Farming is lucrative but lonely
Thompson started farming in 1984. He found it to be a lucrative but lonely business.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Charles D. Thompson, October 15, 1990. Interview K-0810. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
So in 1984 I
started the farm. I cleared the land and rent it out to a guy who had
lots of cattle. And I lived in town for a couple of months before I
moved to the farm. I named it whippoorwill. It's a kind of
bird. I heard it sing in the night. Not every farm has a name. Most new
farms have names. The old ones don't need a name and people
will recognize them by their long time owners. Because I am going to
sale products to restaurants and they need a name recognition. Like
Coke. I was a small businessperson. I was interested in building a
reputation. So I sell things to farm market for two full season. I sale
things like followers, squash. The first big week for me was to
sale $100, which was a day to celebrate.
It takes at least one season to build up. The first week I got
$10. One week you can have a harvest. Then I began to plant
black berries, blue berries, plums, cheese, a
kind of South American's small animals. I worked on setting
up relationships with people all over the country, such as Arkansas. A
good experience. I think I work very well as a small businessman.
But there were disappointments working in the farm. One of them was I was
alone all the time and that I had nobody to work with. My wife never
said she wanted to be a full time farmer. I got married her in the same
year and we had a big celebration in 1985 in the farm. Lots of people
came. It's great we got neighbors came. But most of the time
I was working alone. She worked in an office in Pittsboro, the
foundation. They still had branches. The woman broken her arm named
Betty Bey is now the director. So anyway, I worked there for 9 years. I
guess the entire time I was a farmer, I had various emotions involves.
By the way, as I worked harder and harder, and my plants got better and
better, I made lots of money from the land. Once I made two thousand
dollars from the farmers market within one day!