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    Authentic: Becky Risher

    In 1955, Becky Risher’s father came to Aiken and shortly after getting settled, he planted his first garden. By the time Becky was born, the garden had grown to five acres and he was growing cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, squash, zucchini, corn, green beans, butter beans, tomatoes, peaches, plums, apples, and more for our local community.

    “He passed away about three years ago at 90 years old,” Becky said. “My mom wanted to continue on the garden, so we did. We currently have about a one-acre garden and we’re producing all of the same things. She’ll be 91 this year and it’s still her happy place.”

    Being out in the garden is Becky’s happy place, too. Becky spent her entire life growing up around the garden, watching and learning from her parents as they tended to their plants. Her father’s garden produced more than just excellent fruits and vegetables—it produced a second generation gardener in Becky.

    “I love digging in the dirt,” said Becky. “I love planting the seed and then seeing it flourish into a plant that yields quality produce. There’s nothing like enjoying a green bean that’s fresh from the fields. I can cook you a pot of garden-fresh green beans and a pot of ones from the can—you tell me which you love more! It’s going to be the garden ones.”

    It’s still early garden season for Becky right now, but once things get rolling in the summertime, she will be out in the garden picking every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Then on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, she sets up a tent behind Mercy Church on Whiskey Road. She sells what she has when she has it, and if there’s anything leftover, she takes it up to Wood Farms Market for them to sell.
    “When you buy local, fresh produce, there’s a lot that goes into what you’ve bought,” said Becky. “A lot of time and effort go into the garden—it’s a labor of love. It’s my father’s legacy, and I love continuing it on.”