Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Milkin’ Buckets

I love Spring. How can you not love a season that fills your eyes with blooming color and your nose with the glorious aroma of that just-rained-on-newly-emerged-grass smell?
Every spring I fill my hanging baskets with plants that will serve as the jewelry of the front porch. Inviting arrays of trailing blooms that will beckon passers-by to come and sit on the porch swing for a spell.
And every mid-June I am cursing the hanging basket manufacturers over the fact that they seem to have forgotten that most plant roots grow bigger than six inches. Like trying to stuff a fat man in little pants. Flowers need room to stretch, and if they can’t, well they start to take on that withered look.
This year I had enough. I perused store after store, both physically and on-line, and could never find a hanging basket that served my purpose. Then one day while purchasing some cattle cubes from the feed room at Tractor Supply I saw them… shiny silver buckets. I grabbed four of them and headed to the check-out counter. As I was paying my bill, a farmer-man came to stand behind me.
This, people, is why I love coming to Tractor Supply as soon as they open in the morning. That is when the old farmers are there, running their errands after having already been up for hours. These overall-clad men with their lined faces smiling at you is the best way to start a day. And their dirt-caked fingers can always point you to the best solution to your most recent cow problem.
Anyway, this farmer-man looked down at my purchase and said, “Ya needin’ some new milkin’ buckets?”
“Nah, I’m gonna make them into hangin’ planters for my front porch.”
The look that crossed this seasoned farmer’s face will never leave me. First came shock, then pure awe. Finally he chucked, “Well, ain’t that somethin’. That’s a real good idea, I have lots of old milkin’ buckets in the barn that I could make into hangin’ baskets.”
I will never forget that moment. I gave a good idea to a farmer-man. A man who can probably build a tractor from spare pieces of parts lying around his barn. Who knows? I might actually be able to swing this ranchin’ gig someday. I wonder if overalls come in red?

First, get a bucket. Lowe’s sells these in their paint department for those of you who live in areas without feed stores.
Then, drill a few small holes in the bottom for water drainage.
Next, layer some small rocks in the bottom to prevent soil from falling out of drainage holes. Then add your dirt and plants.
Hook chains cut to desired lengths at the place where the bucket handle meets the bucket and hang on hooks screwed into ceiling. Enjoy!


1 Comment

  1. Just have to tell you how much I'm enjoying your blog. (I'm way behind and just now catching up.) You really write well. Also love the photos. You should collect all these into a book someday. Great stuff!

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