Three Sisters Farm

145 Acres

Preserved 2004 • Calhoun Plantation, Beaufort County

M ary Olive Pinckney Merrick, born in 1921, recognized the immeasurable value of what she had been given and the responsibility that came with that gift. Her family first inhabited Calhoun Plantation, just outside the Town of Bluffton, in 1848, farming cotton, rice, corn and other crops. Despite the development pressure resulting from the significant growth of southern Beaufort County during her lifetime, Mary wanted to remain at Calhoun Plantation with her family and maintain her rural lifestyle. Mary became one of the first landowners in Beaufort County to participate in the Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program by granting a conservation easement to the Open Land Trust and selling the future development rights on
her 1450-acre property to Beaufort County.

We decided we wanted to preserve this land as we had inherited it. We didn’t feel that it was our privilege to do anything else than that. Mary O. Merrick in 2007

This property was protected with an easement in 2004, when the majority of Bluffton was developing in the opposite direction – planned unit developments, annexations, and building permits flooded the town and county planning offices. To protect prime water frontage on the Okatie river was proactive, productive and the right thing to do.

Mary’s commitment to protect Calhoun Plantation lives and continues to benefit her community through the efforts of her children. Her daughters Mary Connor, Beth Lee, and Priscilla Coleman established Three Sisters Farm that now produces certified organic, growing a wide variety of a certified organic vegetables, berries, herbs, flowers, sugarcane, indigo and mushrooms. They sell produce to local restaurants, run a Community Supported Agriculture program and operate booths at local farmer’s markets. Additionally, Mary’s son Chuck Merrick and his wife Diane opened U Pick Daffodils in 2017, opening, providing local families a window of opportunity each spring to visit Calhoun Plantation for the spring rite of selecting a personal bouquet from the property’s field of approximately 100,000 daffodils.

This family embodies stewardship ethics and community value nurtured through generations, showing uswhat it means right now to live a legacy of love of family land. This property represents part of over 145 acres protected in the Okatie River corridor.