If you long for a taste of the country lifestyle but think that living in the suburbs means you are in some way restricted in what you can do, think again. In the next few issues of Australian Country Collections we’ll show you how to bring a little country into your life regardless of where you live and prove that location really is no obstacle when it comes to the country way of life.
Rent a chook
On a visit to a local gardening expo a few months ago, I came across an idea that seemed very simple yet just the thing to give city dwellers a taste of what country life could be like. It was called Rentachook. For a fee plus a deposit you could rent two chickens, get enough food to feed them and a chicken tractor, an easily movable cage, to protect them and stop them from escaping.
If at the end of the six weeks you wanted to keep your chickens you simply let the Rentachook people know and they kept your deposit while you kept the chickens and chicken coop. I thought this was a great idea for anyone not sure if they were suited to keeping chooks. You can see if it is for you or just too much time and effort for your lifestyle. Check with your local council whether you can keep chickens before you rent them just to be sure as regulations regarding the keeping of chickens differs from council to council.
A piece of country
Nothing says country like a pieced patchwork quilt on a bed, but if you don’t own one or can’t afford one, why not enrol in a quilting or sewing course and learn to make your own? Technical colleges or sewing groups in your local area would be somewhere you could start looking or else the Yellow Pages and the internet would also be helpful. You are never too old to learn something new and knowing how to sew can always be useful.
Not only will your new quilt look great on your bed but you will meet new people, make something that can be handed down to future generations and every time you look at your handiwork you will be able to say with pride, “I made that.”
If your particular country dream entails a huge vegie plot and baskets of homegrown produce but you lack the space to bring it to life, joining a community garden could be the answer.
Excuse the pun but they are growing in popularity and springing up everywhere, so you should be able to find one not too far from home; if you don’t have one nearby, why not find someone with some land who is willing to let you plant on it in exchange for some of the fresh produce you grow? Check your local paper, community noticeboards and community centres to find like-minded souls who love to grow their own fruit and veg.