Homesteading Toys, I Mean Tools

Living on an acreage usually means that you may have a few more tools, or toys as some may prefer to call them then the average homeowner. I recently bought a new toy that I have had my eye on at the local farm store for quite awhile!

It is amazing how excited one gets when they get a new toy to help them with tasks on the farm, here is a round up of a few of my favorites that I have been using quite a bit lately.

Garden Hopper

I found this fabulous contraption via Laura from my favorite Youtube channel, Garden Answer. I always envisioned a cutesy, old-fashioned basket to take fresh veggies from the garden to the house but when I saw this it just made so much sense! It is still eye appealing, has plenty of room AND you can rinse the veggies off right in the basket and let the water drain through! There are three different sizes, I chose the middle size because it was big enough to hold a good haul of produce but still small enough for Scarlett to carry, which she loves to do!

A Good Old Tractor

This one may be an obvious one but only in the past couple of years have I truly began to appreciate a good tractor with a loader bucket. Growing up we mainly used the four-wheeler and a cart to do various tasks but when Coby and I got married he introduced me to how awesome a tractor can be! I use it for everything! From yard work to dragging the garden to mowing the pasture. I love how versatile it can be. I’m definitely not an expert at maneuvering yet but my first thought when I see a large branch broken off in the tree still hanging there is, “I can hook a chain up to that and pull it down with the tractor!” Or, “I hate that giant planter that is anchored in the ground with cement footings, I’ll just rip it out with the tractor!”

Spring Cleaning the barn!

A Handy, Dandy Garden Cart

This is the item I had been eye balling at the local farm store for about a couple months. We have an old wheel barrow that has a flat tire and is pretty rusted. Not the end of the world but honestly, wheel barrow’s are definitely a needed commodity on the farm but they’re such a pain to maneuver. You get off balance while carting them around and SPLAT, the whole thing falls over and you lose everything you were trying to transport. I loved that this cart had a flat bottom and could stand on it’s own no problem. It’s still very spacious inside and honestly, I think it may have more cubic area then most wheel barrows. When I brought this home I was literally coming up with things in my head to use it for so I could test it out. We decided to give it a test run cleaning out the chicken coop. I had it about 2/3 full and was afraid it would be too heavy but it wasn’t bad. Taking it through the pasture on some uneven ground was slightly challenging with the flat bottom all the way around but it wasn’t bad. Also keep in mind, I wasn’t just trying to maneuver it over uneven terrain but also trying to maneuver it with the help of a baby!

Another cart that I got was the gorilla cart, it was a Christmas present from my mom. You know you’re becoming a garden nerd when you receive a cart for Christmas and are ecstatic! Scarlett and I were putting it together in the barn last night and I can’t imagine how useful this will be in the upcoming seasons. I have been using Scarlett’s radio flyer wagon to haul items around the yard before but I think this will be a little more suited to some of the dirty jobs I have to do!

Digging Fork

I feel is a staple in any barn, whether you really have critters or not and it was just left there from when there were animals inhabiting that barn. To be honest, this is how we came to acquire this tool. I had never really used it much before because we have an actual pitchfork that works better for mucking out barns but it’s skinny tines can sometimes render it useless.

I have been using this a lot lately to help clean up hay on the barn floor. We have small bales and of course the shaft separates from the flakes of hay and ends up on the floor. For what I am paying this dry year for hay I am sure not going to let it go to waste! I have been using this to easily rake it up and take it to the fence for the Boys to enjoy!

This is one of my new favorite tools!

Final Thoughts

These are the items I have been reaching for time and time again lately for help around the acreage, what are your go-to items that make your life a little easier on the farm?

“Patiently” Waiting for Spring

Spring has sprung and I realized I’m not ready!

Last night Scarlett and I were out taking stock of the property since most of the snow disappeared with the warm temperatures yesterday and I stopped in my tracks and beckoned my ear for a better listen, it was a Red-Winged Black Bird! Every year there is always the conversation about how spring must be close if the Red-Winged Blackbird is back!

Apparently the Redwing Blackbirds were a little late getting to our place!

Luckily spring is just around the corner and I cannot wait, the weather is going to be nice so I can get started on everything I want to do with the garden, the chicken coop, the barn… the list goes on and on! I felt like I was ready to go and had everything in order to start all of this year’s projects but now that the time is here I’m having “Oh crap!” moments and realizing I might be a little less prepared then I thought.

I love getting to change from my bulky winter boots to these darling rubber boots in spring!

When we were in the coop last night I was doing some measuring for some nesting boxes and setting up a nice spot for the girls to roost instead of on top of the feed container where they hang out now. We then went into the main area of the barn and I saw our cute wooden ladder that we use to get into the haymow sitting on the floor and remembered that I wanted to get some brackets to mount it to the posts in the barn so it won’t be in our walking path anymore and I started to get that overwhelmed feeling creeping up. I have a tendency to be a little impatient and when I get an idea in my head I want to do it NOW! Partner that with some recently manifested anxiety and I was getting way in over my head before the season truly even started! I had to make myself pause and stop my mind from racing ahead of itself.

My TRUE sign of spring! When my mom’s horse starts shedding it means we’re getting close to spring. When my horse starts shedding, it means spring is here!

Last year when I was trying to get everything done for the season I made a monthly to do list instead of having one big, “Get it ALL done list.” This really helped me visually break it down and plan for each weekend which is when we do our larger projects around here since we work during the week and it really helped! It not only helped me plan but also helped my husband because he knew what I wanted to do in the upcoming days so we could chat about it and get a clear picture of what he needed to do that weekend as well for his business and make it all run smoothly.

I am definitely a need to write everything down kind of person!

I of course want to get everything going on our property that I enjoy, the garden, making the chicken coop cute AND functional but I am trying to get myself to slow down and enjoy the process. The process is never-ending, there is always going to be something that needs to be done or something that I want done so I’m trying to enjoy it because, as they say, getting there is half the fun!

Happy spring All!