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NC NOW | Mary & Nelson James of Dogwood Farms | UNC-TV

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cf0 Kelly McCullen:
b If Old McDonald had a farm in real-life, it would probably look like Nelson and Mary
James’ ’93Dogwood Farms.’94 b0
Kelly Mc: b There’s a gobble-gobble here. b0
NATURAL SOUND ’96 Chickens
Kelly Mc: b A cluck-cluck there. b0
Kelly Mc: b Here an oink and there an oink. There’s
even the cows Mary bought that earned lifetime pardon because Mary got too attached. b0 b Mary James ’96 Cows ’96
b0 I names the heifer ’93Susy’94 and the bull ’93Jo-Jo.’94 He said you can’t eat
what you name. I said, ’93You want to bet?’94
Natural Sound..Farm Activity
Kelly Mc:
b Mary and Nelson have been married over forty years. Nelson was married to the family’s
century-year-old farm long before that. b0 b Nelson James:
b0 I would describe myself as a being a small, average farmer. I live in very comfort zone
where I eat what I raise, I walk out in the morning and I look at my stuff and be thankful
that I got it and when I go to bed at night, I sleep easy but most of my junk I got paid
Kelly Mc: b Mary fell in love with with her farmer.
She couldn’t fall in love with farming. She made her career off the farm. Nelson left
the farm but came back to it EVERY night. b0 b Nelson James:
b0 I didn’t ever stop farming. I farmed and worked out, too. Come home at night and might
work until eleven or twelve o’clock at night ’96 disking.
Kelly Mc:
b Mary resisted becoming a farmer, until she retired from public education. Nelson
built her a small greenhouse to grow plants. It was agricultural bait and Mary fell hook,
line and sinker.
Mary James ’96 Chickens ’96 b0 We started doing the chickens, then the
rabbits, then the turkeys, then the ducks. One thing led to…I don’t even have time
to do bedding plants anymore.
Kelly Mc: b Raising the animals and staying trained
to process the farm’s own meat, Mary’s doing it all. Nelson’s doing what he’s always done.
It appears it’s all he’ll ever do. b0 b Nelson James:
b0 I’ve been quittin’ farming for the last thirty years but every time the Spring comes
around again, it’s right back on that tractor again. It’s just something that’s in your
system. You become immune to it, like.
NATURAL SOUND…Nelson sawing wood to build rabbit boxes
b Nelson James:
b0 I don’t want no rocking chair. b Kelly Mc:
b0 Why not? Farming’s hard work. Farming breaks a man’s back at the end of the day.
b Nelson James
b0 ’96 I always say it’s like drunk man. The doctor will tell him to quit drinking.
If he don’t, it’s going to finally kill him. That’s the way, when it gets in your system,
it’s hard to kick it to the curb.
Kelly Mc: b The farm makes them work every day. There
are no vacations and it’s certainly too much work to be called retirement. Mary and Nelson
call it the Good Life. b0 b Mary James:
b0 Give my hand to Lord God Almighty, I thought I was too cute to farm but let me tell you,
it’s the best thing that a person can have healthwise. You don’t have time to go in the
house and sit and just eat, sit, sleep, eat and gain weight.
b Kelly Mc:
b0 This is good for you….. b Nelson James:
b0 It’s good for me. I’d rather do this than go fishing.
b Kelly Mc:
b0 What’s good about it? Is because it’s work? Is it something to do? You can sell
something. Is it the money? b Nelson James:
b0 Well, it ain’t so much the money. It’s just the…I like to see stuff grow. I like
the…we’re not big farmers but what little bit I got, I like to see it look good.
NATURAL SOUND….Farm Activity
b Kelly Mc:
b0 Are you doing this because your father did it and because your grandfather did it?
b Nelson James:
b0 No, I’m doing because of the love of the land. I ain’t doing it because they done it.
b Nelson James:
b0 I just love to dig in the dirt.


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