Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Country Lessons

A couple of days ago, we had some city folk—my college roommate, her husband, daughter, and son-in-law—visit us from the flatlands of eastern Virginia. They arrived in the midst of haying, which is a lot later than usual because of this summer's dry spell followed by several rainy days.

For y'all city slickers reading this blog: to make hay, grass is cut by a tractor pulling a haybine. Next, it's left to dry for a day or two. Then it's raked and finally baled. This is what raked hay looks like:

My husband, a former city slicker from New Jersey, has been a country boy for four decades. Last week, he spent three days raking hay:

Ever eager to share his skills, he was willing to let our guests try hay-raking:

This gave me a idea: why not open a country college for city folks? We could offer classes in haymaking, such as Haymaking 101: Driving a Tractor and Haymaking 102: Actually Raking Hay. Below, my husband offers instruction in both sections of the course:

The city folks caught on pretty quick and did a pretty good job raking. They deserve an A.

See the nice neat row? Definitely A work.

 In our country camp, we could also offer—at no extra charge—some photo opportunities, such as posing on a tractor with baler attached:

. . . or walking across a newly raked field. The picture below looks like it should be some kind of commercial, doesn't it?

Then there's Fruit-Picking 101—Harvesting the Mystery Pears

The pears—thanks to identification today by a horticulture major—are actually Chinese Sand Pears, so they're no longer a mystery. However, they are hard to reach. Maybe picking them should be worth a PE credit, too.

Then there are the animal management classes, such as Cat-Herding 101 (not pictured) or Horse-Grooming 101, taught by Melody who will graciously volunteer her time for educational purposes. And food. Mostly for food.

An optional class is Feeding Horse Treats 101. Melody especially likes teaching this class. (Note: No fingers were lost during Feeding Horse Treats 101.)

Sometimes, for Equine Anatomy 101, Melody will demonstrate just how big a horse tongue is:

Then there'd a separate course in 4-Wheeling. Farmers need a fast way of checking fence lines, etc., so an ATV is essential farm equipment. First a little instruction in 4-Wheeling 101:

Then you're good to go!

Tools are important on the farm. You never know when you need to fix something, tear down something, so we'll offer a Tool Selection Seminar: Harbor Freight 101. Naturally there'll be a lot of hands-on experience as well as in-depth discussion.

Of course, we'd have to offer Crop Identification lessons. Can you identify this crop? (answer provided at the end of this post)

And finally, we present Art Appreciation: Yard Art 101 for methods and materials of decorating concrete statues of farm animals, with emphasis on selecting decor appropriate for the season.

Are you ready to sign up, or what?

Answer: The crop pictured above (and also behind the cow) is tobacco.



Blogger Franz X Beisser said...

I want to take up Cat Herding 101. (if you show how it's done)

10:27 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

I think a country college is an excellent idea. :-)

1:50 PM  
Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Sounds like an excellant way to get some help with all the chores around the farm. Your cow is so cute!

8:14 PM  
Blogger R.M. said...

Brilliant - you should include pie-making 2.0, too!

2:56 PM  

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