Clemson Reach: The Old School Bradford Way

Clemson University is a land grant university that has had a tremendous impact on the world of agriculture. Chip Carter spent some time on campus and followed some alumni just to show us how much, in our new series “Clemson Reach.” Today, we meet a farmer with a simple goal: do things the way his ancestors did 200 years ago.

Mat Bradford runs a very diverse 10 acre operation. The methods used at Bradford Watermelon Company dates back 200 years.

“I think it’s being attuned with your environment, with nature. The way we preserve our seeds, and the way we maintain our breed line is not just going out and saving some seeds,” Mat states. “It is thoughtful, it’s intentional, and I do think that’s the way it was done for many, many, many generations.”

Bradford supplies many of the top restaurants in South Carolina with his products. When watermelon season is over, they supply the restaurants with Bradford collards and Bradford okra.

He says that they are always working with “new, old seeds.” It normally takes them five years working with a “new” seed to find a spot in the market for them.