To market, to market

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It’s Saturday morning and I’m checking out Landrum’s Farmer’s Market. My bag is full with onions, baby carrots and zucchini, to be stir fried in my wok for a delicious summer meal. My quest now is for fresh eggs, eggs that were safely tucked beneath a hen, just a few days ago!
At the end of the row of vendors, I notice a sign for River’s Moon Farm Heritage Eggs. And then I notice the smile on the charming, bright-eyed woman selling the eggs. Her name is Sue March, and as we chat about the eggs and River’s Moon Farm, I learn about her life, and how selling eggs at the market has brought her full circle to her childhood.
Sue grew up in Pennsylvania on the West Virginia border. Her grandparents and her father were farmers. She describes a life where all pitched in to help. “If we had a dog, he was there to help hunt. If we had a cat, she had to be a mouser. There was no free ride. We lived on what we produced, hunted or fished. We had a root cellar and my mother canned and preserved our food.”
After high school Sue found employment at the University of West Virginia. “That was the closest place to find a job. After high school, we all headed to the University to get a job.” she explained. And that’s where she met her husband, who was majoring in Forestry. Eventually, after a few moves, they ended up on a farm in Campobello.
Sue says her husband is the real farmer. She giggles, “I’m the lazy farmer. I grow asparagus, which will keep producing for 17 years. That’s what I call farming. But we have pigs and chickens.” She relates their battles with a hawk while raising the chickens. “First we put up chicken wire to keep the little chicks in. But they would stick their heads thru the wire holes and the hawk would swoop down and get them. So we had to double the chicken wire and make the holes smaller. Then we had to cover the coop with mesh. One day the hawk actually flew into the mesh and was bounced around.  I think we finally outsmarted him.”
And don’t mention snakes. To Sue, every snake is the “anaconda” waiting to get her. “Big or small,” she laughs, “it’s the anaconda. When I was a kid, we had a root cellar. My Dad would find a Black Snake every year and put it in the root cellar to get the rats. So I stayed away from the root cellar. Which was worse, the snakes or the rats?” she ponders.
Sue works at the Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care. “We work with patients often on ventilators that can no longer be in the hospital.  It’s a facility with a caring, dedicated staff. The patient’s family becomes our family.“ Her eyes mist up as she describes the special environment there. And she makes jewelry. “ I try to re-use everything. I make earrings and necklaces out of old embroidery pieces that I find at the thrift shops. I’m learning to sew so I can make reusable paper towels and grocery bags. I make bird feeders out of old china. But selling eggs has brought me full circle.  My aunt sold eggs at her local market. When she heard I was selling eggs, she couldn’t believe I was following in her footsteps.”
Check with Sue to learn about freezing tomatoes and fresh herbs. And the name of the farm? Her grandson, River, always loved seeing the moon, thence the wistful name “River’s Moon Farm”.

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