Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Country Transplants

It's the way it's always been,  children are raised in the country and for various reasons move to a city (usually for a job, sometimes for a lifestyle change, sometimes both). It is good to know that most people who were country bred hold dear their rural upbringing and connection with the earth. 

Tomorrow’s guest blogger, Alison Kovac. is one such woman. 
Because she's lived in cities for nearly 20 years now, Alison isn't exactly a full-time country woman. She is able to take the best of both worlds, rural and urban, and combine them into a lifestyle that fits her family's needs. Women like her are like transplants...roots started in the country but blooming in the city. Sweet!

Today I thought that I should tell you a little bit about this young mother, who shared her poem, “For a Lily” with us yesterday. 

Having her poem published was a way for Alison to reach out to others who are experiencing the same kind of emotional pain that she feels mourning the loss of a baby that was miscarried last July. 

Sharing her poem with you was not easy, but it was something that Alison was compelled to do, to start a conversation about this sensitive issue. Opening her heart and sharing her poem was one of Alison’s first steps in becoming an advocate for more compassionate hospital and health professional care, and to help family members learn to understand just how devastating the loss of an unborn child can be.

Thank you, dear readers, for walking this journey with Alison. Your comments on the OCJ Facebook page are full of compassion and comfort.

Alison was raised in rural Crawford County, her maternal grandparents had a large farm just south of Bucyrus and her paternal grandparents lived on acreage just south of Galion, where her grandpa was an avid gardener. Alison is a talented writer and editor. Her early writing concentrated on rural topics; these days as a busy home-schooling mother she uses her writing and editing skills in her role as directing cooperative groups that work to aid and support the home education ventures of other families.

Alison became transplanted from her country roots when she went to college at Ball State University in Indiana, but she holds steady to country values and successfully applies them to city life. When she lived in Ames, Iowa, she participated in a graduate-level history program that focused on agriculture and rural studies.

Wooster, Ohio, became their new home when her husband, Marc, took a job as the agricultural and business reporter for The Wooster Daily Record. They lived on the edge of Ohio State's agricultural campus, ATI, for a time.

While in Wooster, Alison took on the daunting task of collecting farm recipes from her family and other favorites from friends and family. Alison asked me to help with the layout and design of her book, which became more than just a cookbook. Filled with photographs from family albums and photocopies of handwritten recipes, Stories and Standards has seen three printings so far. How’s that for success?

The Kovac’s path led them to an even larger city when Marc accepted a new position in Columbus, Ohio. He serves as Capital Bureau Chief for The Wooster Daily Record and other newspapers owned by its parent company, Dix Communications.

But country roots run deep. Alison says that she is grateful to hear the sounds of urban chickens in her neighborhood and the occasional lowing of cattle at OSU’s Don Scott airport nearby.

Alison’s writing and editing skills are still at work. Her primary involvement is home educating three children and directing cooperative groups that enhance and support the home education ventures of other families.  

As I wrote this short bio to introduce you to Alison, these lyrics from the Cosby, Stills, Nash and Young song came to my mind: 
Teach your children what you believe in.

Make a world that we can live in. 

I’d say that Alison’s parents taught her well, that she is applying her rural upbringing and values to her own three children.

Tomorrow I will publish Alison’s heartfelt words.

Marcheta *the vessel

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