"They are the leaders in using the season extension technology in the county," family friend Janet Eaton said. "They're able to get red ripe tomatoes in May and they bring those geraniums along. They're picking tomatoes now, and that's almost unheard of."
The work begins every January.
"Joan is the one that has the early tomatoes," Mary said. "She puts 60 to 65 plants out the first of January. As they grow, she puts them into bigger pots."
The process starts in the house, but soon moves into the greenhouses that adorn the farm.
Other tricks of growing their crops are top secret, and Joan forbid Mary from spilling the beans, but the duo did say tending to the farm every day is key in producing good crops.
Years ago, the sisters grew tobacco, but presently their crops mainly consist of geraniums, tomatoes, beans, squash, eggplant, okra, cantaloupe and honey dew melons.
Each sister has a favorite crop.
For Mary, 69, it's the geraniums.
"I was the one who actually started geraniums years ago," she said. "I like them. My grandmother always had geraniums. So I wanted to try it."
For Joan, who would only say she's a little younger than Mary, her favorites are the tomatoes and beans.
"Just the tomatoes and beans," she said, as she wrestled with Heidi, their 6-month old English Shepherd, before returning to tend to the many tasks associated with farm work.
From their days as children to now, farming has had one constant.
"You're going to sweat, and you're going to have come callouses, too," Mary said. "When it comes to vegetable farming, it is strictly a day-to-day hands-on operation."
Farming is in their blood. Beside their Irish roots, their parents also lived off the land and taught their daughters to do the same.
In 1976, the two purchased the land the live on now.
Farming also allows the sisters to try new things, such as the time when a friend of their in Ohio discovered some bean seeds, but didn't know what kind they were. They dubbed them "Old House Beans."
"Some lady gave us these seeds," Mary said . "Nobody knew what they were. She and her sister was in Ohio in an old house that belonged to one of their relatives. There was a hole in the wall and they reached in, and there was a jar with these bean seeds in it. So she brought them to us and said, 'I don't know what kind of beans these are, but if you want to try them, you can have them."
Mary described Old House Beans as having large pods, and are "kind of fleshy."
The beans turned out to be what Mary called tobacco worm beans.
"They (pod) got a square-like bean inside of them, and it gives the impression of a tobacco worm," Mary said.
Through the years, the Stevens sister have had their share of ups and downs.
"It the 80s, we had many productive years with crops," Mary said. "We also had a couple droughts too. We had to ration water. I don't remember what year it was, but we were saving our rinse water from washing dishes. We were saving our rinse water from our washing machine and stuff like that to put on the crops to save them. We salvaged a whole lot of stuff, but we lost some stuff too."
Despite the many ups and downs, farming has many joys, but it's the simple things that provide most of the enjoyment.
"I know this is going to sound silly, but it's something that is in us," Mary said. "When you plow the field, and you inhale the smell of the soil ... there's nothing like it."