Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Locust Grove Berry Farm - Jackson

Locust Grove Berry Farm, in Jackson, is a pick-your-own place for the freshest seasonal fruit. It is a beautiful piece of property, calm and quiet.

You'll see the sign from the road:Blackberries and blueberries are ripe for the picking in June, figs in July and Muscadines in August and September. (FYI, These pictures were taken in July.)

Lovely deep-colored figs below.
One view of the muscadine vines. The muscadine is a wild grape with a sweet, mild flavor used to make jelly, juice and wine. Some muscadines stay green while others deepen to a purple color when ripe.

A look at the muscadine vines that stretch across the field.

Get a closer look underneath the vines where the large muscadines are ripening under the mottled summer sunlight.

Locust Grove Berry Farm also has a field full of sunflowers. They looked like the July sun had gotten the best of them, though.

Except for this one: Locust Grove Berry Farm
2651 W. County Line Rd.
Jackson, Mississippi

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dockery Plantation - Cleveland, Mississippi

What blues lover isn't familiar with this image?
Dockery Plantation is considered one of the main locations of Blues music activity as a result of resident musicians like Charley Patton, whose music could be heard from the porch of the commissary, during picnics on the grounds and at local dances in the area.

Patton’s music influenced other Dockery contemporaries like partner Willie Brown and Son House who, in turn, taught their craft to Robert Johnson. Also influenced were musicians Tommy Johnson (no relation to Robert Johnson – Tommy is said to be the one who truly sold his soul to the devil), “Pops” Staples and a young Howlin’ Wolf. During its heyday, Dockery Plantation was a 10,000-acre cotton plantation that supported over 2,000 workers. Because of its enormous size, it had its own railroad depot, commissary, post office, school, doctor, churches and even monetary currency called "Brozine" (may be spelled incorrectly). Tenants could not only use that currency on the plantation but also in Cleveland and nearby Ruleville.

It was here that development was made necessary for the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Line which ran from the Dockery Plantation west to Boyle where it connected to the famous Yellow Dog rail system at Rosedale. Charley Patton’s song “Pea Vine Blues” (now spelled “Peavine”) was based on this railroad, named as such because this branch had a meandering route.

We arrived at Dockery right at sunset. With the shorter days of autumn, the sun set relatively fast on us.
There was a pervasive feeling that we weren't alone. Part of the reason, too, was that we had been telling ghost stories in the car on our drive up. It spooked me a little when the door to the building below began to creak open with the breeze.
Below are the remains of the old commissary that have since burned and been covered with Kudzu - as most things in this area that stay in one place too long!

Kudzu, the creeping plant often referred to as “the vine that ate the South” because it covers the countryside and everything else in its path.

Kudzu is plant of Japanese origins brought to the United States in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the Great Depression, the plant made its way south by way of the Soil Conservation services who suggested kudzu would be an effective way to control and prevent erosion. Farmers were even given incentives to plant fields of it and hundreds of Civilian Conservation Corps. men were commissioned to do the same. In Japan, kudzu grows at a normal pace like any other plant but the South’s warm climate acts like a catalyst, or rather, a monster dose of Miracle-Gro.

The vines can grow as much as a foot per day during the sweltering summer months and like a grasping demon it covers power poles, trees, buildings and most anything else that doesn’t move out of its way. It became a problem as it covered forests preventing trees from getting the proper sunlight they need to survive.

It was declared a weed in 1972.

Over the years, researchers discovered that most herbicides don’t even make a dent to prevent kudzu’s growth, and a couple even actually helped it grow further.

Only one thing can truly keep kudzu at bay: goats.

Resourceful Southerners make the most of a nuisance producing jars of kudzu jelly from the sweet smelling blooms and baskets and furniture from the rubbery vines. A bent and worn old oak tree on the backside of one of the buildings.

If you would like to post these or any pictures you see on this blog, please contact: akline {at} visitmississippi (dot) org

Monday, November 9, 2009

Heathman Plantation

Heathman Plantation is located at the intersection of Highway 82 and Heathman Road. The old commissary building is still standing and in good condition.

Once comprising some 8,000 acres, it was originally known as Dogwood Ridge Plantation. In 1871 James Martin Heathman purchased the property and renamed it Heathman Plantation.

As you can tell, it was right as the sun began to set and the colors in the sky were beautiful.

This spot went into our film location files.

If you would like to post these or any pictures you see on this blog, please contact: akline {at} visitmississippi (dot) org

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tishomingo State Park - Part III

Outdoors Marketing Manager Mike Jones walks up "98 Steps" which was built by the CCC back in the 1930's.

The rock formations and waterfalls truly were spectacular.

We happen to stumble across a Geocache which was hidden in the Tishomingo State Park. For more information visit

We saw a few trees shaped like chairs...

other trees were shaped like lounge chairs.

Campsites, group cabins, family cabins, camper and rv pads are all available at Tishomingo State park.

Tishomingo State Park - Part II

Swinging bridge located in Tishomingo State Park.

The view from swinging bridge in Tishomingo State Park.

Pioneer's cabin in Tishomingo State Park, Mississippi.

The view from inside Pioneer's Cabin in Tishomingo State Park.

Tishomingo State Park - Part I

Mississippi Tourism Representative Daniel Ethridge stands on top of a rock face commonly used by rock climbers.

One of the waterfalls in Tishomingo State Park.

Scenic cliff overhang at Tishomingo State Park.

The Bear Creek runs through Tishomingo State Park.

Mississippi Outdoors Marketing Manager Micheal Jones points out deer tracks along the banks of the Bear Creek in Tishomingo State Park.