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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

"The introduction of my new publication, Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock will be launched on Sept 14 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Henderson County Court House 500 Main Street. A talk and a brief slide show follows with refreshments afterward. …"
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Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8


Over the past week, I've noticed folks working up their second cutting of hay. Getting in that last little bit to feed their stock over the winter.

In my area, if there are three cuttings of hay during the summer, farmers are very pleased. This summer and last summer, folks were lucky if they got two cuttings-many only got one.


Our mountain holler is nestled behind a 2500 acre cattle farm. Each summer I love to see and smell the hay as it lies in the field ready to be bailed. Growing up, local boys were always hoping to get hired in the hay fields to make extra money. That was back in the days of square bales. Now that most farmers have switched over to round bales (which are more efficient) I don't see any teenagers helping out.


When Pap was growing up-hay was a necessity-something you had to have for your stock to survive the winter. In his earliest memories they cut hay by hand. He said they only cut once a summer-because it took all summer for a man to cut a whole field of hay by hand.

Later on, Pap's family used a cutting machine that was pulled by a team of horses to cut hay. They also used a rake pulled behind the horses to pile the hay. Then using pitchforks the hay was thrown on the back of a wagon.


If you were lucky enough to have a big barn-Pap said you stored the hay in the loft. If not-folks would cut a small tree, 4 or 5 inches thick, and cut the limbs down to where they were short and stubby. The tree was placed in the ground and the hay was thrown around in into a pile of sorts. As it was needed, hay was taken to the horses and cows.


I'm no hay expert-but I remember buying square bales for a dollar a piece when The Deer Hunter and I had horses. Last summer they were selling for $10.00 a bale around here-due to the drought. A huge difference in price.

I can't help but think of the stark contrast of a farmer cutting hay by hand to sustain his family through the winter and someone like me paying for hay to feed horses we only used for pleasure.

Got any hay stories?

Tipper

To read more about my Appalachian Heritage-please visit my website at Blind Pig & The Acorn. You can also enjoy music, folk art, and monthly giveaways-so check it out!

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