Friday, February 09, 2007

Farming In Orlando: Bill & Marie Barnett

by their grandson, Steve Barnett

Bill Barnett married Marie Parmer. They lived in several houses in Orlando. At one time they lived on the hill overlooking the Burnsville road, then they had a farm on Clover Fork, and finally lived in a house on the hill below the Orlando Cemetery.

My grandfather made a living buying and selling cattle. He would buy calves in the spring and sell the full grown cows in the fall to make a profit. He would also buy lambs and do the same thing. Other things he would do was buy turkeys and ducks, pluck them and ship on the train to various cities at a profit.

They raised chickens for meat and eggs, a hog or two for butchering, grew field corn for the animals, and always had a large garden for canning and fresh vegetables in the summer. Meat was preserved by salting and smoking. My grandfather would hang hams in the granary in feed sacks. I can remember him bringing the ham up to the house and cutting several slices out for dinner. The hams were heavily salted and did not have to be refrigerated. My grandmother would soak the meat in water to remove the excess salt before cooking for dinner, otherwise it would be to salty to eat. Left over food scraps from dinner would be mixed with a powdered formula and water in a bucket and used to slop the hogs.

At one time he also delivered milk to some local people in town. This would not be allowed today because the milk was raw and not pasteurized. Raw milk also tastes much different from the pasteurized milk sold in stores today. As a little kid I refused to drink milk from the store because it did not taste the same as what I got from my grandparents. Mom and dad finally had to “forget” to bring milk home after a visit so I would start drinking milk from the store.

If I happened to be visiting, I would help bring the cows in from the field for my grandfather to milk and then watch grandmother straining the fresh milk through cheese cloth and then into quart bottles for delivery. Then I would tag along as he delivered the milk. I also remember my grandmother churning cream into butter. I still have her churn that she used.

When my grandparents lived on Clover Fork, there house was the first house on the right as you started up the road. During the boom years of the railroads, my grandparents would sell dairy products, vegetables and anything else they could grow to the train crews. People from the trains would buy anything they had for sale. This was a lucrative business at the time.

When the grandchildren were born there was always a pony kept on the farm for us to ride.

To the right above is a picture of my grandfather, my cousin Connie Mick, and myself riding a pony at his house. Behind them, left to right, the Morrison home, Warehouse, Ford & Bea Brown's home and Jack & Marianne Riffle's home.

See Marie as a girl with her brother-in-law Dave Bennett at the bottom of the entry Nov '06 Telling Tales
See more on raw milk at Apr '06 entry Cow Milk & Where Calves Come From

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