and have two children that keep the pair busy.
Known for creating family experiences like no other, Bennett Farms has raised the bar for agritourism destinations. In October, Bennett Farms has become a staple for fall fun. They offer many experiences for the family to enjoy including school field trips and weekend pumpkin patch visits. From a petting zoo to hayrides there is something for every age. Not only does Bennett Farms create lasting memories, but you also leave the farm feeling like part of the family. Customers come from Birmingham, Atlanta and surrounding cities each year.
Bennett Farms is sure to have you planning your next trip before you leave the property. Luckily, there is no need to wait until October.
Even though fall preparation and farm management is a year-round job, Jim and Lexi cannot wait an entire year to invite guests back to the farm. Bennett Farms hosts special events such as concerts and rodeos, and also plants u-pick flowers for guests to enjoy during summer months.
Expanding to include summer agritourism has allowed the farm to provide more opportunities for the community to learn about agriculture. It also allows the Bennetts to have another touchpoint with customers during the year.
“Summer agritourism helps broaden our customer base,” said Jim. “It helps people not forget about other offerings we have throughout the year.”
They grow rows of wildflowers, zinnias and sunflowers available for $10 per Bennett Farms souvenir cup container.
Filling up multiple cups of flowers will work up quite the appetite. Another aspect of the farm Jim and Lexi take pride in (and what keeps many customers returning year after year) is the food. The food at Bennett Farms is all cooked onsite over a wood burning stove. Guests can indulge in barbecue nachos, barbecue sandwiches, vanilla soft serve ice cream, pork skins, fried pies and more.
With the help of Sweet Grown Alabama, the Bennetts are able to promote their agritourism operation to an even wider scope of Alabama consumers. In addition to an online searchable database where consumers can find a variety of local farms and products, Sweet Grown Alabama does special promotions to highlight agritourism.
“Sweet Grown Alabama has been a great asset to help promote not only Bennett Farms, but every other farm to broaden the knowledge of agritourism,” said Jim.
A growing industry in the state of Alabama, agritourism operations include pumpkin patches and u-pick flower farms like the Bennetts, but also berry u-picks, animal encounters and much more.
"The average consumer is five generations removed from the family farm," said Sweet Grown Alabama Director Ellie Watson. “Visiting an Alabama agritourism operation is an excellent way to learn about farming in our state, expose your children to agriculture and enjoy time outdoors. You also get the opportunity to meet your farmer, ask him or her questions about how they farm, and maybe even help harvest your food or other products.”
Bennett Farms is located at 1073 County Road 13 in Heflin. Click here to learn more about Bennett Farms and plan your visit.
To learn more about Sweet Grown Alabama and find other agritourism operations, visit SweetGrownAlabama.org.