The Rose Knows – August 2016
And a good day to all “ye ole crofters.” Before offense is taken to this name-calling, one needs to understand that a crofter is an English/Scottish term for a respected farmer. The croft itself is a plot of arable land plus the right of pasturage held in common with other crofters. The infinitive “to croft” means “to farm.” Hence, our name, Tudor Croft, echoes the importance of agriculture in our past and present.
The rugged European crofters who came to Black Mountain found lush forests teeming with wildlife and good soil in the Swannanoa River Valley. They cut trees to build homesteads consisting of horses, barns, sheds, corn cribs, granaries, and smokehouses to preserve meat. Cane was grown to harvest the sorghum to make molasses. The settlers grew potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, wheat and oats in the river valley and hardier crops such as corn and apples on the rocky slopes. At harvest time, threshers came to “thrash” the wheat and oats. Corn was gathered and shucked by hand. It was taken to the mill to be ground for cornbread or stored to feed animals in the winter. Wheat was milled into flour for bread. While the work was physically demanding, the land bound these early settlers to it and to each other.
Nowadays, Black Mountain still has a connection to the land. Many grow vegetables in home gardens or specialize in growing apple trees, blueberry and blackberry bushes, beekeeping, cattle and goat dairy farming. Some folks become involved in a community garden. The largest one is the John Wilson Community Garden that operates as an allotment garden with a portion of the produce for personal use and a portion for food charities.
The farmers’ markets are other excellent ways to enjoy the bounty of the land. The Black Mountain Tailgate Market at 130 Montreat Road is open every Saturday morning from 9 am until noon, May through November. It has an abundance of organic grown produce, plants, cut flowers, herbs, locally raised meats, seafood, bread, pastries, cheeses, eggs and local arts and crafts. Also, on Ridgeway Avenue is the Roots and Fruits Organic Market.
Here at Tudor Croft, Sure Point Builders is certainly making good use of the land. Twelve beautiful lots with amazing back deck views have been marked for Phase II A and are now available for reservations. Five lots have already been reserved!
It seems that having a physical connection to the land feeds our souls. One is reminded of one old crofter who had the sweet, smelling sweat streaking his face and neck and the brown/grey loam and red clay soils covering his thick tired hands. He would come in from the fields, kiss his wife and hug his children, and smile with his twinkling blue eyes and say, “It’s been a real good day!” Words of a life well lived!
Welcome to Our Court!