Oops, I did it again. I got sucked into a Tractor Supply Store on my way to making a presentation in a small town nearby. “Oh, I have an extra 15 to spare, and the girls really do need some mealworms and new pine bedding. . .”
I will admit it, I am a farm store addict. Even a suburban farmer like me can enter one of these meccas of “everything
farm” and come out with something I “need.” Recently, on a business trip to Wisconsin, I managed to venture into a FleetFarm store which I know had to be the size of 2 WalMarts. I fell in love with it right away–any store with half an aisle dedicated to canning is my new favorite.
So what do farm stores have to offer besides the necessities my girls need to be safe, warm, and well fed? Here are few purchases to consider:
1. Boots and galoshes–seriously, any shape, design, and size you could imagine. Can’t play in the dirt if you don’t have the right footwear.
2. Animal supplies–cat food for our felines, mealworms for our chickens–horses, goats, dogs–you name it, they have it. My favorite area, though, is the section with the different feeders and waterers. There are so many ways I can upcycle a large round tin feeding pan, but that’s another blog for another night.
3. Books–this particular store had everything from building your own small cabin to homemade cheesemaking to backyard goat rearing. I realize these stores don’t have the diversity as a big book store would, but I’ll guarantee that the books here are tried and true.
4. Tools–Oh, I have dreamed my paycheck away in this section before–it’s the area that just keeps on giving.
5. Clothing–Don’t care how much it embarrasses my teen daughter, I just can’t till, mulch, or compost without my overalls on.
6. Odds ‘n Ends–That’s all I know to call them–every store seems to have this section down the middle with bins of extras and what-nots. Needless to say, there’s always something in that area that jumps in my cart as I head to the counter.
7. Toys–Who doesn’t need a toy tractor or a pink bb gun?
8. Seeds and gardening supplies–one can never have enough of these items–really.
If you just have some mad money lying around, there’s always John Deere memorabilia. Today, I saw everything from sippy cups to baseball caps to t-shirts. Something for the whole family!
And so, if you’re ever down this way and want to stop by and say hello, if you don’t find me on the farm, just visit the local Tractor Supply. I’ll be the one with the star-gazed look, roaming the aisles in search of materials for my next project.