Anita's Column


Farm kids have advantages that kids who live in the city don’t even realize. Of course, children in the city are able to go to places like Worlds of Fun or Chucky Cheese’s video/pizza place but kids in the country have so much more to explore.

One morning while my four-year-old granddaughter was accompanying me to feed the goats, she smiled at me and said, “I ate some of the goat feed.” I think she thought it would shock me but I asked, “Was it good?” She replied that it was good and she ate it because she wanted to know why the goats wanted it so much. She also took a taste of the salt block that I had given them and told me she didn’t want to taste that again.

My children and grandchildren have grown up playing in the creek, making forts in the woods and helping with chores around the farm. My two grandsons from Pleasant Hill helped me this spring to brush hog the pastures trying to get rid of the dreaded weeds that try to choke out the grass. My thirteen-year-old grandson was excited to drive the tractor because he doesn’t get to drive a car yet and it was exciting to drive. My son was impressed, but I reminded him that at 13 driving the tractor is fun not work.

On a recent trip to the farm, Grandson #5 helped gather eggs. He excitedly told his mother that not all eggs are the same color. “There are white, brown and even green eggs, but I don’t know which hen lays which egg, but Nana told me they all look the same when you break them.”

Grandson #5 asked his mother why they couldn’t just live on the farm. “I can go outside whenever I want to when I am on the farm and I can drive the Gator when Nana is with me,” he told her. “Grant, Mommy and Daddy work in Kansas City,” she explained. “You can come visit me,” he told her.

Along with the fun there is work, but as my dad always told me work can be fun. The grandchildren helped me plant garden and I purchased a tool that attaches to the hand drill and they were able to dig holes using the drill. I soon had holes all over the garden but they weren’t necessarily in straight rows. My son had trouble finding the bean rows when he came to clear out some of the weeds in the bean rows. “Mom, you should run a string to make sure the row is straight,” he told me.

“The kids were having fun so I just let them plant whatever and wherever they wanted,” I told him.

I also have several grandchildren who enjoy riding the lawnmower and keeping my lawn looking good. They aren’t as excited about running the weedeater.
Farm kids also have to deal with disappointment and even death at times. Grandson #4 had been working with his goat wether for months and had him ready for the show. Then the goat somehow got out of the lot and found his way into the barn where I kept the chicken feed. He ate himself to death. I found him the next morning. Henry was at 4-H Camp so I didn’t tell him right away. I was trying to think of a way to break it to him gently but his little sister took that duty. “Your goat died,” announced his little sister. “What?” Henry screamed. “Your goat ate chicken feed and died. You can’t show a dead goat,” she said.

Farm kids learn about life and death early, but they also grow up with wonderful memories.