(Note: The following is part of a series of articles looking at the history and evolution of agriculture in Georgia and Bulloch County.) Starting as early as 1647, Virginia’s governors ordered colonists to begin planting test plots of rice. South Carolina’s rice production began in 1685 when a Madagascar ship sought refuge from a storm in Charles Town harbor. As thanks, Capt. John Thurber gave several leading planters bags of his cargo, golden seede rice.