Tool finder

Somebody needs to invent a system that allows people like me to find the tools I constantly misplace on the farm. No, really.

We have 185 acres. Even if I limit myself to the area of our farm buildings, we’re talking 5 to 7 acres. It’s really, really easy to lose tools, even big tools, by simply putting them down and forgetting where they got put.

For example, I spent most of my day before writing this post looking for my lost Sawzall. One would think a red tool the size of a large ham would be easy to find. Not so, as it turns out, when one has to search through at least three different buildings and half a dozen projects in various states of completion.

So, what I need is a system that would somehow catalog where all my tools are in some kind of a central database. Even if it just covered buildings, such a system would cover 90 percent of my tools. And, if it had a way for me to wander around the farm and find tools I left elsewhere, that would be swell too.


The farm uniform

While I’m sure most farmers don’t think of it this way, there is a definitive uniform most of us wear as we go about our daily tasks. It’s a practical collection of clothing and tools that help us get our jobs done.

Here at Innisfree Farm, the uniform is pretty well defined. At its most basic, it consists of a hat, t-shirt, pair of jeans, socks, and a good pair of steel-toed work boots. Added to that is a good multi-tool and a pair of work gloves. During the winter, the ensemble expands to include stocking caps, sweatshirts, long underwear, and winter work gloves.

Some farmers replace the work boots with mud boots of one sort or another, but I find the risk of crushing my toes often outweighs the benefits of staying clean and dry. Further, almost any kind of clothing can be worn, as long as it covers most of the body and is tight fitting enough to avoid getting caught in machinery, a problem that is especially present in the winter when we have to wear more clothing.

Some accessories that often go with our uniform include a good flashlight, a toolbox filled with our most commonly used tools, and a water jug. Sometimes, a pair of suspenders can be useful to help keep one’s pants up when the work requires constant bending over.

Overall, this is a time tested uniform for farming as I have seen it in use.