Saturday, July 26, 2014

Farm fashion: 6 classic styles for the barn!

It was hopping today on the farm!  Lots of giant equipment was here.  We were harvesting the wheat, chopping a field of grass, and fertilizing pastures all at the same time.  Max, watching all the huge machines roll by, was in heaven.

Seeing all the guys in their work clothes made me think about farm fashion.  When I wrote the 5 Myths About Farmers, some friends told me they did know an uncle or someone (old) who actually did wear overalls.  This was foreign to me.  I honestly have never seen someone in overalls on a real, working farm.  (I've seen coveralls, but to me that's different.)

So I started looking around at what people were wearing on farms.  So here it is!  Farm fashion.

1. Sleeves cut off t-shirts, jeans, and work boots.

When the Peterson Brothers' videos became popular, I saw they were wearing sleeves cut off t-shirts, hats, jeans, and work boots ... and I noticed that our young guys wore the exact same outfit.  Until then, I hadn't noticed - it was a uniform!  This was the official farming young guys' clothing!  (This cuts down on the farmer's tan, too.)  Though I was just in Lake Michigan with two farmers, and they had feet that glowed white.  You just can't get away with flip flops to go along with the sleeveless shirts.

2.  Ripped jeans.

Oh, I think back to the days when people didn't have denim to work in.  How many more injuries they must have gotten!

The jeans don't rip from just wear.  They rip for a variety of reasons - a drill, catching on your jeans, and saving your skin ...

(Look how excited Ty is to see Kris' ripped open jeans!)

... or getting caught on a fence while on the 4-wheeler!

Kris washes and wears just a few pairs of jeans.  After the latest rip, he asked me to go and buy some for him at Tractor Supply Company.  He wrote down what kind he wears.  I bought them, but they were a different 'fit.'  I took them back.  They didn't have the size of the kind he wanted.  He said they rarely do - they're always out.  All the other farmers apparently wear the same size, brand, and fit!

3.  Rubber boots

Rubber boots, with tennis shoes worn inside them, are what my dad and Kris have always worn.  I associate rubber boots with dairy farms.  They're so practical, and the only way to keep your feet dry on a farm.  They last a long time, but not forever.  They eventually rip - just like the jeans.

4. Old shirts and hats

Kris here is sporting a hat and a shirt from Caterpillar - the company he worked for seven years ago!  But you're not going to wear nice shirts to work ... seven year old ones are all soft, the hats fit right ... great for a day on the farm.  With his t-shirt, jeans, rubber boots, and hat, Kris is a perfect example of farm wear.

In fact, I was teaching swimming lessons last week and I looked up, startled that Kris was home at an unusual time.  No - it wasn't him!  It was a swimming lesson father, dressed in this exact outfit.  He also works on a dairy farm - surprise!

5.  Boots, shorts, and a tank top that makes you think

Summer is hot.  It's nicer to wear shorts than jeans, and that's what some of the guys wear.  (Some never do.  Kris said he could never wear shorts at work.)  But what we all love about Adam's summer wear is the eternal question, "U MAD BRO?"

Again, there's no point in wearing good work clothes, so Adam has been sporting this tank top on the hot days.  We all LOVE it.  My boys say it all the time.  It's turned into a catchphrase in our home.  We're all going to be sad when summer is over for a lot of reasons ... the pool is closed, we have schedules ... and we're not going to be able to ask the question of the season.  (Let's hope he brings out something as philosophical for the fall line.)

6.  No shirt, no service

Now we know what the workers are wearing, but what about the people who are there all the time - doing little work?

For them, it's no shirts.  I was flipping through some pictures from the summer and trying to pick out a nice family picture of us.  In every single picture, my kids aren't wearing shirts.  None of them have voluntarily worn a shirt in their entire lives.  In fact, they have been wearing a uniform of swimsuits and no shirts since mid-May.  Sometimes they throw the boots in too.


So next time you're on a farm, see what the people are wearing.  Boots?  Hats?  Jeans with rips in them?

What will our boys be wearing by the time they're really working on the farm?  I'm not great at predicting trends, but this one seems easy.

They'll be wearing overalls with no shirts underneath.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Farm tours

Every summer, we have a ton of visitors.  Granddaughters of friends, neighbors, friends, friends of friends, and family.  We love showing people the farm!

Our cousins came to visit and my cousin's boyfriend made this great video.  He has a little GoPro camera (which even takes video underwater) and made this of our day on the farm.  It captures a lot of the cute little scenes you get to see on a farm with kids, cows, and calves.

As for us ... Kris has been putting in some serious hours!  He leaves the house at 5:45 a.m. and gets home around 10:30 p.m. where he can enjoy a fresh, gourmet meal prepared by his chef-like wife.  Or, really, he warms up whatever I made the boys five hours previously for their dinner.

What is he doing, you may ask?  Well, he's helping cows have calves, taking care of calves, feeding, pushing up feed, and recently, they also harvested the alfalfa for the second time this summer.  Besides that, there's the regular herd care of giving them vaccinations, taking care of any that need special attention, and working with the rest of the team (milking, calf care, feeding) to make sure everything goes smoothly.  Plus, my family has been visiting, so he's been making time to hang out with them!

We do get away for things like golfing, or spending an afternoon with the boys, and we got to spend a lot of time with our families on July 4th.  Again, this is thanks to great employees and my dad!

Probably our best night out was when we spent two hours at AT&T trying to switch to them from Verizon.  (We can't complete a call in our home or on our farm any longer.)  Two hours later ... they still hadn't switched us over, due to the longest process in the entire world.  We gave up.  Let me tell you - when you get a night out that's exactly how you want to spend it.

So, that's our July here.  Calves, alfalfa, family, and fun.  Enjoy the video and your summer days!