Our Little Farm, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about Our Little Farm  here. Today I’d like to answer everyone’s burning question “What the heck do you down there?” 

First let me show you our new barn. Now I know some people say a barn isnt  a barn unless you have animals in it. Well, I beg to differ, Mr. Dictionary says:

barn— noun

1. a building for storing hay, grain, etc., and often for housing livestock.
2. a very large garage for buses, trucks, etc.; carbarn.

This barn follows under the definition of a very large garage. Superman has been cute “decorating” his barn. I painted all the walls and he did all the rest. Do you see the old highway signs hanging there? Remember how I mentioned that Superman’s step-grandfather liked to collect junk? Well, here are some of his treasures. There was another old beat up barn that had to be torn down for safety reasons. I scoured the place for cool stuff. These are a few of the things I found. 
This is a super sturdy workbench Superman and Thomas made together. (Of course, this is before my awesome painting skills got ahold of that wall.)

Check out this fridge. On a hot day after sweating in the field, nothing is better than a nice cold drink and snack.

But THE most important feature is the bathroom. Indoor plumbing is such a good thing. For 29 years I’ve found the best spots behind bushes and overgrowth, but being able to use a clean potty….it’s a very good thing. Annnd Sam can have a cool drink of water whenever she needs it. I can wash my hands. The shower was a real relief the last time I was there, when when my body had an allergic reaction to the grass.

It felt wonderful to wash off.

As I said before, it wasn’t always the most fun to come to the farm. As much as I like working hard and getting dirty, it wasn’t something I looked forward to. Another thing I haven’t looked forward to is being an empty nester. It seriously caused me stress and anxiety when I thought about it. What were Superman and I going to do when the kids left us and it was just the two of us? 

I thought maybe I’d join Superman mountain biking. Ok, that idea lasted a total of 2.3 seconds. The guy has a skull on his back and comes home giddy with blood on his legs and stories about epic falls over the handlebars. No thank you.

Then for our anniversary last year, I bought him a tennis racquet, thinking hitting a few balls on the court would be fun. Well, let’s just say Superman is a wee bit competitive. He didn’t really warm up to the idea on his first day ever on the court and having his wife whip his fanny. (Woop Woop!!Go Mary! Go Mary!) ((Hey, a girl has to show em who’s boss, don’tcha know.))(((BTW, that’s his fake smile.)))

So THIS is what we will do when the kids are gone and on their own. We will build and grow things together. Neither of us have any experience so we will learn together. These are the beginnings our grapevine. On a cold day in February we began.

After me drawing a picture of the plans he found on the Internet, we got to work digging the holes for the grape arbor.

I didn’t actually dig, but I was a big helper in the measuring process.

Superman did all the heavy stuff like carry the poles from the old barn.

II’d sit on the timber while he cut them to the correct height. 
Then we’d tamp dirt around the pole. See, I’ve got my special tamping stick. It was so cold that day. I think I was wearing three or four layers there.

Now a couple of months later….Awww. A baby grapevine showing off its new leaves. So far Superman has planted 21 grape plants, some muscadine, some Pinot, and some Concord. Now I ain’t never heard tell of Gaffney being wine country, but who knows. Superman says he’d like for me to make jelly! Well alrighty then! Something I look forward to learning to do.

Another part of our growing adventure are the fruit trees planted. Superman has 50 different trees…pomegranate, pear, plum, fig, apples, peach. We dig the holes and fill in the dirt and spread straw around the base. 

To protect the young trees from deer eating them to the ground, we’ve built cages to go around them.

I roll out 10 feet of this wire caging. (Sam is of no help.)

Then we cut the wire, attach the ends together, then fold over the wire ends to secure.

TaDa! Cages around all the trees! As you can see grass and weeds grow up in the cages, so we’ll spend time pulling, cutting  and neatening up the mess around the trees.

Sam likes to dig…A LoT. She can dig to where her whole upper body is below ground. She come up for air with her entire face and nose are covered in dirt. I wonder what she smells in there.

After a long hard morning of digging, cutting, pulling, planting and pruning, you are nasty dirty and you are awfully hungry. Superman will treat me to a burger and fries from this fine establishment. Trust me, we fit right in. No judgment here.

On our list of things to do, is to start beekeeping! At a March Of Dimes fundraiser, we bid on several things and “won” this amazing lamp and a beehive! (It is the biggest table lamp I have ever seen. It is basically as tall as I am.) But the BEEHIVE! How exciting is this? It is still in the box at the farm, but when we jump into it I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it. 

