It all started 40 years ago with a broke down car in front of a real estate office in Bay St Louis, a small coastal town in Mississippi. While waiting for my car to be repaired, I wandered into a real estate agent’s office and began asking about farmland available for sale. To my amazement, he had top notch technology (yes, a long time ago!) a VHS video tape of a timber farm located in the Kiln, 20 minutes north of town.
We were immediately smitten ......it was unique property for sure with its spring fed creek (Bayou La Terre), rolling hills and magnificent oaks. The property's history was intriguing..... it was rumored to have been the site of high-quality moonshine stills in a county known back in the day as the moonshine capital.
That was 40 years ago, three children, 42-year legal career and the ever-present question “what’s next”? I grew up in Oregon spending summers picking berries under protest. My husband, “Bubba” grew up in North Louisiana working on a farm picking cotton and growing soybeans. So, I guess it was meant to be that we would ultimately become farmers.
Since we were rearing children and busy practicing law, we opted to maintain the property as a timber farm but, with each timber cutting, we created new pastures and new trails, and discovered new springs, creeks and ponds with fire lanes and ponds with catfish, brim and bass and the ever present Canadian geese, wood ducks and wild turkeys.
The farm now includes cattle, horses, donkeys and goats, in addition to the native inhabitants which include deer, rabbits and raccoons. We plan to add chickens and bees to the menagerie of animals. As things progressed, our son Connor, a recent college graduate, and I became interested in becoming commercial cut-flower growers as well as garland weavers for weddings, events and seasonal wreaths. With an abundance of land and water, the supply of greenery including magnolia, holly, smilax and pine is unlimited. The opportunities to expand into berry crops (blueberries and thornless blackberries, aka Teri berries), vegetables and melons.
Along with farming, the property offers an assortment of recreational activities such as walking/hiking tree lined trails, wading in crystal clear waters of the sandy creek, or kayaking, fishing or swimming in the ponds. Guests also can cut their own Christmas tree as our tree farm continues to grow.
Life is good on La Terre Farms. This is a generational endeavor that includes our entire family. Come meet Connor the farmer, Katie, Andrew and baby Eva who are helping with events and building out our Christmas Tree project, and Grady. You won't want to miss Sunshine, our lab, who loves swimming the ponds and leads our welcome committee.
Read more about us in The Shoofly Magazine, our favorite Bay St Louis/ Waveland online community news.