Culture // 2 min Read

The Farm / Part 1

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Nov 27, 2018

The American Farmer

Ike Hill is a fifth-generation farmer. His son Fox makes the sixth. Their 1,300-acre family farm in St. George, South Carolina, holds more than a century of their family’s history. Pre-Depression, their family land surpassed 6,000 acres, and Hill candidly shares it was their bootlegging business that allowed them to hold onto those last 1,300 acres.

“Our farm has always been row crops—corn, tobacco, cotton, soy beans—diversified with livestock. Just enough pigs to butcher and sell to the neighbors. Grandma sold eggs. We’ve always had cows. And, we’ve always been a sustainable needs farm—meaning all cash. We’ve never borrowed any money for that farm. In the good years, we build. In the slow years, we scale back,” Hill says.

Every family has a story. And theirs is rich, marked with long days, dirt under their fingernails, and little rest. None of which matters when you have a love for the land. And that is where the Hills’ story intersects with the Bluff. Ike first stepped foot on Palmetto Bluff in 2000. Fox followed about a decade ago, working summers in high school and college and joining the team of The Lindsay Company (one of the Bluff’s contractors) two years ago. In 2000, Ike was responsible for moving the mountains of dirt it took to begin turning the Bluff into what you see today. (And mountain is no exaggeration. The 1 million cubic yards of dirt that Ike has moved would easily overflow the largest college football stadium.)

Ike’s love for the place came quick. And, he’s been at the Bluff in various roles ever since, making the 90-minute commute from St. George twice a day. Let’s do some quick math. He gets to Palmetto Bluff around 7:30 a.m. That means he leaves his house at 6:00 a.m., which means he was up hours before that working on his farm. So, when the Palmetto Bluff Development team reached out last summer and asked for the father-son duo’s tutelage on a potential farm at the Bluff, one must wonder—for just a second—why in the world they said yes.

A full-time job. A full-time farm. Plus, launching the Palmetto Bluff farm. Few would agree to that challenge.

“We like to work, at least that is what my wife says,” jokes Fox, his smile shaded by his cowboy hat. “The American farmer is dying, but if I can evolve the thinking of just a few people through this farm, convince people to support their local farmers, well . . . I’ve done my job.”

For Ike too, it is personal, almost biblical, “I want the best for the Bluff. It needs to be the perfect place. Before I die, I want to contribute to that in any way I can.”

So, for four hours a day, five to six days a week, either Fox or Ike is at the Palmetto Bluff farm overseeing the plantings, the watering, the bee pollination, and the harvesting. They’re meeting with the Palmetto Bluff chefs to understand what produce they’d like to feature on the menu and educating each other. For Ike and Fox, it is understanding how the chefs want to feature produce and herbs on their menus. For the chefs, they are developing an understanding of what grows well in this region. And, all parties are embracing the art of patience.

Culture / Day Trips from Palmetto Bluff

Story by Barry Kaufman and Photographs by Lizzy Rollins Just beyond the gates of Palmetto Bluff, at the end of that quiet stretch of trees and sunlight, a solitary strip of pavement beckons. This connective tissue, a tributary, leads off across the great Amer...

Feb 2024
palmetto bluff

Real Estate / Behind the Bluff with Broker-in-Charge W. Bryan Byrne

Bryan’s Journey to Palmetto Bluff Real Estate In this edition of Behind the Bluff, W. Bryan Byrne, the Broker-in-Charge at Palmetto Bluff Real Estate Company, discusses his two-decade journey in the community. His experience has intricately molded the authent...

Jan 2024
real estate in bluffton sc

Real Estate / Lowcountry Housing Trends & Market Updates

Real Estate in Bluffton, SC: Trends, Updates, and Insights Bluffton, South Carolina, nestled within the scenic Lowcountry, is not just a picturesque haven but also a thriving real estate market. As the demand for homes in this charming town continues to grow,...

Jan 2024

Food & Wine / Mocktails from the Palmetto Bluff Club

Rosemary Spice Mocktail Recipe Introducing Buffalos' exquisite Rosemary Spice Mocktail—a meticulously crafted blend that awakens the taste buds with a perfect harmony of bold flavors. Fresh jalapenos are muddled for a subtle spicy kick, while luscious cra...

Jan 2024

Artist in Residence / Painting Wild

Story by Sandy Lang and Photographs by Lawson Builder In early May, The Arts Initiative hosted renowned Lowcountry painter West Fraser as our esteemed Artist In Residence. Throughout his stay, residents were treated to an array of events, including a painting...

Jan 2024
palmetto buff golf course

Sporting Life / Behind the Bluff with the Palmetto Bluff 9-Hole Golf Course Team

All About the New Palmetto Bluff Golf Course Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, a new golfing adventure is taking shape—the Crossroads 9-Hole Golf Course. To delve into the intricacies of this project, we had the opportunity to sit down w...

Dec 2023

Conservation / Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run 2023: A Celebration of Endurance, Nature, and Community

A Recap of the 2034 Buffalo Run The Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, December 11, 2023, drawing in a record-breaking crowd of over 500 runners. The event, nestled in the heart of Palmetto Bluff's 20,000 acres of natural sp...

Dec 2023
places to eat near hilton head

Food & Wine / Ask the Locals: Our Favorite Restaurants Near Hilton Head

The 10 Best Places to Eat Near Hilton Head Island Nestled on the southernmost tip of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island beckons not only with its pristine beaches but also with a culinary scene that rivals its natural beauty. The Lowcountry, known for breatht...

Dec 2023

Artist in Residence / Journey through Creativity: Palmetto Bluff's 2023 Artist in Residence Highlights

As the sun sets over the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, we are grateful for the creativity that took center stage throughout the year. The 2023 Artist in Residence program has ended, leaving behind a trail of artistic marvels and inspiring stories. F...

Dec 2023

Real Estate / The Builders Behind the Bluff

Meet the Palmetto Bluff Builders Team A home is more than just bricks and mortar; it's where cherished memories are made, and dreams come to life. At Palmetto Bluff, the Palmetto Bluff Builders team designs homes based on your vision.  Allow us to introduc...

Dec 2023
Community Villages
Palmetto Bluff Club
On The Water
The Arts Initiative
About Us