So what do we do down at the farm? Right now our focus is on getting the fruit trees and grape vines to grow and produce good fruit. I really enjoy it when Superman , Sam and I hop in the truck and spend our day at the farm. Superman and I, side by side learning, researching and doing it together as a team, as a couple. We talk about the future, about our grandkids coming down here to pick fruit. We talk about the possibility of selling our future jams, jellys and honey at the local farmers market. We talk about our future together. And that makes me happy.

Thanks for dropping by!

Our Little Farm, part 1


a tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo, etc., on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.

I talk a lot about our adventures down on our farm. And many people ask what kinds of animals we have on it. Well, you see we aren’t the Old MacDonald kind of farm. We’re more of a Superman and HidieHo kind of thang. Superman’s step-grandfather, Harry, owned this land of about 68 acres in Cherokee County, SC. He mainly kept about 50 head of cattle and a whole lot of junk on this farm. When Harry passed away, Superman’s father, Buddy, inherited it and he continued the cattle raising. The cows were raised for the sale of meat, not milk.

Although, interestingly enough, Buddy’s family owned a dairy which he delivered milk as a young teen. I love this bottle! “Help them to happiness with a strong body use Higgins Milk. Call 382.” I absolutely love it!

So anyway…Buddy inherited this cattle farm. After working the third shift at the local manufacturing company, Buddy would go directly to the farm for a couple of hours to dabble with his 40-50 cows. 

Here we are, circa early 1990’s, having a picnic  when this little fella decided to join us. So cool. And yes, I am looking quite Polly-Wolly-Doodle wearing my straw hat with the red ribbon which matches my red shirt ANNND oversized glasses to boot! Gooo Mary!

I always enjoyed hopping in the truck with Buddy to “help” him check on the herd. He’d say in his slow, southern drawl “Mar….How ’bout you count ’em up.” So I’d start counting …1, 2, 3,…I’d maybe get up 10 or 15, then get frustrated cause the darn things would hear Buddy’s truck and start mooing and walking toward him. I’d say “Buddy! Tell ’em to stop movin’ around!” He laugh his deep heh heh heh and tell me not to worry, they were all there. How did he do that?!? He could just look and know who was there and who wasn’t. He loved those cows. To my deepest sorrow, Buddy passed away about twelve years ago. The cows were sold, but the land was kept.

This is the same spot we had the picnic 25 years ago. For the first ten years or so of Superman taking over the land, we’ve used it mostly for hunting and shooting guns. Unfortunately, with this much pasture land, it requires much maintenance. During the spring and summer months, the grasses and weeds can completely overtake the land. On our free weekends when the kids were growing up and there wasn’t a soccer game or cross country meet or scout activity, we’d be down here bush hoggin, (that’s cutting the grass with a tractor pulling a wide bed cutter, for you city folk😉.)

Let’s just say, that that is a lot of pasture to cut. These Satudays were never fun. It would start with a 50  year old tractor with a flat tire every. Single. Time. Superman would hand one of the boys a bicycle pump (yes a bicycle pump) and tell him to work those pecks. If it wasn’t the flat tire, it would be a pin breaking on the cutter. Inevitably, one of us would have to drive down to Johnny, the 80 year old mechanic down the road, and ask for his advice and help. I’d knock on Johnny’s front door, he’d see me through the screen door and say “What’d that boy do now?” 

Eventually we bought a brand new orange Kuboto tractor. We still have flat tires because of the nasty thorny weeds we cut down, but at least we’re doing it in style.

Heck I even climb up there on the tractor and do the rounds. And by the time you’d get finished, it’d be time to do it all over again. What was the point? Well, one day, a fella from over yonder called Superman up and asked if he could cut the land for hay. Talk about a gift from God. Here is a farmer who lives only a couple of miles down the road, that needs hay for his cows. He is asking Superman if he could cut our land! Yes! Yes! Please! Free labor for us and free hay for Whitt. Win win. Whitt is awesome. Please try to picture in your mind a short man from Thailand with a thick southern country twAngwith a Thai accent with no teeth (sometimes he has them and sometimes he doesn’t) telling “Mista Wick” all about the happenings down there in their neck of the woods. Whitt makes me smile. He couldn’t be a nicer man.
So this is the old barn Buddy and a friend built decades ago. Besides not having a way to lock things up, it has no electricity. It’s great for storing hay, mice, snakes and hornets nests. Other than that…not much. But you know what? I like the way it looks. At one time Superman wanted to paint it. I said No Way! It’s got a cool vibe the way it is. So, there it is.

So what the heck do you do down there, you must be asking. 

Come back next time folks for Our Little Farm, part 2.

Thanks for dropping by!