As an heirloom rice its origins trace back to 1685 when a ship merchant hailing from Madagascar used its load of rice to pay for ship repairs in Charleston, South Carolina. An ambitious farmer named Dr. Henry Woodland saw this as an opportunity and planted the first crop of Rice in the Americas. It flourished and soon took over the South Carolina lowlands and stretched north into what is now known as North Carolina. This coastal area known as the “Tidewater region”, thrived for over two hundred years with its fertile soil and ship ports for distribution. In the early 1900’s, market pressures, a series of hurricanes and the boom of commodity farming effectively ended rice farming in the Carolinas. That is until now. The Tidewater Grain company is proud to announce that after a 120-year hiatus, Carolina Gold rice production is back in Eastern North Carolina.