I was talking with a soon-to-be farmer and it got me thinking about all the lessons that I had to learn and all the things I had to figure out myself. I kinda wish someone would have given me a quick list of things that can make your life easier. Not the big stuff like canning supplies or favorite tools... but little fixes. Like this:
1. These stainless S-hooks from Ikea. I have about 20 of these and I use them for hanging up most of my pots and all kinds of kitchen tools like strainers and big spatulas. Another great use? I use them to hang cheese to drain, or even wet jackets from the shower curtain rod. And outside for butchering. Be sure to get the big ones - 4.25" - they are incredibly sturdy.
2. This farm is fueled entirely by coffee - I love my stovetop espresso maker. What about a fancy Keurig coffee maker? I'm not a hater but I really don't have any real estate on my counter for something that big. Altho my full confession is that I have been extremely jelly of one of my pals for his ability to instantly have a coffee at any moment... you know who you are.
3. Don't forget a milk frother. I can also make whipped cream with this one. You know... in case of an emergency. This happens more than you think. I love this little gadget so much. I use it everyday.
4. I have a stack of these colanders - they are the right size for my sink.
They are easy to carry out to the garden and also to hang on a fence post until I'm ready to bring in some produce.
5. Mine fit in a food grade bucket like this. It's a great way to drain cheese.
6. We always have a bunch of these - I like the 20 cc syringes - without the needle. They are used for dosing the goats (or dogs) or whoever. The 3ML are a good size also. We have them by the gross.
7. Hands down, these are still the best hoof trimmers I've ever used. They are a dream within a dream and radically changed my relationship with the goats. Now, instead of a brawl, goat hoof trimming takes minutes and does not require Bloodstop. Or swearing. Easy peasy. I also use them for snipping the twine on straw or hay. It's not an appropriate use but that is OK.
8. When I march out there to get a goat for hoof trimming this is what I have in my hand.
Well. Technically ours is a John Deere leash... but this narrow, 4 foot leash with a "clicker" on the end works perfectly. It's short to keep the goat by my side, it's thin so it's easy to use, and I use it as a slip leash. That is... I put the "clicker" end thru the loop to form a slip leash. It goes over the goat's head (or I put and end around their neck and thread it thru the loop) and voila! I have an easily controlled goat. I can also use the "clicker" to latch the goat on a hook or the fence if I need both hands.
We don't collar anyone - not the dogs, not the goats, and certainly not the cats. So having an easy to use "slip leash" is a breeze. But how do I get ahold of goats/dogs/cats? Friend, a loud hand clap and a "Come here!" works for just about everyone. Sometimes the goats need a bit of a chase but we just run them into the goat house and get them while cornered.
9. Everyone needs a fence tool - or five. No matter what you are doing you probably need a fence tool. Get a bunch of them and keep them where you work.
10. And buckets. I always need lots and lots of buckets. Get more buckets. Or better yet, get some good tools and fill a bucket for the perfect gift!
Happy Thursday everyone! Do you have 10 things that make your life easier?
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