I am constantly amazed and in awe of how different life is in the country.
I am not immune to subcultures. While I grew up in South Florida until I left for college, I have lived in various places both in the USA and abroad. I am quite aware how different regions within the U.S. can be.
I first experienced these differences when I went to college in Bowling Green, Kentucky. While not a tiny town by any stretch, it surely doesn't resemble the Fort Lauderdale I grew up by any stretch of the word. I learned how to wear my hemline lower and tried hard to eliminate the words you guys from my vocabulary.
After college, I was "recruited" again -- this time to be a teacher and coach for a country town in southern Kentucky. I loved the five years I spent at this school and certainly got an education on what it means to be a country kid. I met many young men who missed school during harvesting season despite the fact that it was against the rules. And I quickly ascertained a system to eliminate dip cans from the back of pockets in my classroom.
From Kentucky, we spent four years in Minnesota. Another subculture to be sure. Here, people were genuinely kind all the time but very reserved. The women were taller. The temperatures much colder.
And then northern Florida which I had mistakenly thought would resemble the Florida I had grown up in. I quickly learned that anything above Orlando was considered the "real" south -- southern tea and what they called their vending machines (i.e. soda, coke, or pop) the deadest giveaway.
But even though I lived in that country town in Franklin, Kentucky for quite a few years, I am quite a stranger to actually living in the country. I am quite aware that I don't fit the mold. I move too fast, talk too loud, and bounce too much. I've travelled extensively and truly do not belong.
We have learned that making friends in our town will be a very big asset. And for this reason, when our neighbor John mosied up our driveway during our three day visit, we knew his plea was one we should accept.
He had run half his cows on this farm before we bought it. And with winter ending, he needed a place to put them. My husband of the same name, agreed to help our neighbor out at least for the rest of this year, and began discussing his desire to implement rotational grazing* on our land. John the neighbor told my husband he could care less where the cows were rotated. "It's your land," he slowly said, kicking at the dirt with his boots. "You rotate them there cows however you want. I'm just mighty grateful they'll have some grass to eat."
So without having to even get our own cows yet, we will be beginning permaculture on our little piece of heaven in just two weeks as John the neighbor leases his land for some of his herd. Also in exchange, he's going to find someone who can help bushwack (is that a word?) some of the cedars that have taken over a certain section of the land where JB tells me we don't want them.
We are excited to see these mothers and their babies moving around our 100 acres.
We are excited to have helped out a neighbor.
And we are excited to get our own chickens (very soon) which will be rotated with the cows to begin bringing permaculture to the land.
Much ... much ... much more to come.
I encourage you to stay with me on this journey. As I have mentioned before, my blog will be morphing to another site. There will be a public aspect and a private sector. If you'd like to continue reading some of the more personal pieces, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org telling me who you are and how you know me!
For more information on rotational grazing, visit one of JB's blog posts below: