#40: Agrarian Dreamin’

#40: Agrarian Dreamin’

So we’ve moved in the last year, to this house out in the country. Sort of – I mean, I have a Publix closer than ever, a Wal-Mart five minutes away, and only slightly fewer fast-food options within a short drive (is this good or bad?) (never mind, don’t answer that).

But we’re out in the country in that our neighbors have horses, everyone has a vegetable garden, and most everyone around us measures their yards in acres. Oh, and also, the teenaged boy with a red truck who regularly stops across the street to take down his Confederate flag that flies proudly from the cab of his truck. (I’m sure he has just fallen in with some local rednecks and has to take it down before going home to his momma, who while appreciative of our rich history as Southerners, would whoop him – OK, take away his truck or iPhone – if she saw him speeding down the road with his posse and the flag.)

Late last spring our yard was coming to life, and we were seeing for the first time what we had to deal with here in the country. It felt like the overgrown foliage would soon envelop us. I was in the middle of a valiant poison ivy offense, and by the fifth round of infection I was ready to concede. We began mowing the yard more often, which even on our new beast of a riding mower, took three to four hours.

Around the same time, I began taking the girls to the library every week for story time. About a month in, I realized that we could do more than just let the three-year-old pick out her four books for the week. There might be something here for me, too.

And then I found it. A book called Country Life: A Handbook for Realists and Dreamers on the shelves of our library. THIS was why I wanted to move to the country.

Here are a few of the chapters: “Home Farming,” “Animal Husbandry,” “Fruits of the Earth,” and “Food from the Fields.” (I may or may not have just checked it out for the fourth time and have it sitting right here on my desk…) There are detailed plans for a home farm of every size, singing to me of an agrarian life of chemical-free vegetables, all the free-range chicken eggs we need, and fresh honey from our own hives.

And a yard pig.

Now some of my friends (you know who you are, Renee, Susan, and Amy) mock me about the yard pig. But people, apparently there is no better offense on weeds and poison ivy than a good pig. And poison ivy, I am NOT finished with you yet. You don’t know who you’re messing with. I’ll show you and…um, get a pig.


I don’t know why I have these agrarian dreams. As evidenced by the chicken and gardening trends of late, I’m not alone. I know that many of my ancestors were farmers, and my mother kept an impressive vegetable garden for much of my life. So is it in my genes that when I read about all of the wonderful benefits of a “house cow,” I get kind of excited? (A house cow provides milk – and therefore cheese, yogurt, etc. – for the house. It does not wander around inside the house willy-nilly.)

The problem is that I’m not a real animal-lover. I’m not cruel to them – they just kind of freak me out sometimes.

My stepmom and I are planning our vegetable garden, and that may have to be enough for this year (besides continuing our battle with overgrown weeds, poison ivy and such). A yard pig and house cow may be fleeting dreams or just on the list of dreams that will have their time at a later date.

But a girl can dream! I’ll keep you posted.

Melissa sig

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