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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Charles D. Thompson, October 15, 1990. Interview K-0810. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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!