Browntown Farms has been in the Brown family since 1908, when it was purchased by Herbert's great-great-grandfather. The farm grew tobacco until the early ‘90s, when the family stopped farming due to the decline of tobacco. When Herbert's dad "retired," he decided to dedicate himself to bringing the farm back to life—no leisurely retirement, for sure, but one driven by the desire to see the family farm thrive. Herbert shared his father's vision and went off to college to study agricultural business in 2006, the same year that his dad started rehabbing the farm.
Their first crops were vegetables, but with access only to small, local markets in an area where many people had their own gardens, they had a hard time finding sufficient demand for their products and knew they needed to branch into something else. They decided to try strawberries in 2013, and that was the thing! With momentum behind them from the sales of strawberries, the farm started growing other fruit, producing small-batch artisan jams, and adding new infrastructure (like hoop houses to be able to extend the growing season).