Photos by John Kay
Thanks to the creative efforts of Union County kindergarten classes, a dozen or so scarecrows have taken their stand at the Reece Farm and Heritage Center. Instructed and assisted by their teachers, these students had great fun in dressing and assembling their respective scarecrows, leading to an impressive variety.
This project was a joint venture involving the Reece Society’s Special Events Committee, chaired by Shirley Cole, and the Union County School System, with kindergarten teacher Jennifer Turner as the coordinator. Mrs. Cole supplied the materials and suggestions for assembly, and the children and their teachers put together the scarecrows for public display.
The families, friends, and general public are invited at no charge to visit the Reece Farm in the remaining open days in October to see the handiwork of these students. Should visitors also wish to tour the Farm exhibits, they may do so for a fee of $4.00 for those 12 and older.
The Reece Farm and Heritage Center is located one mile north of Vogel State Park on Highway 129, and is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10:00 to 5:00 and on Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00.
If you are visiting the North Georgia Mountains this Fall, don’t miss a stop at the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center. It is the perfect pause in your busy travels in the area.
Visit the exhibits to see how Georgia’s Mountain Poet lived and worked and how farming was done in the mountain area during his lifetime. Wander through the gardens and walking paths, enjoy the sound of the creek and the beauty of the season, and bring a picnic and dine at a creekside table.
Be sure to visit the Gift Shop where you will find beautiful locally produced items so you can get a head start on your Christmas shopping.
It was a perfect summer day at the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center to celebrate the 2nd Annual ‘Maters and Music. The valley rang with music from two great local bands, The Shady Grove UMC Bluegrass Band and the Bennie Shook Family Band, while volunteers served juicy tomato sandwiches with iced tea. There was a lot of toe-tappin’ and lip-smackin’!
White bread, mayo, farm-fresh tomatoes, and a little salt and pepper – Ah, perfection!
Reece Farm Volunteers ready to create sandwich magic.
Shady Grove UMC Bluegrass Band. Photo: Toni B. Jernigan
Shady Grove UMC Bluegrass Band boasted two fiddle players.
Bennie Shook Family Band – Bennie, Justin, Susan and Stacy Shook. Photo: Toni B. Jernigan
Enthusiastic visitors enjoyed the music and ‘mater sandwiches at the pavilion.
On June 13th, lucky visitors to the Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center had a chance to sample more than a dozen different cornbread recipes prepared by some great mountain cooks. The cornbread was accompanied by other favorites – soup beans, green onions, butter, loganberry tea, and buttermilk punch.
Diners were able to eat next to the creek or in the pavilion decorated with spectacular examples of creatively crafted planters for summer, plus plants and garden books available for sale to help create garden masterpieces at home. Master Gardner, Shirley Cole, demonstrated how to create them using “thrillers, spillers, and fillers.” Six lucky visitors took home one of Shirley’s beautiful planters as a door prize for the event.
After the garden demonstration and cornbread tasting, Women of Heart provided a beautiful concert of native Cherokee stories and music. It was a magical day! Check out the photos below.
Make plans now to visit and share a day with your family and friends at the Reece Farm at one of our special events.
Eric S. Sutherland, poet, community activist, and author of pendulum, judged over 100 poems for the 2015 Bettie Sellers Poetry Contest, and he selected Cindy King’s (Lancaster, TX) “Prelude and Seating of the Mothers” as the winning poem. Those receiving Honorable Mentions include “Giving up the Bones” – Lynne Shapiro, Hoboken, NJ; “Déjà vu” – Pat Landreth Keller, Hawkinsville, GA; “To Lake Chatuge” – Karen Paul Holmes, Atlanta, GA; and “I Have Two Legs” – Ronnie Hess, Madison WI. Congratulations to the winner and those who received honorable mention.
The winning poem is here –Prelude and Seating of the Mothers C King
Cindy King’s work has appeared in Callaloo, North American Review, Black Warrior Review, American Literary Review, jubilat, Barrow Street and elsewhere. Her poems can also be heard at weekendamerica.publicradio.org, rhinopoetry.org, and bhreview.org. In 2014, she was awarded a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to attend the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is the recipient of the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she will continue to revise her book-length poetry manuscript this summer. She has also been selected to be an NEH Scholar and will participate in the Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement Summer Institute at the University of Kansas. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she currently lives in Texas, where she is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas at Dallas.
Thank you to all who entered!
Filed under Poetry, Society
Thank you Ms. Carlson. We hope to see you again soon!
I have had the delight and privilege of visiting several of the Land Grant universities and have seen quite a few educational displays attempting to connect today’s suburban residents to their agricultural roots. The artists and educators connected with the Reece Farm have done an exceptional job in illustrating the life that was common to almost all rural folks in the first half of the last century. The displays are approachable, understandable and present a fair balance of the challenges of rural life and how those challenges were met day in and day out with hard work. School and adult groups will benefit for many years to come. Today, spinning, weaving, crochet and knitting skills are relegated to the “Arts and Crafts” category, but in those days, these winter and lamplight skills were taught early and considered a responsibility as well as artistic expression. Thank you for recognizing this aspect of that era. Mr. Reece’s personal items also lend insight to his quiet and too short life.
How fitting that his words are inscribed in the pillars arranged on the farm’s grounds, within the sound of Wolf Creek and the shadow of Georgia’s beloved mountains. Please give my regards to the planners and architects of such a welcoming and peaceful site.
Saturday evening, September 13th come hear the Appalachian String Quartet, an ensemble from the North Georgia Chamber Symphony, play the classical favorites of mountain poet Byron Herbert Reece as well as other numbers. Reece was fond of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and other well-known musicians. The event honors Reece on his 97th birthday.
The concert is free to the public and happens at twilight between 7:00 to 8:00 pm. There is a $3.00 admission fee for those 12 and over who wish to tour the venue’s exhibits. Come early if you want to tour the exhibits. They close at 6:30 PM. For more information contact the Reece Center at 706-745-2034.
The Reece Farm & Heritage Center is located on U.S. 129, 9 miles south of Blairsville, GA near Vogel State Park