Farm Fashion II: Boots


Boots.  They say that behind every good man there is a better woman.  Well, under every good woman is a hell-of-a-pair of good boots!   Has to be!

My boot collection began years ago.  Before I was a farmer.

My parents didn’t have money so I put myself through college.  Though my parents were supportive they really had no idea how college was paid for, when the money was due, or even the fact that I had to pay for books.  I didn’t tell them and they didn’t ask.  I worked forty hours a week more or less and went to school full-time.  Whenever she could, my mother sent me some cash.  Random amounts at random times.  (Actual cash in the mail, if you can imagine.)

About two months before I graduated from college she sent me one hundred dollars and a note telling me that the money was for school.  I had already paid for the tuition and books back in January.


I bought a pair of Frye boots with that one hundred dollars.  My first pair of real boots.  Twenty something years later they are still my favourites.

My Frye’s don’t match my old horse trailer so I didn’t photo them for this blog.


These red boots, made by Kickers!, are great fun though entirely impractical for farming.


These blue BOGS are flowery and cute and easy to wear over my angora leg warmer.   Yes, warmer, not warmers.  I wear one to warm the achy ankle I broke while wearing my BOGS.


These boots are a hazard.

They have no tread on them to speak of.  My mother-in-law, a Beacon Hill debutante, gave them to me because they are pretty and supposedly practical.  They do keep the water out – more or less – but their usefulness is fairly limited when it comes to farming.

For starters there is the aforementioned problem of no treads.  And believe me when I tell you this:

Zero Treads + One Cow Flap = One Broken Ankle

The next problem is that the soles are too thin.  I can not wear these boots to stomp a metal fence post into the ground without impaling my foot.  I tried once and quickly realized that not only would I injure myself but that I would soon have waterproof boots with a hole in their sole.

The things I like about these pretty but largely impractical boots?

1)The handles to pull them on.

2)The roominess that allows for heavy socks and my angora leg warmer.  On the flip side the roominess is a problem.  Water splashing out of buckets goes right down your boot, ditto a good rainstorm.  When standing in mud the roominess means that much more suction can pull the boot off – and until you’ve danced your way out of a muddy pig pen bare footed you have no idea how much of a problem this is.

So why was I wearing them yesterday?

My Carhartt overalls are too short and I didn’t want snow in my boots.  I was collecting sap and the crust on the snow is softening, every step with my lower winter boots and too-short overalls meant cold feet.  The walkway to the barn is now largely bare so isn’t slippery.  The cow flaps are clearly visible so I had no excuse for slipping on one of them.  Yesterday was a good day for my not-so-good BOGS.


January Budget

The following table is Attempt #1 to look at the costs of food at Penny Tree Farm.

The farm expense numbers come from receipts of purchases from the local feed store and include food for all my animals, and any items that are used for their care or keeping.

The food expense numbers come from my bank statements and include grocery store purchases, fish store purchases, farm stand purchases, bulk food purchases, restaurant purchases etc for all the human beings at Penny Tree Farm.  I hope to tease out these numbers more precisely over time but didn’t want to start with the bar too high or I’d never get it rolling.   I’d guess-timate that these numbers should be at $200 dollars or more higher.

FARM EXPENSES 1/412 1/11/12 1/12/12 1/18/12 1/25/12 MONTHLY TOTAL
HAY 94.9 94.9 94.9 94.9 379.6
COARSE 16 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.9 111.6
ALFALFA 14.99 14.99 14.99 14.99 59.96
COARSE CORN 16.79 16.79 16.79 16.79 67.16
LAYING PELLETS 28.95 28.95
BUNNY 16 16.99 16.99
BEET PULP 18.99 18.99
SHAVINGS 16.2 16.2
183.77 31.76 278.04 127.71 140.79 762.07