A lot of people tell me that they would love to move to the country. The allure of the lifestyle is hard to deny, but the reality is that most people can’t just pick up their lives and move to a small village and start living the country life. But not living in the country doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the best bits of the lifestyle. Here are some things that you can do anywhere, if you would like to live the simple country life.
Grow your own food
Now I’m not suggesting you start ploughing up your entire yard, or popping a few pigs on the balcony, but whack a few herbs in a pot, or a couple of tomatoes and lettuces in the backyard. The taste of home grown food is so much better than anything you can buy.
Make your own meals and snacks
Home grown food tastes good, and so does homemade. Start cooking more and buying less pre prepared foods. Your tastes buds, wallet, and health will all thank you. Once you get into the way of it, cooking your own food becomes quick and easy. You don’t need to be roasting a leg of lamb or slow braising your shanks every night. Stir fries, chops and vegetables, soups etc. are all quick to make.
Food always taste best when it is fresh. Embrace that freshness by eating the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Not only do they taste better, seasonal food is usually cheaper too. Stone fruit, tomatoes, corn, and berries all summer, apples, pumpkins, and quinces now. You will find that if you concentrate on the fresh treats of the season you won’t even miss those fruits and vegetables you don’t have. So leave those tasteless tomatoes, and floury apples when they are not in season, and enjoy what is in now!
Of course it’s not possible to grow or make everything you need, but it is possible to support other local producers or farmers. Head to your local farmers market for fresh produce and homemade treats, and when you are in the supermarket buy products made in Australia, preferably by Australian owned companies. Doing this helps keep farmers and local producers in business.
Get involved in your community
Small communities rely on people knowing each other, and getting involved. In our village we have a church, a memorial hall, a school, a rural fire brigade, and a recreation ground, all of which need committee members. It is hardly surprising that many people are involved in several groups. Get involved in your local community by joining a local club. Go to the school parents association meetings. Organise a street BBQ to get to know your neighbours. I love that our kids feel connected to their community, and that there are people who we can rely on should we ever need to.
Let Your Children Free Range
No I’m not suggesting you treat them like chickens, but don’t supervise your kids every moment of the day. Set some sensible boundaries about where they are allowed to go unsupervised, and then leave them to it. Our kids know to let us know where they are going if they head out of the yard, and not to go near the dam. The fun they have and skills they develop when they have to solve problems independently is incredible. Even when we lived in the mountains, we were very keen to let our kids play independently. Let them climb trees, dig in the dirt and build cubbies.
Pick one or two ideas, or take all six. If you’ve ever thought about moving to the country and living the country life, why not start living it now. Right where you are!
What parts of the country life would you most like? What would you struggle with?