WARNER ROBINS -- On U.S. 41 between Warner Robins and Perry is sort of a giant outdoor produce department.
It just takes a little more work than pulling items out of a bin and putting them in a cart.
Garden Fresh Farm, a pick-your-own vegetable farm, started three years ago and business has been steadily growing, said Stephen Feitshans, who co-owns the business with Ande Thompson.
They started at the right time, riding a nationwide trend of people turning more toward locally grown food.
Near daily rainfall in recent weeks has hurt the crop this year, Feitshans said, with some of it flat out drowned in places. But on Saturday plenty of people were out combing through rows, picking tomatoes, okra, peppers, peas and beans.
Tony Stephens and his girlfriend Keely Young were making their first visit Saturday, and had a bucket full of okra and peppers. They said they liked being able to get produce directly from the source and support a local farmer.
You get to see exactly where its coming from, and its extremely fresh, Stephens said. You dont know where that stuff in the grocery store comes from.
But what people seemed to like most about the place is the price and its simplicity. For $10, pickers can fill a 5-gallon bucket with whatever they want, or a 2-gallon bucket for $5.
We will definitely be back, Young said.
The farm is popular with canners. Terry Huddle came to get a bucket of roma tomatoes to make tomato sauce and can it. She is a regular visitor.
Last year I got some red potatoes and they were really good, she said.
The farm has seven varieties of peas and six varieties of peppers. Fresh corn is sold from the stand. Everything else has to be picked.
Feitshans said parents like to bring their children to the farm to let them see where food comes from, and the children seem to enjoy it.
When we started this, I didnt know we were starting a tourist attraction, he said. Its entertainment for a lot of people.
They are open from 7 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Feitshans said they likely will extend the weekday hours next year due to the growing demand.
People who want to visit dont have much longer. The time period they are open can vary depending on the year, but generally it is from mid-May to mid-July. Feitshans said he expects theres about two more weeks left for this year.