Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Valley

When I was visioning moving away from Virginia, I told a friend that I wanted to live somewhere with a happy wonderful name.  Now I find I am gardening in a place called Happy Valley, North Carolina.  It is a happy little farming area between two mountain ridges. It is so green and lush and beautiful.
I have been putting in a vegetable garden at the Ripshin Dairy Farm there.  Liza and her family make goat cheese and sell to the local restaurants and farmers markets.  And...after looking at the above link, I find out they make Truffles as well in the fall.  I can't wait to try them~

Liza and William are so precise and thoughtful in the way they work the farm. It is a joy to be there and see how it all works. They don't have time for a garden, and I don't have any sun on my wooded 1/2 acre.  They kindly let me use their tiller and garden space.  It is wonderful soil to work in, and all around me are piles of old straw mixed with goat droppings to mulch with. I am in heaven.

Liza's flower gardens are pretty extensive as well.  Mike and I have been helping to get them into better shape, as well as some college students from Appalachian State University.  Things are looking so good there. 

When I arrived last fall after the death of her longtime gardener, the gardens were a solid mass of chickweed.  We have been diligent about mulching with chopped up leaves from last fall and they are doing the job so well.  We just had 5 days in a row with inches of rain everyday, and weeds in the beds we have done.  The sun is out this weekend and it is so fulfilling to see the result of months of tough work. The butterfly's were having a wonderful time dancing from flower to flower to Finn.... sometimes they take a little rest on my shoulder. 

I spent the day planting red okra, melons, sweet potato's and squash.  By the time I had mulched all the rows I was way overheated, as was Finn.  I felt bad for Finn, panting in the heat. Every weekend last year I took him swimming in Wilson's creek.  Between the Leola street community garden plot I also keep in Boone, work and keeping up a large home, I have had no time to do this for Finn. 

I was considering how long it would take me to get to Wilson's Creek and give him some fun time when I asked Liza, as she brought out an ice cold glass of sweet tea, if they could build a pond for Finn to swim in.   We decided instead to take him to the beach at the end of her property on the Yadkin River.    Heaven~  Everywhere I go around here I am in my own personal heaven... 

The River was really moving fast around the bend after recieving 7 or so inches of rain this week.

It didn't take Finn but a minute to figure out how to work with the current to grab the sticks.  He got a good workout and I snapped a few photo's and talked to the butterfly on my shoulder. Finn was at last, in his own personal heaven after waiting so patiently for me to get the gardening done.

I had an opportunity to go to Myrtle Beach and meet my daughter for a spur of the moment weekend.  After getting rained out all week, I had to finish a job on Friday that was half done. Then, I realized it is the end of the month, I need to send out bills for the work that was done all month, and I hadn't put my veggies in the ground.  It was a tough choice, but I took the responsible route and stayed home and motored on.....I would have loved some girl time laying on a beach with my oldest gardener daughter.  I am sure there will be other opportunities for playing together soon. 

Meeting the Yadkin River for the first time today helped a lot, as did being in a place called Happy Valley.  Just like I wanted when I moved here. Things like that make it so much easier, when I realize how far away from my family I am. I have a really great family, they are my favorite people in the whole world.  But, I am also loving the people and places I am discovering here. Now, I can't wait till all those veggies are ready to eat!

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