• Dottie Pyrtle | Episode 24 | A FarmHer at Heart

May 15, 2017 4 Comments

Dottie Pyrtle is a FarmHer full of love.  She loves horses, she loves the land, she loves to create.  At her homestead where she lives and works in Kernersville, North Carolina, Dottie spends her days working alongside her son Mike.  The day I arrived at the farm, Summer Oaks Craftworks, Dottie was ready to go, even proudly wearing her FarmHer shirt.  We started started the day in one of the buildings on the property, that looked like the perfect place for friends and family to gather.  Dottie and her family are very musical and she is proud of the gatherings where the group does some  “picking and grinning” and enjoy each other’s company.  Venturing further into the building she led us to the art side of the farm….the workshop where she and Mike create beautiful pieces of art from discarded pieces of metal.  Dottie loves to repurpose and the end result is absolutely beautiful!  

Next up we went out to the barn where she had some chores to do for the horses that she cares for in their boarding business.  From getting hay up in the loft, to checking water and making sure everyone was doing well, Dottie’s love for horses was clear.

Next up Dottie showed me the hugalculture beds that she and Mike have started.  I learned that hugalculture is a composting process where raised beds constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials are used to grow plants. The process helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds.  As Dottie showed me while she harvested some greens, the mounded beds also save strain on a FarmHer’s back!  The hugalculture was just one part of the food growing part of the farm, with other more traditional beds spread around.  Dottie uses the food grown for their own consumption, and also sells it at a roadside stand to friends and neighbors looking for good, healthy produce.  

As I followed Dottie through her day and watched and listened to this quiet but strong FarmHer, I was amazed yet again at the power of a woman doing what she loves.  Dottie cares for her family, her community and the land she works. And she spreads her love through the food she grows, the art she creates and the smile in her eye.  Dottie Pyrtle is a FarmHer at heart.

Watch Dottie's video clip here

4 Responses

Dottie Pyrtle
Dottie Pyrtle

July 22, 2017

Thank you, Pauline Muccia, Sue Wolf and Cynthia Nave. I feel like we are all sisters at heart!
Marji Guyler-Aliniz is doing a wonderful thing by highlighting women in ag. Thanks to RFDTV for recognizing that too!
I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I do at age 74. My motto is to keep moving until I can’t move!
Would love to meet all of you. Come and visit when you can!
email – dottiep@triad.rr.com
website – summeroakscraftworks.com
Thanks again!


May 22, 2017

Just saw episode with Dottie. So glad I found FarmHer. What I have to say, all the woman featured are “TOTALLY AWESOME & AMAZING”!! The woman that I find especially INSPIRING to me are the one’s 60+. I say that because, I’m in this group & what these woman are able to accomplish does my heart proud. My warmest regards & admiration to all the FarmHers

Sue Wolf
Sue Wolf

May 21, 2017

You are INSPIRATIONAL!!!! Captured your story on FarmHer and you have my life’s mission written in the expression of your life. I recently purchased 8 acres in a small valley in central AZ. My purpose, once the house is finished is to move there full-time and to have a small operation with goats, chickens, a sustainable garden, a pumpkin patch where toddlers and pre-schoolers from town can come and pick their own, and walking grounds for meditation and rejuvenation (kind like an arboretum). At almost 60 years young, its a huge shift from outskirts-of-the-city life back to the farming roots of my childhood and adolescence in rural Wisconsin. Recycle, repurpose, and reuse is the motto at Deer Creek Ranch. THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!!!!!!!

Cynthia Nave
Cynthia Nave

May 20, 2017

I love this lady. She’s my heroine, and I am her sister (from another set of parents)! I too, plan to drop in my muck boots. This week we (at 66 and 71) put up 130 square bales of hay into the loft for our horses, I completed a year long painting project “Judah, God’s War Horse”, I am working on gentling the neighbor’s feral cat and her kitten which moving into our barn, and I finished an informal editing of a friend’s manuscript and delivered the review. I have so many wonderful things to do, thank the Lord for good health!
You rock, Dottie! I’d love to visit you and talk as we worked through your chores!

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