Owning and running a farm park is an incredible opportunity for anyone with a background in farming or livestock, especially when you can help teach kids about the land and the animals and see the joy and fascination that it brings them. However, it’s not always smooth sailing. Like any other type of farm or rural property, the upkeep is constant, and there’s always something new to deal with.
Over the years, as I have dealt with various issues, whether it be storm damage, clearing new land, or simply checking up on our animals, I’ve begun to stockpile a variety of different items that I have begun to rely on for much of the maintenance I do. Most of these are fairly obvious items that would likely be found on any property, but there are a few unexpected things that I noticed have really gone a long way for me, so I would like to share some of these with you.
- A Good Ax – I want to emphasize the word “good” here. I’m constantly clearing little spots of land and chopping lumber for various purposes. I had a fairly decent ax that I tried to sharpen regularly, and it served its purpose, but when the handle started to crack along its length I figured it would be worth investing in a completely new ax that would last me a while. This was probably one of the best recent acquisitions to my tool shed. I didn’t realize how much grip comfort and weight mattered, and man, do they ever make them sharp these days. I’m sure it has saved my back more than once. For those who don’t need anything too heavy-duty, there are many different shorter and lightweight axes out there now, so I highly suggest you consider this option as well!
- Fertilizer and Grass Sead Spreader – I already had a large-scale spreader from my previous property, but one thing I didn’t account for with the farm park was the constant need to re-seed and fertilize narrow lengths of grass from all the people who have come to visit and stroll between pens and barns. Doing this by hand is pretty inefficient, but conversely, the spreader I already had was way too big to warrant using it for this application. So I went out and got a smaller spreader, just a simple common one that many people in the city or suburbs may also own. It was cheap, takes up very little space, and allows me to maintain smaller patches of grass with ease.
- Durable Flashlight – having a durable flashlight to keep in the tool shed, barn, or other area that might be a little more exposed to the elements has also been a nice touch. I used to have a pretty standard flashlight that I kept in the house, and whenever I need to go outside to check up on something in the night I would bring it with me. Sounds pretty standard, right? Well, the problem was that I would often misplace it, or if it was raining and I had it outside for a long period of time, it would eventually leak and break down over time. A buddy of mine got me a heavy-duty LED flashlight as a gift once, and I thought it seemed pretty cool, but not overly necessary. Turns out this is a great thing for me to keep in the shed. It’s completely waterproof, highly durable (I would bet money that I could run it over with my truck), seems resistant to any fluctuations in temperature, is very bright, and can go almost forever without needing a change in batteries. So while it’s not completely essential, I’ve noticed it’s been highly convenient for me.
- Spare Tarps of Different Sizes – Having come from the Pacific Northwest, tarps were like duct tape for me. Temporary solutions for leaks, or constantly having to cover up piles of new dirt or manure, I’ve come to be pretty reliant on tarps. I’ve always benefited from having at least a few different sizes, both for covering things, patchworking leaks, or using as a mat for temporarily placing items or setting up a stand for the park, not having to constantly run out and get new stuff last minute is a nice feeling.
More to Come Later
Well, that’s about enough for now. To many, these may be pretty obvious solutions to minor problems, but if you’re able to think ahead and stock up on some things you know you will need, you can save yourself a lot of hassle down the road. For me, I now get to focus more of my energy on teaching the kids and their families about the land and animals in this beautiful country, which is my true passion.