June 13 â INTRODUCTION
Bill Mocha always dreamed of living on the farm.
He remembers trying it out in his backyard in South Muskogee. Mocha built his home in Grandview Heights in 1975 and raised three daughters.
âAfter the girls left, the trampoline and the (above ground) pool came out, and I started a really nice water pond and arbors,â he said. “I had a wooden fence around the yard, I had a black hedge around the back, I brought turtles over there and they would have babies, the size of a quarter.”
Moka quickly started planting vegetables. He said his wife, Sharon, canned them and made tomato juice. They have lived in the Grandview area for almost 30 years.
But Mocha remembered wanting more.
“I have no more things to do in the garden,” he said.
They found 20 acres east of Muskogee near Gooseneck Bend.
âFor years I was a city boy and always wanted to have a farm. I had parents who did,â Mocha said. “I convinced my wife. She wasn’t crazy about it.”
He said the property has three ponds, one of which is isolated in the cedars.
âSome grandchildren have bow hunting stalls in the trees,â he said.
Moka now breeds around 50 dwarf goats, 50 chickens, a few turkeys, two donkeys and three cats. He has 30 ducklings and several adult ducks.
“The ducks nest wherever they want,” he said, adding that one nest is in the front hedge, others near the front trees along the driveway.
âThe male gender is watching them,â Mocha said.
There are also animals that Moka does not breed. He said he saw a lot of deer, bobcats and, unfortunately, coyotes.
“Seven wild geese come in every day, they are at the edge of the pond,” he said.
The Mochas have a four-wheel drive GMC Jimmy that they love to drive.
Mocha, who recently retired from car sales, now has time to tend a vegetable garden, blackberry vines and fruit trees.
âNow I have too much to do,â he said. “I have to stop making plans.”
Take a decision
move out of town
Bill Mocha remembers moving east 16 years ago.
âI’m tired of the city,â he said. “Even though I had good neighbors in town, my neighbors here are further away from me. No dog barks. I don’t even have a dog.”
He said his brother lived near Gooseneck Bend, “and it was so beautiful where he lived”.
The property was not that nice when they bought it in 2006.
“This house was terrible here,” he said. âIt was well overgrown on the outside. I had to repaint the whole house inside and out. I had new siding. After I turned it on and fixed it. , neighbors were driving by and honking and waving because they were glad it was. I don’t feel like it was before. “
Moka started with chickens and guineas. The biggest challenge was to keep the guineas on the property.
“Some of them, before I fixed cages for them, were running down the street and getting run over.” said Moka. “The guineas I have are smart enough, they don’t go there.”
Just in case, Mocha has a crossing sign for Guinea near the road.
He raised sheep and large goats before deciding to have dwarf goats about ten years ago.
Mocha said the most important thing he’s learned over the years is to keep the brush low to keep bobcats and coyotes out.
They don’t get
Mocha said he and his wife don’t have to be early risers to take care of their animals.
“We want to give the hens time to lay eggs,” he said. “If we leave too early, they won’t lay eggs that day.”
He said his hens usually lay a lot of eggs, but not recently.
âRight now the chickens are on strike so we don’t have them,â he said. “I think it’s that weather. They’re walking around in the mud all the time. They just don’t want to.”
Mocha said he left around 9 a.m. to collect the eggs and feed the animals.
When Moka spills food pellets in a raised trough, dozens of goats pile up.
âAfter we feed we get in the Jimmy and we drive him around the area,â he said. “The first thing we do is go into the goat barn and see if there are any babies or maybe a dead goat.”
They drive back to see if there are any deer, then they drive along the fences.
âSometimes the goats get their horns stuck in the fence and can’t get out,â he said. “So I keep a pair of wire cutters on me.”
Goats can be a challenge.
âI have to keep their barn cleaned,â he said. “I have to make sure in the winter it’s warm enough for them. They hate the rain. It doesn’t make any difference to the donkey and the cow.”
Mocha remembers having to add $ 350 of topsoil to start his vegetable garden eight years ago.
âYou can’t grow anything here except rocks,â he said.
He also had to clear a thorny area of ââblackberries, which covered a huge satellite dish.
âMy arms were in tatters when I walked through,â he said.
He replaced the wild vines with thornless Arapaho blackberry plants. Mocha must work to keep the wild vines and poison ivy from entering.
Over the years, Mocha’s vegetable garden has produced tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, eggplants, okra, cantaloupe and watermelon.
He surrounds his garden with wire fencing, even on top, to ward off possums and birds.
âI didn’t plant anything until about two weeks ago,â he said. “It was probably a good thing because so many people lost product in this hard gel that we had.”
He said he grew enough vegetables to feed the family. He would like to grow up enough to give to others.
Mocha said he grew fruit trees in front to keep wildlife away from the fruit. He grows Granny Smith apples, which his wife uses for pie.
âWhen the year is good I get a lot of plums and I love plums,â he said. “We get a lot of pears. The pear trees are quite hardy.”
Questions and answers
HOW ARE YOU A MUSKOGEE OKIE?
âMy dad worked for Swift & Co., and he transferred to Muskogee. I just loved it, especially where we are now.â
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT MUSKOGEE?
âThe people are very friendly. I have good neighbors.
WHAT MAKES MUSKOGEE A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE?
“Bring in more industries and jobs. I would like to see the price of corn go down, because of the food. I would like them to stop using ethanol in gas, that’s where it is. how’s the corn going. “
WHICH PERSON IN MUSKOGEE WILL YOU ADMIRE MOST?
“Terry Miller and Andy Ewing. They both owned car dealerships, and they both treated me very fairly and made sure I made a good living. If anyone says a word about one with them, there is something wrong with that person. “
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING FOR YOU IN MUSKOGEE?
“I got run over by a tractor once. I was supposed to be Life Flighted in Tulsa, but I was released from the hospital the next day.”
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
“I go to my grandson’s ball games. That’s the main thing. My wife and I have a glass of wine in the evening and visit, talk about the events of the day. She still works part-time.”
HOW DO YOU SUMMARIZE MUSKOGEE IN 25 WORDS OR LESS?
“It’s a place you can go to have a little farm like me and really enjoy it. You can retire here.”
MEET Bill Moka
AGE: 73 years old.
EDUCATION: Sacred Heart; Muskogee Central High School, 1966; degree in business administration and sociology from Northeastern State University.
OCCUPATION: Retired automobile salesman.
FAMILY: wife, Sharon; three daughters, Lesley, Rebecca, Emily; two grandsons, Joey and Jake.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist / Catholic.
LEISURE: Agriculture, hunting, metal detection, gardening.