This morning I scored big in my gardening project. Having purchased seed potatoes a few weeks ago, I have been eagerly anticipating planting them. After viewing several YouTube videos on the subject of growing potatoes in containers, I set out on a quest for burlap bags for just this purpose. An online search revealed only rather expensive options. So I headed over to the Wilson Feed Mill on Canal Rd. and discovered they sell burlap bags for $2. After purchasing five bags, I headed home, ready to fill the bags with dirt and get my Yukon Golds and Red Pontiacs started for the season.
I don’t live in the country. In fact, our house sits on approximately one-quarter of an acre in a suburb of Cleveland, so gardening space is at a premium and livestock is out of the question. My small garden is slowly creeping into more of the backyard as our kids have gotten older and need less outdoor space for toys. I have warned my husband that someday he might come home and have no backyard left, reminding him that then he wouldn’t have to mow it anymore!
Even though I don’t live in the country, sometimes I feel like a country girl at heart. My grandparents were cattle farmers, my uncle’s family are hog farmers. I spent many a summer day in the barn, the fields, the creek, the flower garden, the granary, the milk house. I helped Grandma take the milk and cat food out to the barn and watched her fill the large rubber black bowls with it as multiple cats mysteriously emerged from hay bales or the barn loft where they dutifully fulfilled their task of keeping the mice population under control. I caught crawdads in the creek, rode the tractor with Grandpa, ran old field corn through the hand-cranked corn husker in the granary, played hide-and-seek in the barn and milk house. I got muddy, silly, itchy, dirty, and tired all in one day-and it was great.
So how do you know if you are a country girl at heart? Here are a few considerations:
You might be a country girl if you would rather play in the dirt than go shopping.
You might be a country girl if your kids don’t have any room to play in the backyard because you turned it into a vegetable garden.
You might be a country girl if you dress up when required but would rather live in your blue jeans and boots.
You might be a country girl if you own a canner, a dehydrator and multiple gardening gadgets.
You might be a country girl if you dream all winter of being able to use your canner, dehydrator and garden gadgets next year.
You might be a country girl if you avoid grocery stores and look for farm stands on the side of the road.
You might be a country girl if you get more excited about getting seeds in the mail than getting a check in the mail.
You might be a country girl if you love the smell of fresh-plowed fields fertilized with manure.
You might be a country girl if you wish you owned a few chickens instead of a few cats.
You might be a country girl if you drool over farmstead real estate instead of a fancy new house.
You might be a country girl if you would rather have a tractor in a barn than another car in the garage.
I have no expectations of a life in the country being in my future. But this doesn’t keep me from digging in the dirt, getting excited about simple things, and learning to live somewhat self-sufficiently. You might even find me occasionally catching crawdads in the creek – hope you will join me!