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A perfect day in Sandy Mush.
Beyond the beauty, vigor and friendship, I learn something new each time we join together on our Sandy Mush hikes. This time I learned that our family’s land on Garrett Cove is actually called and spelled the Isom pasture after Isom Evans. I always thought it was Isen (a slurred icing in my childhood mind); it shows how easy it would be for geographic or other names to get changed over the years. I also learned that the cabin that our friends, Dave and Kim, restored on their Sandy Mush Farm (aka Everett Farm aka McCracken Place), our September hike, was originally on this land and was moved in the 1940’s before finally relocating on Dave and Kim’s.
But most importantly, I learned that Vance is a heck of tree climber and apple picker! Sorry you missed the hike and the apples, but enjoy the photos.
Our May 3rd hike was gorgeous with the spring flowers blooming and the cool green hues of the forest beckoning us to continue until our ascent on the stunning rock outcrop overlooking much of Big Sandy Mush, where we enjoyed our picnic, the view and the discovery of our native columbine. A huge thanks to Kevin and Linda for hosting this hike and to Kevin for leading our hike and for his trail. It is always fun to go exploring in the woods. Enjoy a glimpse of our hike.
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We enjoyed a leisurely four hour hike with several ascents to an almost 360 degree view of Little and Big Sandy Mush, and then back to Dort and Charley’s for a picnic lunch in the warmth of sunshine and friends.
We have started our Sandy Mush Hiking Club, a group of us who can’t imagine a better way to enjoy a day than hiking in Sandy Mush and enjoying the wonderful company, conversation and beautiful mountains. We were fortunate to have our local historian, Vance Garrett, lead our hike through the Garrett Cove into the high mountain pasture overlooking Crabtree in Haywood County, circling around Sharp Top through the Flatwoods and then back down into Garrett Cove. We enjoyed the 4 and 1/2 hour hike with over 1000 elevation gain with a surprise visit to a cave, a botany lesson in the garlic mustard invasive and a conservation talk with Sarah of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. SAHC holds conservations easements on three of the properties in Garrett Cove. I am thankful for the people with the foresight to conserve this land for now and for many future generations, and I am thankful for the history that Vance so graciously shared with us.
Enjoy the photos!
A clover, any time, to him Is aristocracy. So observed the keen Ms. Emily Dickinson.
We had our best honey year yet on Bee Branch Farm. Even with two swarms spiraling away this spring, we were able to make an additional hive by splitting two hives. Thus, we still have the three hives that made it through last winter, and now have an additional one to head into this winter. We were able to collect three honey harvests this year. The June honey was a light and sweet clover and poplar, the July honey was a golden toned wildflower with a hint of citrus, and the August honey was the lovely and oh so tasty sourwood and clover. We just finished labeling the final sourwood/clover honey gift jars and have a few available if you want honey for yourself or to give the sweetest gift one can receive. If you aren’t already on our honey “to notify” list and you want to be, let me know. Our honey sells out very quickly.
With much gratitude to our hard-working bees and our honey-loving customers,