The beginning

Good Morning,  yesterday I worked at weeding the rest of the onion bed and Norman weeded the potato bed.  We got them almost done in the morning and then Norman raked leaves and I weeded the aspagrus bed getting that half done.   Today there is a big storn moving in so we can’t work in the gardens today.  Things seem to move very slow in this business so I got to thinking where we started and where we were now and thought you might like to see that journey also.  We took pictures of the gardens and the farm so we can see where we are now.  But lets start at the beginning.      In June of 2006  we got talking to Patty about land in TN.  She said she might like to get a piece of land and have a place to get away to camp etc.  We liked the idea as things were getting too crowded in Blairsville, GA so we started looking for land in TN.  We picked Spencer, TN as a small town with mountains and farms to look.  We came up and found a real estate dealer and asked about a piece of land.  They had just gotten a listing for a piece in the woods of about 7 acres and we went to look at it.  We drove forever, it seemed and got deeper and deeper into the woods, from the highway down a long black topped road to a short dirt road to a steep dirt road and ended at a gate.  From there we had to walk down a dirt one lane “road” and out a path.  This was the piece of land Norman wanted.  He loved it right away.  I was not so sure.  There were no people you could see and no place to build a farm, that I could see.  Anyways at the end of the “road” was a clearing.  It was possible to drive to this clearing but from there to the bluff you had to walk.  We bought the land that day, and by July we were here with Patty and Tyler camping in the clearing.   

  This is Tyler just unpacking the truck.  

If you look over his shoulder you can see the road we just drove down to get to this clearing.  Note the densely wooded area all around.  This clearning was made by the man who owned the land before us.  He had cleared this for tenting with his boys.  This land is on Baker Mountain which is on the Plateau.  The road runs along the mountain and the land slopes up on the right and down on the left of this road.   This picture gives you a good idea of what the piece of land looked like and why I found it hard to dream of a farm here.   The first job was to clear enough of the briars and under growth to put up the three tents we had brought with us.  As the men unloaded the truck, Patty and I cut brush and briars and cleared it away.   This is an east facing mountain, to the north, that is behind me are two paths leading to the bluff and the end of our land.  To the south is the road out and to the east was all the stumps and roots that had been bull dozed out to make this clearing and west is just dense woods with a couple buildings beyond out of sight.  We had hoped to cut and sell some timber to help pay for the building of a camp, but more on that later.  Right now it was just clear enough to set up tents.   Patty’s tent went up first as she knew what she was doing. 

This was followed by Tyler’s and then with a lot of help one for Norman and me.  We got them all set up and ready to sleep that first night.  The next day was spent planning what we would do with the place and making a farm out of it was way down the list of ideas.  Patty spent the next evening picking ticks out of the dogs.  I have never seen so many ticks in my life!  We spent a day just walking around the land, looking for the boundries and seeing what we had.  It was a great week end but I knew I didn’t want to spend every vacation here tramping through the woods.    Note the logs set out for a fire.  We had a bon fire that night which was a lot of fun and made the whole things fun.  Norman and I went back up another week end to see if we could sell some of the trees on this lot but that was not successful as the trees were mostly scrub trees and not enough large good timber trees to make it worth while for the company to bring in the big equipment to cut them, and as we decussed it we decided we didn’t want the mess that would be left to clean up.  They would clean up the mess but that would cost more than the timber was worth so we went home to talk about the future of this land.   Tomorrow I will tell you about the wild time that followed so that by Jan. 2007 we were moving into our new home on Baker Mountain.    A quick note about the present before I give the computer to Norman.  When we left here in November we said good bye to the old wild cat that had been living with us on our porch all summer.  He had been around here for three years, we feed him dry food and water but have never tamed him, he will not let us come near him and when ever family come to visit us he takes off and returns when they are gone.  When we left this year we thought this winter would be the end of him, his eye was bad from a fight he had had a couple years ago and he had been quite bad this summer for a week or so, not sure what from as you could not get near him.  Anyways, he just showed up again.  Norman was down on the porch working to stay out of the rain and cat showed up and meowed to him.  Norman came up and put out some food for him on the front porch and called to him and he came up to eat.  You have to put the food out and go back into the house before he will eat, he is always ready to run away if you go any where near him.  It is nice to see he made it through the winter and looks very good.  I am sure he has another house that feeds him when we are not here.  Have a great day. 


