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 18, 2017

Country Girl Convert

For the next few days I will be sharing the story of the power of determination. This is guest blogger Rachel's account of the journey her family took from city life to country life. And, as most journey's start, it all began with a dream.
A BIG dream!
I know that you'll enjoy reading Rachel's story as much as I did :)
Marcheta *lover of Big Dreams

CountryCountry Girl Convert: From the city to the country one day at a time

By Rachel H.T. Mendell

When I was a little girl growing up in the small town of Kimberly, Wisconsin, I used to love visiting my grandmother in the country a few miles from Waupaca. She lived right on the highway so it was easy to find. She enjoyed on 40 acres of meadow and woods so there was plenty to do. She kept a garden path mowed for us to walk to the scattered apple trees and the line of plum bushes without having to battle high weeds. There was a little slope next to her screened in porch that we would sled down in the summer using flattened cardboard boxes. I wanted to live there forever and cried when we had to go home.

Inside my grandmother's house was a mysterious collection of books, art supplies, old furniture, moth-balled closets and musty basement. It was a glorious place to visit and I looked forward to my one week alone with her each summer. I got to sleep on the cozy living room couch. On warm nights she kept the porch door open so I could listen to the tree frogs, night birds and the occasional passing semi. Somehow hearing those trucks going by comforted me. Sometimes, when I was afraid of the dark, she would leave the lamp by the large front window lit. And that produced even more wonders, including a large mint Luna Moth resting on the glass trying to get to the light.

When my family moved to Phoenix I mourned the end of my Gramma's House Days. I loved the desert and still do, but I missed the green everywhere and the snow and the seasons.

When Dave and I got married, we both dreamed of living in the country. I wanted to live in a house like my grandmother's. He wanted to live on a farm like his uncle's.

Then, in 1997, we realized our dream. There we were, atop a hill, drinking well water and having bonfires every night.

The honeymoon lasted a week – tops. The reality of country living hit me hard, so hard that I began to regret my dream, so hard that I complained about my new house. Poison ivy plagued me and the children. Dave was gone 10-12 hours every day because he still worked in Columbus. The dead groundhog began to stink – we figured it was killed when the construction men back-filled over the foundation. The push mower was too heavy for me to mow more than 20 minutes at a time so the yard was composed of tall weeds. Then there was the cleaning, cooking, tick inspection, thorns from the hawthorn bushes embedded in balls, evil bugs like yellow jackets, long shopping trips, library trips for overdue fines … a million trips “to town” to get what I needed. And mud. So. Much. Mud.

This was hard. Really hard.

Rachel H.T. Mendell lives in Morrow County, Ohio. The family raises rabbits, chickens and cats, puts in a large garden each year and plants lots of trees. Rachel can be reached by emailing mendell.rachel7@gmail.com. If you enjoyed this article you can see others like it on her blog Domestic Mobility (http://www.domesticmobility.blogspot.com) and her website Rachel H.T. Mendell (http://www.rachelhtmendell.com).


  1. Thank you, Marcheta! I love it that I get to be included in this blog ... Love your photos!

    1. Thanks, Rachel. It was my pleasure, for sure :)