During the 1960s, Jim’s dream was to restore the land. This goal was not reached while he was a student at the University of Georgia.
Instead he became an agriculture economist. In 1968, a large company employed him.
“It was not what he wanted,” Linda said. “It was not hands in the dirt or building the soil.”
In 1970, he asked his father to help locate property suitable for farming. Thereafter, they met Ruby Burkhalter at a church supper in Aragon and purchased acreage on Aragon-Taylorsville Road.
His mother sold him the farm after his father died. When he made this purchase, the only crop was weeds that grew from eroded land with gullies deep enough to hide a truck.
Jim began sub soiling the 80 acres by turning green matter back into the earth. He started a small compost heap that gradually grew until Linda said it resembled a mound built by Native Americans.
He decided not to purchase commercial fertilizer and only the compost was spread on the fields and garden.
Soon, the farm was producing hay and cattle grew fat on the pastures and top dollar was paid at the market.
The couple became involved in sustainable agriculture and grew a bounty of vegetables.
Linda said she asked her husband if he was farming for fun or profit.
“He did not answer,” she said. “I drew the conclusion that it was not profit but fun and a love of the land that kept him busy.”
Boggs heard that Fletcher Sims had brought composting to mechanization in Texas. The couple flew to Amrillo where they viewed giant compost turners working in the wheat fields.
They purchased Fletcher’s design, brought the plans home and contacted Jim’s cousin.
He built a hydraulic, self-propelled compost turner, which weighs about 6 tons. The giant machine, called the yellow one, can spread 250 tons of material in about an hour.
Boggs, a part time teacher at Georgia Highlands College, said he never gets all the work done.
He spends hours in the field where furrows have been turned twice and scoops up the material that is added to the soil.
“Sustainable agriculture is the trend of the future,” Jim said. “We need good food to be healthy. I believe it is essential to build the soil in Georgia. Restoring nutrients to the soil pays dividends to the farmer.”