Good Morning, nice to hear from Nancy.  I hope the blog comes through each day for you, it is such an easy way to stay in touch.  Any time you want to tell me anything just leave a comment and it will go right to my email.  Yesterday we both worked on the lower garden.  Norman tilled up the potato bed and added one more row so now we have six 21 foot rows and each row will hold 22 potato plants that makes 132 but we have 190 all cut so we need to find somewhere to put the surplus, so when we go down today we will take another spot and put some horse manure, leaves and soil there and put the extra potatoes there and cover them with leaves.  I have never grown potatoes this way but Kathy did one year in VT and they worked well so we will see.  It sure is better than throwing the extras out.  First today we need to plant.  I finished up the onion bed so I have two more big triple rows to plant, about 250 onion sets.  Again I have extras but those I can put here and there in the gardens.  Norman will plant the potatoes, then we will be ready for the rains tomorrow. ( Five hours later:  We planted all the potatoes and onions.  We put a new bed with some horse manure and some soil from the onion bed and a whole lot of leaves and made a bed for the extra potatoes so we got them all planted.  Kathy planted them this way years ago in VT so I hope this goes to her computer on face book, take note Kathy Gosney!  I hope that does it. )  Sunday is usually my day to write letters and Norman cleans the house but because they call for rain tomorrow we will plant today and clean tomorrow, then shop on Tuesday.  All plans get changed with the weather when you farm.   Now back to the story.   When we sold our house in Blairsville, we moved to Spencer.  Spencer is a very small town and we had quite a time finding a place to rent but finally John Banker gave us a park model mobil home to rent.  It had no heat and no hot water and the back window was broken so Norman fixed it up and John took that off the rent which was very low to start with.  Then he gave us room in another house he owned that was not liveable but good for storing our stuff while we waited for the house to be built.  So everything worked out just right.  People are so friendly and nice here.  It is just like Harrisville, NH where I grew up or I should say like it was there 50 years ago when everyone was so friendly and helpful.  They are hill people like I knew as a kid, they don’t like people coming in telling how they should be doing things but if you come as a friend and listen to them you could not find better people anywhere in the world.  Anyways the house progressed with very little trouble, we were handy to pick out the things that needed to be picked and we stayed within our alotted budget except when Brian would veto a choice and put in a better grade.  The price was never changed even when he plumbed the cellar for my kitchen and for a shower for later if we want it.  So far that sits there waiting as we haven’t needed it yet.  When the house was done it stood high above the valley below.  Brian was worried about how high it was when the winds here are so strong.  They could only work on the top of the house when the wind was calm but because most of the winds come from the west we get very little wind here, it all goes over the top of the house.  Some of the trees rock pretty good but most are hickory and very strong so we have had no problems and that cellar is a perfect safe room when bad weather is about.  I have a full kitchen there, where I do all my canning and baking.  I have one half of the cellar and Norman has the other half for his work room.  Here are some pictures of the house showing the setting. The house sits right on the road which is a private drive.   The trees are all around the house with the only part cleared is the lot around the house that the builders bull dozed out for the house.   We had to do all our own land scaping.  We elected to do this as we knew just what we wanted.  It turned out to be a bigger job than we had planned on but it came out just as we wanted it.  The grass was the first job as we needed that to hold the soil from washing down the hill every time it rained.  The soil here is a clay and very slippery when wet.  We moved in in Jan.  and the soil was always wet with either rain or snow.  From the gate you can not see the house so people don’t know any one lives down here.  In the five years we have lived here only four people have ever driven down here except delivery trucks and family.  We drew out the plans for the yard and began getting the yard ready for the plants.  First we had to clean up all the cut and downed trees that the contractors had not burned already.  You can not put brush and building waste on the land fill here, you need to burn it or pay 11 cents a pound to have it disposed of so we had some big bon fires that first year.  This is typical of the sides of the lot.  We had to level the dirt, add fertilizer and plant grass and hope it sprouted before another big rain.  There was not too much sun that got in around the trees but enough to give me hope.  We bought two 3 year old apple trees and a crab apple, 2 pears, 2 peaches and a cherry tree and put those on the south side of the house.  Then we planted strawberry plants that we had brought from Blairsville, at the top of the hill and hoped they would spread down the hill under the fruit trees to help hold the soil.  On the north side we put in 6 grapes, 9 blue berry bushes and 12 raspberry bushes.  That was in March of 2007.  2007 was the year of no spring.  After we go everything growning well April came and we had the worst freeze on record and we lost all the buds on the trees and all the new growth.  There were no berries or fruit in the state of TN that year.  The farmers at the farmer’s market said they had never seen anything like it.  April 21-23 never got above 30 degrees, day or night.  Our trees and bushes made out alright on the whole, we lost one peach tree and 8 of the raspberries.  We spent the next two years making up for that.  I brought many plants from my gardens in Blairsville, GA.  I had started black berries, black raspberries, strawberries, lilac, lillies, iris, seedem, hellabors, vica minor and vica major and a few I even forgot.  This show me putting them in down at the clearing.  It turnout to be a very poor place for things as all the top soil had been stripped off  and most of the plants at best just sat there until I moved them to a better spot.  Many didn’t make it at all but some have multiplied and I have them all over the farm.  The iris are covering the place as does the vica major.   Then we had to start cleaning up the wood land.  But that is for another story tomorrow.  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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