Country Store & Farming (Issue 8)

After my husband’s military retirement in the sixties, we moved out in the country onto 18 acres. I wanted to learn how to live self-sufficiently. I wanted a garden to grow food, chickens for eggs, and pigs for meat. Despite the fact that I grew up on a farm, I really knew very little about how to do things living in the country.
 
My neighbor was an airline pilot, and when he came home from flights, he plowed gardens, so I hired him to plow about an acre of soil so I could plant a garden. I planted peas, green beans, corn, squash, okra, tomatoes and a variety of other things. I planted several things down in a furrow that should have been planted up on a mound, and conversely, some things that should have been on top of the mound, I planted in the furrow
 
At the edge of my rock house was an old country store, over 100 years old. Local farmers would come and spit tobacco sitting around an old potbellied stove. I was not one of the locals from that area and they watched everything I did. They nicknamed me Miss Tomato. They kidded me about planting an upside down garden.  After planting my first garden, I took off for a summer session at college. When I returned, my garden had grown, and so had the weeds, but I pulled the weeds back and gathered a few things that survived the absence of care.
 
When I went to the little store, the locals started asking me for seeds from my garden. I inquired as to why they wanted my seeds, reminding them they were all seasoned farmers and should have their own seeds. They informed me they wanted my seeds because I was the only person they knew that could plant a garden in the spring, do nothing to it, and return in the fall and gather stuff from it. In addition to me being the only person they knew who planted things upside down. I was the local yokel joke.  But they were good neighbors and all was done in fun.
 
Shortly thereafter, the old country store went out of business. I knew nothing about operating a business, but used that old store building to start an antique business I then ran for almost 10 years. I would go to auctions and buy and sell, and had a ball doing it.
 
The following year I knew a bit more about vegetable gardening, and tended to it and grew an abundance of vegetables. In the summer, I set up a little vegetable stand in front of the store and sold baskets of tomatoes, corn, beans, among other things.
 
My son was 5 years old at the time and he helped me and followed me around listening while I sold antiques. It wasn’t long before he could mimic what I said and I allowed him to help me sell things. Customers were impressed as they listened to this kid talk.
 
Continued are other stories about my life living in the country…
 
Let Freedom Ring!
 
JUST ME,
AC

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