I admit it…I am a Daddy’s girl! I loved hanging around my Dad on the farm, in the kitchen, at his side picking and singing or listening to the stories he could tell oh so well!
It is Fathers day weekend and we will have some great father’s day gifts here at the farm… beautiful Baber Woodworking cutting boards and Bathtub gin gift packs, as well as grilling specials to take home to treat dad. David Maxwell, the executive chef from Miel will be here from 10:30 AM until 1PM with Grilling pointers and treats from the farm… don’t forget to make plans to spend some time hanging out at the grill with Dave!
Back home there was a guy called Fungo Carpenter. He was a real character, and even though my brother was named Grimes Jr. after my dad, Fungo always called me Grimesey Jr.! I could tell enough stories to fill a book about my Dad, but for the sake of time here I will only tell you a few.
daddy grimes on an old farm vehicle
Story number one… planting corn… My pop was a great farmer… he knew the old time ways, which I wish I would have studied more, but thank goodness for second chances, as Jeff Poppen has made relearning these things possible. He loved corn and tomatoes. As I mentioned before, if one cousin was planting acres of something down the road, you didn’t duplicate it: families and neighbors shared. So we always did corn. “Roasninears,” which translates to “Roasting Ears” to folks outside the North Carolina Mountains. One year at just the right time to plant the corn in a 5 acre field the old Moline tractor died… just wouldn’t start. My sister Alice, who loves animals had begged a neighbor not to put down an old mule named Ruth, so the mule had come to our pastures to finish out her last days. I was about 5 or so at the time, but I remember Dad going out an talking to old Ruth, explaining that everything around here had to “earn their keep” and today was a work day for her. Anyone who would have driven up to see the conversation between a man and a mule might have seriously questioned the sanity of the two legged conversant! However, for as stubborn as Ms Ruth was, she obliged the harness and the old time pull plow/seeder and off to the field the man, the mule, and the little girl went. We worked all day, Dad steadying the plow behind Ruth, with me trailing behind covering up the seeds. That was my first memorable lesson in making something happen out of ingenuity and hard work and do believe that was the sweetest corn I remember ever eating!
Dad’s corn production certificate
dad’s FFA photo
Story number two…church doors …Our family attending a small rural Methodist church about a mile or two down the road from our farm. One Sunday after church, the men of the church were discussing the upcoming repairs to the church and that the old church front door needed replacing. The new doors would be in middle of the week and they needed someone with a truck to haul away the old doors. My Dad volunteered under the condition he could have the doors. They were not doors in today’s terms of doors… they were 3-4 inch think oak slabs about 7 foot tall and about 3 feet wide. So my Dad and brother went and got the doors and brought them home to the farm. He proceeded to use cement blocks to make “sitting benches” one under a huge red oak, one under a huge white oak which filled our yard with shade from the house to the barn. My Dad was a wise man, and many people came to our farm just to sit and talk to Dad about life and problems and ideas. You never knew who would be visiting: from Senators and Officials to cousins and down on their luck folks…they were all treated the same …a session” on the bench.” He would promptly tell the guest that they were sitting on a piece of the church, which was a good as swearing on the Bible, so they had best tell the truth! Far as I know, they did. One of those church doors is still in operation today as a sitting bench under a white oak tree, by an old dairy barn. Gosh how I wish it could talk.
dad and I on the plank swing he built for us
Story number three, farm food.
My Dad could cook. Flat out melt in your mouth stuff, including things that probably wouldn’t appeal too much to city folks, but were delicious all the same. He know about the food in the field and could translate that to what to cook! He learned from my Grandmother who was known far and wide for her meals… 3 meals a day for the farm ( she had 10 kids) plus all the visiting cousins ( probably another 10-15 folks) and for mid day meal and a morning break, food for all the tenant workers and field hands. Food was a big part of family life on the farm. You grew it… then you ate it! He could make amazing fig jam. His canned tomatoes made a cold winter day taste like the end of June and he know exactly how to butcher and then cook up beef that was out of this world. Pots and pans never were put away in cabinets, because they were all going to be used again for the next meal! He understood the importance of having a meal together, and knowing where the food was from. I am so thankful that growing up, that even if I didn’t realize it we were poor in dollars, we were rich with the bounties of the land.
my family around the farm table
Summer’s bounty is here. The squash is rolling in, tomatoes red and yellow too! Chioggia and Red Beets, Chard, Lettuce, spring new potatoes, cucumbers and BEANS! Order your box today and don’t forget the steaks and burgers for dad! Mention “DADDY” and get either a large fig or frog jam, or bread and butter pickles or chow chow for just $5!
CLICK HERE to order your box