Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

10 things that make my life easier.

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?

Editors note: Did you get your holiday shopping done? Were you going to order something  from Amazon today anyway? Give a click on one of the links on this page or my store or use the black Amazon search box on the side of the page. If you do I will get a tiny portion of the sale and it won't cost you one more cent. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. THANKS!


Unknown said...

Wow, when did amazon start selling Ikea? Holy crap, I didn't know!!! I LOVE their storage stuff.
I have tons of canning stuff.

We do have the very small kuerig- great for fast drinks, I do teas hubby does coffees, great for guests. I found K stuff at the grocery outlet and stocked up!

Lots of buckets too, and rags and old towels.

Lots of tools.

Ditto syringes for the cat and the hens.

First aid kit for the hens, I keep a stash. No driving around like a maniac when one gets sick/injured.

Lots of buckets too, for garden harvest, bird seeds, hen feed, etc.

A good tote bag for work/job, had it forever and still looks good. Thanks Eddie Bauer!

buddeshepherd said...

Four Roses

FailWhale said...

Our new homestead-on-a-shoestring also runs on coffee (and tea). We'd be lost without our tea kettle and French press. SO other than that, my list would have to include:

A good pair of work gloves

Ditto on lots of buckets, rags, etc.

A tool chest (sucks trying to find the right tool when everything is thrown into a storage tote).

Moon-Shadows said...

GLOVES that fit...real canvass work gloves and a pair of knit ones, that have finger diped with plastic stuff. But since i need kid size except for length this has been just a dream. Until now, introducing kinco gloves for women!!! Ya'll they fit, and are amazing#!! The canvass ones are heavy duty and have a nice teal cuff. Follow their measuring your hand guide and you will be in love!!!!! :)

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