ANDERSON — Heavy gray clouds swirled over Fields of Joy, a small farm that sits west of the city, but the threatening weather could not dampen the spirits.
Formerly known as Pastor’s Produce, 3840 W. 38th St., Fields of Joy was purchased by the Beghtel family almost a year ago.
The sale of the five-acre strawberry farm was posted on a Facebook page on a Monday and by that Friday the young couple, who were living in Fishers with three children, purchased the property after making a single visit.
Customers say they’re happy the new owners have kept the farm open to the public.
Laughing, Lynsey Plew and her son, 7-year-old Jackson, swung bright red pails of fresh strawberries in their hands as they dodged scattered raindrops.
“We love it here,” Plew said. “It’s convenient, and he has the most fun out here.”
“He gets excited to come out, and everything is reasonably priced,” Plew said. “You also know exactly what you are getting, because you pick the strawberries yourself.”
Mother and son were the last customers of the day. As they walked into a pole barn to have their strawberries weighed, the heavens opened up to wash the countryside with sheets of rain.
In the distance, a lone figure was bent over in a section of the strawberry patch, carefully and quickly stripping the red berries from each plant before dropping the fruit in a bucket. The woman with dark hair and galoshes was unfazed by the rain.
Joy Beghtel lives up to her name, smiling and calling out a warm greeting from a distance.
“We weren’t looking for a business,” she said when asked about buying the farm. “We just wanted enough land to plant a large enough garden to support ourselves and have a little left over to take to a farmer’s market.”