I’m writing you from within a house surrounded by snow… yup! Snow! It’s April 16 and its been freezing rain and now snowing for two days… but nothing is stopping this dreamer. Spring will arrive (we hope). This was a first winter at the farmhouse with farm animals… and goodness sake did we learn a lot! We learned the drastic importance of a well placed heated water bucket, we learned that we need a new stall system underneath the barn, and we also learned that our Ram will challenge nearly every barrier, and a little better effort in the fencing needs to be considered this summer. As our farm “Lessons Learned” has gone from a note pad to a mile long scroll… we quickly found out what tools you need at the ready, especially when you a weirdo herd of 3 sheep, and 1 “sheep” that think she’s a cat (Grace).
Between Grace jumping up on the fencing and the Ram trying to get to whatever the “other-side” is… I had to do a lot of wire fence repair this past winter. These bolt cutters made a quick home in my back pocket. When the fence would get broken up or stretched out, I would use these bolt cutters to cut out the damaged area, and splice in a new section.
During the repair we would keep the sheep stalled… when we first brought the sheep to the farm, we were only using wide mouth shovels to clean our their stalls, like those used for gravel or shoveling snow. I picked up this Stall Fork, and clean up went a little quicker, getting the perfect mixture of the wide shovel, and a traditional rake of getting every little bit of straw scooped out.
Inside and outside the barn we were just throwing their hay in large food bowls, or leaving them as a bale for the sheep to pick at. While they would eat the hay bale, it was much more fun to use the hay bale to do “cool tricks” off of, wasting a good chunk of the bale. That’s when we purchased these wall mounted Hay Feeder, to get the food off the ground. With the exception of some loose-leaf (no pun intended) hay falling through the gaps, much less waste!
To clean out the stalls, we would load up the tractor bucket with as much hay as we could, and haul it out to the far corner of the pasture to compost. My father-in-law bought me a jumper pack like this one for Christmas, and it came in so handy for a handful of jumps or phone charging, I bought one for the tractor. This one is rated to turnover a diesel meter, and being as cold as it got this past winter, it those starts get harder and harder with each degree closer to zero or below.
One of my most favorite tools on the farm is the Ryobi Brushless Reciprocating Saw. It runs off of the One+ system, but from quickly cutting down branches, trimming up swinging doors in the barn from dragging across the ground, or even light metal, I always throw this in the rear ballast of the tractor, for any “just in cases.”
We haven’t had a chance to full implement this Ryobi backpack sprayer, but we take our grounds treatment very seriously, especially when we have 4 beautiful hives of bees nearby (**Quick update: We are still uncertain how many (if any) bee’s served the winter). Nonetheless, we are on the hunt for a “bee safe” grounds treatment that will keep us looking like our fantasy farmhouse.
Well if you are looking for a set of tools to keep in arms reach, or joining us on this farm adventure wondering what tools you need, learn from us. Thank you for stopping by, enjoy the rest of your week, and as always… Give Grace!