I was born and raised in the city of Cincinnati, OH. My uncle was a WWII veteran and a country boy and he stayed away from the cities. He would come get me on the weekends, and I loved being in the country with him. He taught me so much about taking care of and riding horses, breaking a few and being broken by a few as well. He taught me about John Deer tractors, bush hogging, bailing the hay, and how to properly stack it up in the rafters of the barn. I learned to clean out the stables too, and we used the manure as fertilizer. We went fishing often, we cleaned them and my aunt would cook them. We would stay outside until diner time. My aunt was a wonderful country cook and would always fix my favorites when I was out there.
I hated coming back to the city. The work I did at my uncle’s was educational, fun and allowed me time with the greatest man I knew.
He bought 110 acres about 100 miles east of Cincinnati, and my family moved there. I don’t know how my Mom made the decision to move out there, but it must have had to do with the divorce she was going through. I was so happy. My siblings were not. But I was in heaven. I got a John Deer, cattle, and horses. No chickens, Mom grew up on a poor farm and hated chickens and carried that hate to her grave.
We moved there the summer before I was going to high school. This farm was out in the middle of nowhere and there was a gun club near by. It was situated so that the back was overlooking the new highway. There were lots a wild animals and we had our fair share of snakes. I came to love the sound of the copperheads getting chopped by the bush-hog. While under the house wrapping the pipes with heat tape, I came across a breed of snake I had never seen before. They were so black with a stripe of blue down their back. I heard them called “blue-racers.” There was a well and an outhouse. My family had a hard time grasping the fact that there was not a bathroom in the house. By fall we had one.
The cattle had a pasture that wrapped around the back of the house to way out front, with a single strand of electrical fence and a nice barn. The horses had a nice pasture along with a great stable. Each had ponds for them to use. The was also a huge pond that I would get in after a long day of bush-hogging.
I put in a vegetable garden just east of the well. I couldn’t believe how it was growing. I also had a Hereford that would charge that one strand of electric fence. It charged right towards me making me dive to the ground, squishing and destroying some of the crops. It was friendly to my other siblings and would kneel down for them to pet it.
Looking back, I wish I would have made the rows further apart and that I had that dang Hereford butchered sooner!
After being in the military, I lived in the City of Cincinnati. Part of me always hated it. But I do a gardening group with hospitalized Veterans, and I just purchased a house sitting on a 4 1/2 acre ranch and I plan to get it going as soon as I can.
Thanks to Kim “Kimmer” Gwinner for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest. We have over $1,500 in prizes lined up for the current writing contest, with more to come. Here is a list of the current pot of prizes:
– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $380 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $279 value
– 1 year of free membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $240 value
– A copy of The Summer of Survival Complete Collection from Life Changes Be Ready, a $127 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $60 each
– The complete 2014 Grow Your Own Food Summit interview series, a $47 value
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $42 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $40 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $32 each