Much of my adult life has been spent contemplating urban vs. rural living options. I kind of want a farm on bus line within walking distance of places to eat and shop. And yes, I know it does not work that way, at least on large scale.
Today my lunch hour errand was a trip to the feed store. South Valley Mercantile is a 10 minute drive from my office downtown. So I left at lunch, drove down Broadway, turned on to Rio Bravo and there I was. I needed a bale of straw and bale grass hay for our rabbits and guinea pigs
I love the way the feed store smells, grain, hay, the leathery smell of boots and saddles, fly strips. I paid for my hay and straw. I read the “for sale” notices in case there was something good. I am somewhat embarrassed that I am buying this hay for my small critters instead of a horse or goat. But maybe the urban farmer is good thing for the traditional feed store.
I backed my mini-van up to the hay stack and the guys, (one wearing a vintage Lynard Skynard shirt that my oldest kid would squealed about) loaded the bales into the back of the van. I put down an old blanket, but the guys still looked skeptical about my vehicle. I drove home and smelled the good, summery, green smell of hay and the clean straw.
In spite of the wonderful smell, the trip is a little sad. The hay I bought is from Idaho,
not here and the shopping center that houses the feed store has a big “for lease” sign up. I wonder if the feed store will fade away as the valley becomes more built up and there are fewer people with livestock.
But right now I know that at the end of day I will leave my stuffy office with the windows that don’t open and I will go home. I will muck out the rabbit pen and the guinea pig pen, spread the dirty bedding on the flower garden or in the compost. I will give the animals fresh hay and straw and enjoy my tiny bit of farm.