My city friends are constantly asking where I stock up on supplies for the goats and chickens, or where I come up with clever garden ideas like hanging planters and hummingbird feeders. “Oh, the feed shop,” I tell them. “The employees always use stuff in creative ways that wouldn't necessarily occur to me.”
“The what?” they ask. “Feed shop?” I forget that in the hustle and bustle of streets and big buildings, old-fashioned supply stores don't often make the cut. As urban farming and backyard chickens become oh-so-trendy, grains and pellets are often sourced online. I think that's kind of a shame, because people are missing hands-on demonstration of products that can make their lives a whole lot easier…not to mention interaction with knowledgeable farmers. It's one thing to hop on a forum. It's a whole other thing to have a familiar hand guide you.
There are a few different feed shops we go to for various needs (they tend to specialize in different animals), but one of my favorites is called the Hawthorne Country Store. Employees are knowledgeable and passionate, often taking in animals for adoption. We got Rockabilly at one of their locations after the family he had lived with couldn't handle taking care of him anymore.
It was at the Fallbrook location that I saw this adorable hanging planter chair, a design which I totally plan to mimic here at home as soon as we finish painting the house. Simply cut out a hole in the seating area of an old dining chair and plop a hanging planter through for a sweet country vibe. You could even screw on various cups and hooks to hold gardening supplies and make this your go-to utility hanging planter. Maybe hang some birdseed on there, or replace the potted flower idea altogether with a large bowl of some sort for a bird bath.
Also at the Fallbrook location is an entire building full of canning supplies. Seriously. Heaven for preserve enthusiasts.
Do you have any favorite local shops that you scout out for ideas?