Nestled on the edge of Lake Hancock in beautiful Lakeland, FL is family owned and operated Oponay Farms. Just 40 miles east of downtown Tampa Bay, Lakeland was settled in the late 1800’s and played a crucial role in the Spanish-American war. Today, Lakeland offers the perfect climate for the many fruits and vegetables grown at Oponay Farms. With high bush blueberry fields, peach orchards and honey bee colonies, Oponay Farms cultivates fields for both commercial and u-pick purposes. Oponay Farms is open on the weekend and people are encouraged to come pick their own blueberries, blackberries, peaches, strawberries and more! We also offer peach trees and blueberry bushes for retail and wholesale. Oponay Farms is a great place to hold a birthday party or other special events thanks to the beautiful scenery and activities for people of all ages.

Lake Hancock offers a unique setting for Oponay Farms as it is an important part of the Peace River Watershed. The flora surrounding the lake is comprised mostly of cypress trees with an under canopy of red and black maple.

The lake is home to an abundance of wildlife, including a large population of American Alligators. Although the lake is populated mostly with blue tilapia and catfish, it is not used for sport fishing like other lakes in the region.

The beauty that surrounds the shoreline of Lake Hancock offers you a glimpse of some of our local wildlife, as well as, many native species of water fowl in their natural habitat. In the upcoming fall of 2014, Oponay Farms will offer its visitors not only U-Pick blueberries and peaches but blackberries and U-Pick vegetable crops. Children can have fun playing in the general store, barrel train ride, or hay rides. We also offer children the opportunity for them to plant their own seedling to take home. We welcome families to come and picnic under our shady grandfather oaks dating back hundreds of years in age.

Archeologists have uncovered evidence of Native Americans living in the Lakeland area dating back thousands of years. However, the region is best known for the Seminole Indians who made their home along the Peace River well before white settlers arrived. It wasn’t until the mid-1500’s that the first Europeans began landing on the beautiful white sand beaches of Tampa and interacting with the natives. Interactions were less than cordial, leading to a series of conflicts in the 1800’s known as the Seminole Wars.

The area also played a crucial role in the Spanish-American War of 1898. Nearby Tampa served as a primary staging area and launch point for troops assisting in the Cuban War of Independence. Many of those troops were housed in Lakeland and surrounding areas while waiting for deployment. Since the population of Lakeland was only around 1,000 at the time, the influx of thousands of soldiers was a significant event for the residents and was the cause of some tension in the community. The animosity was short lived however, as the Spanish-American War lasted less than four months.

The rich history of the area and the beautiful scenery makes Oponay Farms a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. We are open seasonally so we encourage people to call for hours of operation.