Our Story: Modeling Community in the Lakelands
our farm's story matters
On May 29, 2020 - Tammie Price found her friend of 35 years, Dianne Fleming, unresponsive. Dianne had left a "Do Not Resuscitate" note... GOD revived Dianne that day. However, on Nov. 11, 2020, we lost Dianne to suicide from starvation. Tammie wondered how God could ever use Dianne’s story for "good?"
Since Dianne’s death, we have seen that this was not an isolated incident; so many families have lost loved ones to suicide, especially during the covid pandemic.
Because of Dianne's story and many tragic stories like hers, we were led to create a healing farm called Our Farm, an extension of A Place for Us Ministries. This farm will help men, women, teens, and children with similar issues (including veterans, children with special needs, and those grieving the loss of a loved one) throughout Abbeville County, the Lakelands Community and beyond.
My dad, Ed Page, was a gentle, humble man. Even now, I love to hear people tell me 1) what a good man he was and that his 2) property on Hunter's Street was the prettiest land in Abbeville County. He was "the middle" man in a family of 5 sons. He grew up with very little. He dreamed of owning land and some "white face" cows! I have found some old, old bank payment books recording his meager monthly payments for his land. Mr. Sam Carwise was our neighbor. He had never married, he loved my Dad, and he worked with Dad; allowing him to buy his land one parcel at a time. My Dad would leave General Telephone Company every day at 5 pm and go straight to his land. As a family, we knew we got supper when it got too dark for him to work anymore outside! Like most men of the Greatest Generation, he smoked too much. He was tall and lanky, a raw-boned man! I can still see him sitting on his truck's tailgate, with one foot resting on the ground. At the end of the day when everything got quiet and still, he found joy in smoking and watching his cows graze. I understood that my WWII veteran Dad was an excellent shot. His bird dogs were housed in a big pen behind the barn.
My sister, Becky, was 17 months younger than me. One of our neighbors, "Miss Jenny" Martin, had a granddaughter my age, Abby Martin McCord. We three played in Miss Jenny's flower filled yard. We chased butterflies, tied string around a June Bug's leg to watch it dance, cooled off in the heat of summer in Miss Jenny's huge wash buckets where she hand washed yards and yards of organdy fabric for the customers with curtains. We pretended to cook our mud pies filled with china berries. We tried our hand at picking Mr. Martin's cotton. We strung buttons when it was too rainy outside. We smacked on cold biscuits filled with blackberry jam. Miss Jenny was like a Mom to my Dad and he loved her dearly. She talked my Dad into getting a milk cow. He did the milking, and she sold the butter and buttermilk.
I remember an article in the Press and Banner praising my Dad for sharing his farm with the neighborhood boys and others. Many of these men now tell me about the fun they had chasing cows, learning how to drive a tractor and helping with the hay mowing, bailing, and hauling. In the Fall everyone came to gather pecans for "free!" My youngest sister, Betty Jo, loved horses and loved to ride all over the property with her horse-loving friend, Karen Woolbright.
I recently brought a very big rock from the pasture to my home in Mountville. Although, I knew it wasn't practical to keep the land, I was having problems "letting go" of my Dad's "miracle."
My children remember sitting on the rock and taking turns signing, avoiding the rock while holding tightly to a kite string they ran after. Hiding Easter eggs in the pasture or learning to ride a bike. My fondest memory is of my Mom going to the pasture to pray when she was troubled. We celebrated my 71st birthday there with a catered meal and flowers. We released sky lanterns at dusk. One of the best July 4th firework shows can be seen in the neighborhood behind the barn every year.
I guess it's no mystery that my husband and I have raised our 3 daughters on a farm! My Dad's dream fulfilled was truly a miracle. When we reluctantly and sadly put up the "For Sale" sign, I hung a sign on the locked front gate which I felt spoke of our "little bit" of Heaven:
"I will provide peace in this place" Haggai 2:9
I knew my Dad would be so pleased that his "miracle" would eventually be used as a tool of ministry and other miracles.
Gwen Page Cartledge
Closing on Our Farm
APFUMI closed on Our Farm on Jan. 19, 2023. Pictured to the left are Tammie Price and the owners, Gwen and Tommy Cartledge, which have worked with us in every way to make this possible! We can’t thank them enough. Along with them we are so thankful for ALL those who gave and to the anonymous donor that gave the largest gift in the history of APFU ministry. The 59.7 acre farm will be put into APFU's name on the 19th… the Cartledge’s will be financing a small balance on the land along with the farming equipment. We will continue raising funds to pay that balance off along with infrastructure needs. Our hope is to start the RENEW CAMPS to be held at “OUR FARM” by late spring/early summer. We will need God to move mountains in order to do so, but we believe with your help and many others … He will do just that!
Abby raises $1,000 for Farm
Abby Grace made a Facebook video requesting help to raise funds for Our Farm. She created a Facebook fundraiser, too. Many people donated over the course of the month, and Abby Grace reached her goal in just a few weeks! Thank you all that liked, shared and donated. This mission is very near and dear to our hearts. Abby's grandmother, Gail, who she is named after, battled deep depression for many years until her battle ended when she met Jesus! Abby Grace was honored for raising $1,000 towards "Our Farm" with a gift certificate to The Alcoves.
Through generous donations enough funds were raised to purchase "Our Farm" with just a small loan to finish off the purchase of the land and to acquire some of the farm equipment needed. Thank you to all who gave towards making "Our Farm" a reality!
Abby Grace and Tammie Price, Founder and President of A Place for Us Ministries