About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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6 Responses to The beginning

  1. Wow Carol, I just read the mess about the Pay Pal card. I have always dreaded the idea of such a theift. Hope you have all bases covered and seems like you have. How did you notice the charges so quickly?
    No plans for this Memorial day long weekend. It is hot today and no ambition. Jade has already dipped in her pool to cool down. I may have to join her later. Not used to the heat yet.
    Went to the Troy cemetery this week. Put flowers out and nice to see no one has moved. Do you have a cemetery plot back in Harrisville or Peterboro?
    Stay well and eat those wonderful veggies……..lucky tummy!!!!!
    Love, Nancy

    • Thanks Nancy. I went back over to Pay Pal today because I didn’t get a reply to my report on fraud. I found how to get the ID numbers for the charges made against my account so refiled my request for inquiry and now I have an answer from them that they are looking into it. They could not make a claim on my credit card as we closed that one and have a new one now but I hope this will stop them from doing this to some one else. Pay Pal is good as they notify you by email as soon as anything is charged to your account. That was how we got on them so early. The crooks charged my account at 3:30 am and I checked my email at 6 am and saw the phony charges then. You do need to check your email often to stay ahead of them and never open any attachments. I tell people if you can’t send it as a in line text don’t bother to send it as I never open an attachment. Even when it is some one you know you can never be sure they really sent it and not a computer bug that got into their address book.
      We don’t have a cemetery plot anywhere. We have decided not to go. I guess if we change our minds we will be cremated and who ever goes first has to wait until the other goes then Patty will mix the ashes and spread them where ever we decide. I feel so guilty that we don’t go to our parents graves in NH but we never go to NH so instead of giving the kids a reason to feel guilty we will not have a place they need to feel guilty about for not visiting. We tell them to visit us here while we are alive instead, much nicer and then we can enjoy it too. today we had that Nova Scota dish of fresh peas, beans and new potatoes in milk. Mother used to serve it every summer and it is as good as I remember it. Love you Carol

  2. Carol, I follow your writings every day. Interesting and sorry I am not starting a farm life. It would sure make things easier but maybe in my next life I will find a helpful farmer/mate.

    I have passed your blog to a Troy friend…Richard Martin and wife Doris. At our Troy high reunion yesterday he told me they live not far from Spencer. He is retired Navy and very out going. Don’t be surprised if he knocks on your door someday. Nice folks and you would enjoy them. I can’t remember just exactly where they do live but they are at the ” markets ” around Spencer often.

    Thinking of you so often and always with a drooling mouth ….so much good eating at your house!!!!

    • Hi Nancy, That is so interesting about Richard Martin. Martin is an old name in this area, in fact we live on part of the old Martin Farm. To get to our house you go up Baker Mountain Road until you find the Martin Road and take that just a short way to Raccoon Trail. I know it is not the sme Martin as the couple who owned this land had only one child, a son who died in an auto crash back in the 40’s or 50’s. Mrs Martin was the last one on the farm and she died quite a few years ago in a nursing home and then the land was split up and sold. The part that we live on was fields, grape, and blueberries. But that was more like 50 years ago as the trees are very big that are on the land now. Not big enough to harvest and sell to the saw mills but too big to be new growth. Today I picked enough green beans to can 6 pints. That makes me 12 pints so when Becca comes if she needs more green beans she can take a case home with her. The tomatoes are looking good and most are blooming. Each day I go down and tie up those that are getting tall and cut off any suckers I can find. We dug potatoes this week also and today I sorted and brushed the ones we had drying. I don’t think there will be many to store as most have the scabs on them from the hot dry weather we had when they were forming but they are good to eat, just not pretty! The family will be here to visit soon and each one will take some home I am sure. They are so much better than any you can buy in the store unless you want to pay alot for new potatoes. It has been nice talking to you. Take care and enjoy life! Carol

  3. Carol, we have been in a heat wave here. Close to 100 for 3 days now. One can’t do anything but try to keep breathing!!!!! Supposed to get thunder storms later today and then cool down some. I dread the strorm for they upset Jade so much, Also lots of trees around me to consider. Wish I had known how to care for raspberry bushes before I killed all the ones here that Tim had planted. Someone told me to cut the bushes ALL back to the ground in the Fall. So stupid me…I did. They never came back but I got lots of grass and weeds instead!. So sorry!!!! but I won’t try to learn and take on new gardening projects alone now. Just too daunting!!!!!

    Don’t work too hard in the heat……not wise!!!!

    Love you, Nancy

    • Don’t feel badly about your raspberries, we all make mistakes not just once but year after year. Last year we lost alot of our tomatoes from bud end rot and I read up on what to do about it and was sure I would remember this year but I got it mixed up with what was needed for potatoes so would not let Norman lime the tomato bed and of course that was just the wrong thing so yesterday I found my new tomatoes were getting bud end rot again. I did what I should have done back in April and read my book. Tomatoes must have lime!! With out the lime they don’t get enough calcium so now we have to put on some lime and scratch it in and water heavy. I was out in the garden at 6 am this morning putting on what lime we had here and when Norman got home from his walk we watered well and put on some liquid feritalizer too. Then when we went into town we got another bag of lime and will do the same thing again this next week if we get some rain and each day until then we will water well and work in the lime we have already put on, maybe we will save most of the tomatoes. I did learn my lesson, before I do anything I will look at the directions again before we do it. Love you Carol

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