Phyllis Strack and her daughter, Mary Rose Rappold, are selling fruits and vegetables this summer straight from their four-acre garden. They set up in front of Julie’s Sweet Shoppe in the Conway Towne Center on Thursday mornings. Store owner Julie Goodnight encouraged this as way of promoting healthy food choices. Phyllis and her family also provide fresh produce to the Conway Farmer’s Market at Antioch Baptist Church.
Bell and banana peppers, little new potatoes, green beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and blackberries are among their offerings. At other times they might add okra, purple hull peas or even pumpkins. “I started selling produce 26 years ago,” Phyllis said. “We did it in the beginning to help my father-in-law, Lawrence Strack, who’d been selling for several years before that. I was a stay-at-home mom, and it was a good way to bring in extra income for our children’s tuition at St. Joseph School and for Christmas money.”
Later on, it helped with their children’s college education. Now the Stracks have grandchildren. Hunter Watkins will be a 7th grader at St. Joseph School this year and Dylan and Eli Strack will both enter the three-year-old pre-school program at St. Joseph. Mary Rose has been helping her mother since she was a small child. “I had to get up at five in the morning during the summer,” Mary Rose said. “I was always glad when school started because I could sleep in.”