Gone Country

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I have always lived in terms of being in a rural area and planting things and how growing food has always been a way of life for me.

I think about how planting and growing our own food has become an option and not as much of a necessity these days with farmers markets and organic grocers more and more available even in big cities.

I think about the emails I receive telling of how people live vicariously through my blog when I write about gardening, the farm animals and the hand crafts I love.

I think about all the people trying a little harder to be a little more self sufficient these days.

I think about how many of our grandparents fought to get off the family farm and now we are struggling to get back to that place where they came from. Of how we dream of living in those days of being one with the earth and caretakers of life – plant and animal.

I think about new ideas and plans for gardening next spring. Yes, already I have hopes for next year with new and better ways to try things.

My mind is often a whirlwind of thoughts, ideas, brainstorms, plans, wishes, dreams all about the things I can do and need to plan to do and want to do.

I know many of you out there have the same or similar kinds of thoughts. I know some of you dream of living in the country but make do with living in the city until you can get where you want to be. I know some of you live in the city and have no plans to leave but grow a tomato or herb garden in a sunny window or balcony. I know some of you visit festivals and fairs and you collect wool for spinning and yarn for knitting and crochet. I know some of you can jams and jellies and pickles. I know some of you keep a few chickens in a small yard in the suburbs and even a couple of you in the city. I know some of you sew and craft and make things with your hands. I know some of you do much more than I do.

So many things we do to give us that connection with the earth and life and sustaining ourselves to keep ourselves grounded and sane.

And that got me thinking even more. About women and agriculture and sustainable living (and adding shot of vodka to the lemonade life sometimes hands us – buts that’s another post).

We’ve gone country. Even in the tiniest ways we are searching and finding ways to get back to the roots of life, real roots, covered in dirt and fertilized with chicken poop.

If you have “Gone Country” I’d like to read about it. I am sure many others would like to read about you, too.

Do you sew your own clothes? Do you plant a garden? Do can your produce? Do you raise your own livestock? Do you have a flock of chickens? Do you enjoy traditional crafting – quilting, knitting, crochet, spinning, etc? What do you do that keeps you grounded? Do you have gardening tips and tricks? Do you have sewing ideas? Crafting ideas? Do you go to the farmer’s market? Do you buy local? Do buy organic? Are you into the slow foods movement? Do you make homemade soaps? Do you grow herbs on a city balcony? So many things we do!

So here’s an idea for us all to be able to read each others stories.

Take this button, upload it to your own photo storage,  put it on your blog  linking back to this post. In your sidebar is a great place to link the image.

Code format:

<a href="https://bigredcouch.com/journal/?p=1615" target="_blank"><img src="link_to_your_photo_storage_goes_here" border="0" alt="Gone Country"></a>

Write about how you have ‘gone country’ – big or small.

Come back here and post a link to your blog post.

Send your readers around the neighborhood to read about other women who have “gone country.” Each time a comment is left on this post saying a reader came from your blog I will put your name in my John Deere cookie jar. In 30 days I will draw a name and that name will receive a giveaway.

What am I giving away, you may ask?

A pink John Deere T-shirt, a pair of matching footie socks, a pair of pink John Deere gardening gloves, a quilted Barn Cat hot mat and a copy of Eat, Pray Love. I may even add a few more things as I get the time to make or collect them.

What if I don’t have a blog?

You can still play along with us and be part of the drawing.

Tell your story here in the comments. Tell others to come read also and have them leave a comment saying you sent them. Voila! There is your name entered in the giveaway.

I can’t wait to read your stories and learn new tips and tricks from you all.

** I am adding a bar of my homemade soap to the give away.

62 Responses to “Gone Country”

  • mama gardener says:

    When I was a young girl, my parents both worked full time at the local GM plant. I always had to get up by myself in the morning and get ready for school, and walk to school alone or with a neighbor child. I always dreamed of having a mom to stay home with me and be waiting in the afternoon to hear all about my day with fresh baked cookies. My poor Mom had to work, and when she came home she had a house and 4 children to take care of. She really didn’t have time or energy to spend with us. I remember trying to help as much as I could. My father (God bless his soul) was a good man, but he came from that generation where the wife did it all. He was no help in the housecleaning and childrearing department.

    Now I am the Mom, and I remember that little girl who just wanted a mom to stay with her. So I am fortunate enough to be that Mom. I only work part time at my children’s school, and am here for them. When they get up in the morning I help them get ready. When they get off the bus, I am waiting with a snack and a hug to hear all about their day. I am their number one fan at sports! I am a taxi driver, cook, and playmate for them. I am so blessed and happy with life.

    This is what I have always wanted, a family to love, and a home to run. God has truly blessed us, we have what we need, and a little bit of what we want. Yes we could have more, but we definitely have enough, because we have each other.

  • Angie says:

    Great stories everyone! You each need a blog! I would love to read more about your country dreams and farm life.

  • Teresa says:

    Gwen sent me. I was born in Chicago and wanted to run away and live in the woods when I was 4 years old. Finally got to move to Tennessee when I was 49 and have 9.8 wooded acres. I love the country and the people and farm fresh egg. The fresh food,air,and scenrery are the best.

  • Cynthia Bacon says:

    As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more countrified and self-sufficient, though I’m certainly not the superwoman my good friend Angie is! We raise chickens, grow a garden every year, and have planted a small orchard of apple, pear, peach, and cherry trees, as well as blueberries and a very small vinyard. We heat our home with our wonderful soapstone stove and shun the use of the electric heatpump.We are absolute do-it-yourselfers by necessity these days and have built numerous coops, using scrounged materials, yet trying to make things look great, even with used supplies. I’ve made quilts by hand for about 20 years now and since the addition of a very special sewing machine from my dear friends, will continue in spite of my old aching joints, LOL. I wish we had decided to live this way when our sons were growing up because I feel that we and they have missed out on a more satisfying lifestyle! Hopefully, in a few years, this property will be paid-in-full and we can really feel more self-sufficient and be able to do even more.
    Your blog is wonderful and so inspiring!

  • joan says:

    Angie, I really enjoyed this idea–where or when do you have time to do all of this! I know the contest is over (the soap would have been my first choice), but it made me think. My mother died last year at 89. I grew up in a family of six children, although she later had a change-of-life baby. As I grew up, mom told different relatives that I was “funny turned.” The other day it occurred to me that I am the only one of the six who is completely uninterested in “things.” My parents left the farm in the late 1930s and of the six children I am the only one who is “country.” Even my cousins who grew up on a farm left the country mentally in pursuit of “things.” I’m not criticizing those who are not country, but isn’t it an irony that a child would be called “funny turned” by former farmers simply because she is not coveting jewelry, clothes, and possessions, but instead just nice clean comfortable “things” and a different lifestyle? The things I care about are old family photos,quilts, a few old pieces of furniture, things a country woman wants to pass along to her children. My brother died at 16 and he was “country” too–my sweet, favorite sibling.

  • George West says:

    A chum recommended me to read this website, great post… keep up the nice work!

  • Ruth Lull says:

    Hey! Good article! I will bookmark this site so I can return later and read some more.

  • Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case. http://www.kusadasi.tv/ Barbi

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