|Shade Trees at Lighthouse Venue|
|2018 grape sales were great|
A short drive from Walterboro down Highway 63 leads to Sniders crossroads, revealing the rural fabric of western Colleton County. Anyone cruising down Sniders Highway in 2013 noticed the new vineyard grove that popped up in one of the old farm fields along the roadside. An initial plan to make wine from the grapes did not bear fruit, but the business has grown to include a wedding venue, and fresh grapes from the vineyard are now in season and on sale. New for 2018, a commercial shade tree operation is clearly visible on parts of the property, and is sure to grow this diversified business to new heights.
Owner Ralph Massenburg is a close friend with the folks in Ravenel who have an older established vineyard and grape sale operation, taking that knowledge and applying it here. Readers of the Colletonian recall that some bottles of wine were created for the initial First Wine Festival complete with live music in September 2013. Since then the Lighthouse Venue has become more wedding oriented, with a picture perfect setting that includes a pecan grove, hay fields and an old farmhouse.
“Coming into this venture I had 50 years experience as a landscape contractor,” said Ralph Massenburg. “This is our first year growing the shade trees in a commercial operation selling to customers in garden centers and to local landscapers. Our trees are in 15-gallon and 30-gallon containers now, and we will include 45, 60 and 100-gallon container sizes in the future. We grow magnolias, maples, crepe myrtles, river birch, Leland cypress and bald cypress. Our live oaks and sawtooth oaks can provide the acorns that wildlife watchers appreciate.”
To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entries click on New Holland Hay Baling - S.C. Crew / Western Wildfires - Colleton Civic Center - American Surrealist Art