This year I decided to mulch my entire garden with straw for two reasons, it keeps weeds at bay and it holds moisture in, so I set out to find some. Since I can’t think of a store that sells straw, I had my work cut out for me because when it comes to locating such commodities, it is much like finding things on the black market. Since farmers and hustlers don’t usually advertise, you have to know a guy, who knows another guy that has a red-headed step child that may have, or know where to get what you are looking for.
This was my six degrees of separation:
My brother has a friend who I graduated high school with, whose husband’s father may have some extra straw that he would part with. We were given a name and the road that he lived on all under a cloak of vagueness, ala the black market, or so I’ve heard…
During the recent hot spell is when it all went down. My brother and I drove out a road that eventually turned to dirt somewhere deep in the bowels of Benton. We drove slowly past random mailboxes looking for the name we were given, hoping that this name would be on a mailbox. I’m sure we looked like we were casing the houses looking for a good target to hit; luckily for the people on that road, we were only looking to buy straw and not steal flat-screen TVs that day.
When we enter the driveway, it was almost as if we went back in time about 50 years to the era when farmers had a sit down lunch at home with the family, wore denim overalls, and had a nice tan but weathered look to their skin. We first came upon Mrs. V who was hanging laundry out to dry. She was very welcoming which is rare these days because most people are suspicious of strangers entering their property for whatever reason. She pointed us in the direction of Mr. V who was feeding his livestock at the time.
Mr. V immediately greeted us with a wave and came right over to the truck. I asked if he had some straw he could part with, to which he replied “Yup” and told me to back up to that barn over there. He didn’t waste any time climbing on top of the straw and started throwing bales onto the truck; after about 10 were loaded he asked how many we wanted. I bought 20.
After we were all loaded, I could tell that he had a schedule to keep and I wasn’t going to be the person that threw him off, so I thanked him and climbed in the DeLorean and drove out of their driveway and went back to the future.