The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Growing Up On Tuggles Creek - Fodder Stacking

By YKW © 1986

Issue: March, 1986

(Editor's Note: Tuggles Creek is located in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the tiny mountain community of Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Meadows of Dan is a crossroads community where US Highway 58 Business and the Blue Ridge Parkway cross. Mabry Mill is north about 1.6 miles and Mayberry Trading Post is about 2.8 miles south on the Blue Ridge Parkway.)

Corn "fodder" is collected by stripping the blades of the corn stalk that grow below the ear, tying them up in small bunches and hanging these over the corn ears to cure or dry. Then, these bunches are collected and tied into bundles ready for stacking.

In dry weather, these blades become very brittle and shed a lot of the crumbled blades. For this reason, it was usually necessary to collect the bundles of fodder and stack them at night when the air was damp and the fodder became pliant.

I remember one night when Dad and I were doing just this process. He told me a story about a man and his son stacking fodder on a rather dark night. The father was on top of the stack and the young boy was throwing up the bundles. The father told the boy, "Now son, when you get down to where the bundles are getting a little scarce, let me know, so I can 'top off' the stack."

A time passed and presently he called down and asked, "How you coming along son?" To which the boy replied, "You better top off fast, Dad. I ain't got but one more bundle left."