Proud to be a Farmer: Pete Waller

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 10:00 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. (WTOC) - For the Waller family, this time of the year is all about strawberries.

This past weekend, they hosted their annual strawberry festival for the first time since 2019.

“We enjoy what we do, that’s why we do it,” said Pete Waller, farmer.

Pete Waller is a third generation farmer who has been cultivating the land of Chatham County for over 80 years.

“We are the last farm in the county. I have managed to hold on, but it has been tough with all the expensive land we have around with all the building going on,” said Waller.

Farmers are no stranger to overcoming challenges, something Pete Waller had to do at a young age.

“My dad passed away when I was fifteen and I took over the farm, I have been farming all of my life. It’s in your blood. If you start farming when you’re young, it’s in your blood and you’ll continue on,” said Waller.

One way Waller has continued his family’s farming tradition is by hosting an annual strawberry festival, but strawberries weren’t always in the business plan for the Waller family.

“We planted a half acre of berries, in two weeks we had sold out and didn’t have any berries. That convinced me that I needed to be in the strawberry business. That’s when we started planted strawberries and that was twenty years ago,” said Waller

All these years later a Waller still enjoys welcoming people to his farm, especially school kids that he can teach a thing or two to.

“We enjoy seeing the children come on the school trips. We usually have about ten thousand children in the spring and ten thousand in the fall. I enjoy seeing those little fellers get out and see what real life is about,” said Waller.

No matter the day or time of the year, one thing has been getting Pete Waller out of bed and into his fields for over 80 years.

“I enjoy people, if I didn’t enjoy people I wouldn’t be having these festivals, rodeos and corn mazes,” said Waller.

The Waller family looks to bring people back to their farm with more events later this year.

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