Diane is a HarvestShare member who has lived in the Cedar Grove-Efland community most of her life. On a summer Saturday morning, Diane welcomed Jakayla Wilkins, Joelle Axton, and Abby Huggins to her home in Efland, NC. Here is a short excerpt from their interview.
Diane: I grew up mostly in Cedar Grove, NC. We did some sharecropping when I was young so that meant that you moved around. And, so we moved around quite often and some places we stayed were really nice and I have some really fond memories of having big garden. We had big gardens because I had twelve siblings and two cousins that lived with us most of the time. So, we had to plant and raise a lot of food and some of my fond memories is pulling onions out of the dirt. I always liked to do that. We raised a lot of potatoes. And we would take the potatoes to the barn. And in the barn there was a loft and in the loft there was a box that held hay and we would bury the onions and the potatoes down in the hay and all winter long we had potatoes and onions, that’s how they preserved them. So, I can still remember doing that. I remember how big some of the onions were. And I don’t really think I ate them but I liked pulling them. Cause that was kind of unique. And we raised animals. We had cows and pigs and of course chickens. We had a lot of chickens for breakfast and lunch and dinner. Cause we had plenty of chickens and eggs. We always had fresh eggs. And so, then I realized those eggs probably taste a lot better than the eggs you buy in the store today. Most of my life I was in Cedar Grove and Efland, northern Hillsborough. And I’m a farm person, I’m a farm girl. And, I don’t farm now but I enjoy farming when I was younger.
I remember family reunions and they was like really a big big thing back then. And for me, on my side of the family, my mom’s side and my dad’s side we still really big in the family reunions. And I remember my grandmother she would have all these ice cream churns on the porch. And, back then there was the kind that you didn’t hook in the wall. It was the kind that you turn and turn and turn and turn. And so she would get all these coolers on the porch and we not knowing any better would just love to turn them and turn them and turn them. So we would make all this homemade ice cream. We was talking about this, couple of weeks ago, we had our family reunion. We always get together on my granddaddy’s side. We reminisce. We get like a room in a hotel, meeting room. We go there and we reminisce about our grandparents and our days growing up. So we was talking about this homemade ice cream and my grandmother would come and she would have an apron on and in that apron she would have diced peaches and she would put the diced peaches in this churn and she would come back a little bit later. She might have strawberries, she’d put fresh strawberries in this one. So, she’d put something in all the ice cream. And, it was just so good. It just don’t taste like the ice cream we have now. But I just remember how good that ice cream was. Back then, they had fresh cream and everything, their own cream. It was really good. But that was, I think one of my fondest memories. Cause My granddad had a long porch and them coolers be lined up on that porch. And we would be little dummies not knowing any better. “It’s my turn to churn!” And so we would take turns and we would pretty much fight over who would turn the churns. But it was probably my favorite memory, my favorite food back then, that homemade ice cream.
And one of my favorite things in the world is recipe books. I love recipe books. I pretty much collect them too, but I don’t tell folks that, because I might get overwhelmed with them. And I would take a recipe book and see a really pretty recipe. I would try that recipe and then lot of times, I alter that recipe to my liking. And I can take a really good recipe and make it low fat. I just, you know, like recipes and I can say this year, since I’ve been getting the food from the garden, I have tried so many different things. Its just amazing. And I’m really learning to appreciate fresh vegetables so much more. Truly thank y’all from the bottom of my heart for those vegetables. Cause, I have truly been losing weight and really cooking so much better with my garden, so. Thank you thank you thank you.