Theron Maybin Farming Workshop

Center for Cultural Preservation


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00:00:00 - Introduction of Theron Maybin.

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Partial Transcript: The interviewer introduces Theron Maybin as an eighth-generation farmer from the Green River Valley in North Carolina. There is a Maybin Mountain in Hendersonville County. Theron is a member of the Agriculture Advisory Committee and a member of the Solar Water Conservation. Maybin has been a teacher and has won many awards for his farming. His farming skills were learned from experience.

Theron explains his belief that many people today don’t know what goes into raising their food. He had 12 children in his family. His father worked many jobs to provide for his family, staying busy and encouraging his children to be active and work hard.

Keywords: Agriculture; Conservation; Theron Maybin

Subjects: Introduction

00:03:48 - Theron's ancestors

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Partial Transcript: His ancestors have been in the area since Land Grants were awarded to Matthew Maybin maybe in 1770 -80, and more in the future. Much of that land did not pass down to family members. Theron found many family members who gave land to local churches. He knew you had to preserve in farming through dry and wet weather, whether for a personal garden or for commercial farming.

Theron used a lot of trial and error in growing crops, determining what crops needed to prevent mold and to know when to plant beans off the ground. He discusses planting according to astrological signs and by the phase of the moon. He gives advice to an audience member about growing beans and tomatoes according to these guidelines.

Keywords: crops; farming; Land grants

Subjects: farming philosophy; family history

00:15:50 - Soil testing is important

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Partial Transcript: Theron suggests visiting the county offices to get soil sample boxes to get your soil tested from different parts of a garden, so you know how to fertilize and treat soil. He explains fertilizers. He suggests consulting almanacs to learn about weeds and pests.
He discusses sources, methods, and timing of fertilizing.

Keywords: almanacs; fertilizing; Extension offices

Subjects: County extension office

00:20:43 - Raised Beds.

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Partial Transcript: Theron discusses the advantages of planting in raised beds in that they are economical and easy to work in. Also, one can avoid getting behind in gardening and weeding by cultivating small beds. He suggests testing soil annually if they see signs that a garden is not producing as it should. He suggests different methods of treating deficiencies, even using Tums or milk.

Theron discusses the advantages and disadvantages of planting rye grass to enrich a garden bed. He warns audience members that there are many kinds of ryegrasses and it is important as to which kind is used. He recommends specific crops for raised beds and how to space plants in raised beds.

Keywords: deficiencies; rye grass; soil testing; Raised beds

Subjects: soil testing; raised beds

00:31:03 - Keeping crows out of the garden.

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Partial Transcript: Theron discusses discouraging crows from corn in the garden. He mentions that crows are protected, and he can’t talk about some methods of deterring them from eating the corn. He mentions using kerosene on seed corn. He discourages people from starting plants inside if not planting according to astrological signs.

Theron talks about discouraging Voles by using Juicy Fruit gum which Voles love. The audience makes other suggestions including kitty litter and peppermint. He discusses growing okra and soaking the seed in Clorox. He suggests tolerating rabbits as they will come.

Keywords: astrology; kerosene; okra; rabbits; voles; crows

Subjects: how to discourage pests

00:40:16 - Supporting beans and tomatoes.

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Partial Transcript: Theron discusses support systems for beans and tomatoes and gives advice on pruning the plants and pinching the suckers on tomato plants.

Theron gives advice on locating a garden for the best sunlight exposure and growth. He then responds to a question about rotating crops in garden beds which he advises is good practice to avoid depleting the soil of certain nutrients.

He answers a question about whether to plant some crops together and avoid planting some together. He mentions marigolds, herbs, and peppers. Theron and the audience members talk about the plant sales by local extension agencies, especially berry bushes. He adds more to his earlier comments about planting by astrological signs. He talks about the uses of sage from the garden.

Keywords: astrological signs; sage; sunlight

Subjects: planting certain crops together

00:56:22 - Planting by astrological cycles.

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Partial Transcript: Theron talks more about planting by astrological cycles. By these standards, root crops and above-ground plots are planted under different signs. Fertilizing should follow these guidelines too. Potatoes should be planted on dark nights but dug up on light nights. He talks about vegetables he grew to a record size, including beets and turnips. He normally does not plant before Mother’s Day.

Keywords: Mother’s Day; potatoes; astrological

Subjects: planting dates and time of day

01:04:06 - You need to love your vegatables.

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Partial Transcript: Theron proposed that vegetables grow to a large size when they are loved and taken care of. They can’t be forced.

He discusses planting some vegetables in mounds, including squash, potatoes, and tomatoes. This method can help the plants stand up higher and protect them from the wind. The roots develop better, and the plants do not sit as directly on the ground, deterring pests.

Theron discusses watering methods; it is easy to overwater. Rainwater is best in a garden, rather than tap water. Rain barrels are a good way to collect water for the garden.

Keywords: rainwater; roots; watering; mounds

Subjects: Rainwater; Planting crops in mounds

01:12:02 - The ingredients in fertilizer.

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Partial Transcript: Theron discusses the ingredients in fertilizer, and which of these benefit vegetables. He suggests watering early in the morning or late in the day, not in the middle of the day. He says it does not hurt to get the leaves wet, but they will absorb water that goes in through the roots. He discourages using water straight from a well or directly from a spring; that water should sit in a container for a bit before using it to warm it up. Plants will adapt to a certain extent to the water they get so don’t overwater.

Keywords: Watering

Subjects: water

01:17:22 - Mulching a garden to preserve moisture.

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Partial Transcript: Theron encourages mulching a garden to preserve moisture in the ground and to nourish the crops. Plant rows going north to south need less moisture than those planted east to west. He mentions cleaning out stables and using the manure on the field. Wood ash and pine straw are mentioned.

Keywords: moisture; Mulching

Subjects: natural fertilizers; Mulching

01:23:18 - Eating wild onions.

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Partial Transcript: There is a discussion about eating wild onions from the yard. He compares them to ramps. Theron talks about other crops that occur naturally, pokeweed, and some grains. There is a discussion of how to cook pokeweed since it is poison when raw.

Dandelions are discussed, using them as a green or in tea.

One of the hosts introduces some of the products that Theron uses and recommends

There is a question about moonshine mash being used as hog food or as a fertilizer.

Theron recommends using the extension service for information and advice.

Someone asked about problems with pollination. He says the Red Delicious Apple needs bee pollination; if it does not occur the apples will be misshapen. Rain can affect pollination. The workshop finishes with a discussion of what they can plant at the next meeting based on the date and weather.

Keywords: extension service; moonshine mash; pokeweed; wild onions; dandelions

Subjects: Q&A time