Martok
February 7, 2011
Bock bier label
Mom started collecting bock bier labels, like this one, because they feature goats.

Remember when Salem got sick and Mom and Dad gave him bock beer to soothe his bellyache? Mom and Dad don’t drink beer, so Uzzi and I decided to Google it for them.

We discovered bock beer is a strong, dark lager that’s been brewed in the German town of Einbeck since the 14th century. Bavarians pronounced “Einbeck” as “ein bock” (a buck goat), so the beer became known as bock beer. And there are goats on most bock beer labels! We told Mom, and now she has a new facet to her farm collectables hobby: collecting bock beer labels featuring goats. 

Uzzi and I don’t understand why humans collect things, but they do. (How much better to eat a tasty label than stick it in a plastic protector in a book!) Because Mom and Dad live in a small area, Mom collects small things. Her favorite collections are antique photos, vintage picture postcards, and old paper advertising items featuring goats, sheep and cattle, but she collects small sheep figurines and plush sheep, too.

Farm photo
Mom also collects antique farm photos because they are small and fit well in her small space.

Maybe you’d like to collect farm-related goodies? It’s easy once you decide what to collect. It can be a broad subject like everything chickens or cows (there are lots of things for you on the market) or something as precise as donkeys carved out of wood. Farm toys and old ceramic crocks are popular collectable items nowadays. People collect everything from Elsie the Borden cow collectables to printed gunny sacks to antique tractor seats—there is something out there just for you!

Once you decide on a theme, you’ll know where to dig for treasures. eBay and antique stores are Mom’s hunting grounds, but farm auctions are additional sources for items like crocks and tractor seats. 

So start a collection—or two or three—by deciding what you’d like to collect. Brainstorm a list of possibilities, and work from there. Factor in space considerations, cost and availability. Be very precise if you like. It’s fun to collect something unusual, like pink pigs or things featuring armadillos; then when you discover an item, it’s a find! Remember, some of the best collections fit in tiny spaces and cost little to amass. Think horses or cattle on postage stamps. There are lots of them at eBay, most cost very little, and you can store them all in a single album.

Then get the word out to friends and family that you’re collecting these things; they may have some that they’ll give you. And when birthdays and Christmas roll around they’ll be glad to know there’s something you really want. Everybody wins!
   

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