SMYRNA -- Filbert may have its peaches, and McConnells its dairy farms, but David McFalls' Smyrna business hopes to make its name with a different product.
That's right, scuppernongs, the greenish-colored, grape-like fruit that has grown on wild vines in the Southeast for generations. McFalls, owner of the new business David's Garden, hopes to plant a small orchard with scuppernongs, grapes and plums -- a few of his personal specialties -- as the centerpiece of his new nursery and garden store off S.C. 97 between Hickory Grove and Smyrna.
"They're sweet and juicy," McFalls said about his scuppernongs.
He already grows some in his backyard, which is just down a short path through the woods from his store. He and his wife Lena make jam from the golf-ball size fruit, too.
"Some varieties are a little tart," he said. "But kids like the sweet ones, so that's what I'm growing."
McFalls opened his nursery a couple weeks ago on a hillside near his home. He started selling plants, mulch, stone and dirt.
The rural town west of Hickory Grove needs a place for locals to catch up on gossip, grab a sandwich and cold drink or eat an ice cream cone, McFalls says.
"Nice little place," said customer Ronnie Martin as he picked up a bag of plums and a carton of boiled peanuts one recent afternoon.
McFalls, retired almost a decade from General Tire in Charlotte, said he learned to grow and work the soil as a child on his grandfather's McConnells farm. He's been growing plants and vines -- he makes his own Concord grape wine -- as a hobby ever since.
"I was out back rootin' some plants when I got the idea. I went inside and told my wife I'm startin' my own nursery and little store," he said. "That's where this all started, just playin' in the back yard."
Lena McFalls, who works as the nursery's clerk, said she has warmed up to the plan, but admits it has been a lot of work getting off the ground.
"I'm exhausted, but it's been good," she said. "When he first came in and told me his idea I thought, 'Oh my gosh, what is he getting us into now.'"
McFalls said most of his early business has been from the mulch and stone sales.
"Right now, I just want to have enough to have a draw," McFalls said, relaxing in an easy chair in the barn.
Hours are flexible, usually 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is closed Sundays. For more details, call (803) 925-1300.