ABOUT FARMER RHODES GRANDDAUGHTER
I am a farmers' granddaughter, the first granddaughter of farmers, Otto and Mamie Rhodes England and the daughter of a Daddy who loved the land, and cows, and nature. As for me, I can't say that I can call myself a farmer--not just yet. I'm working on my little farm with a small flock of chickens in addition to my flower and vegetable gardens. I did spend many days of my childhood working in the chicken houses with my Granny Rhodes gathering eggs in red wire baskets and with my other grandparents hoeing gardens and stringing many a bean.
I am a lover of stories, words--a noticer--a storyteller. And over the years working as a journalist, and writer, God has blessed me to meet some wonderful and inspiring individuals who graciously allowed me to share their stories--their farming stories, their faith stories. Listening to these individuals and families tell their stories and then being able to share them with others in word and photographs has been one of my greatest blessings.
As an older adult--fortyish, I went back to college to finish my four-year degree--a dream of mine from a younger age. While at Salem College I continued my work as a writer for a local newspaper--mostly covering sports and writing a few feature stories. Some of my writing projects as a college student included The Quilt, a Family Memoir , an oral history of my farming family (excerpt on the blog) along with my senior thesis, With Fullness of Heart and An Aching Back, The Changing Roles of Women in Agriculture. My senior thesis consisted of research I complied along with traveling many miles in the western part of North Carolina visiting farm women and recording their voices and telling their stories.
Why stories of farming and highlighting artisans? Farming and creating has always been dear to my heart and both runs deep within my roots. My maternal grandparents were farmers, my other grandparents grew gardens the size of football fields--it seemed as a young child anyway, working every summer hoeing and picking and digging. My grandmothers and mother and many aunts and cousins are avid and very gifted quilters, knitters, crocheters, cooks and bakers, and seamstresses. And above all else, first and foremost, to honor God--the first gardener, the Giver of all good gifts, and the Creator of all beauty.