Sometimes It’s the Little Things
An Appreciation Post for the Gear That Keeps Our Farmers Going
The farm’s first hard frost this season didn’t hit until November. Despite the gentleness with which we transitioned from summer to fall, the cold weather is now officially upon us. The change in seasons means the farmers have now fully rotated the clothes they wear and the gear they keep at hand for the shorter days and chilly mornings.
Farming is physically exhausting, mentally demanding work. It is also dirty and more dangerous than the average office job. Our farm crew has put an extraordinary amount of hard work and ingenuity into this year’s season, and it is impossible not to feel gratitude for the things that have kept them safe, healthy, and comfortable even in the most brutal heat and chilling winds.
We asked the team to share with us the work clothing and gear for which they were most grateful this season. Here is what they told us.
My sunglasses! I have very light-sensitive eyes, so I usually have a pair of sunglasses with me everywhere I go. Rain or shine, you’ll usually see them on me.
I am so thankful every day for my rain bibs. They keep me dry on crazy rainy days, in the wash station, and on especially dewy mornings.
Also, I got a surprise new farm hat this year from fellow farmer, Kari! It is a classic straw hat that helps keep the sun off my neck and face and saves me on very hot days. (Thanks, Kari!)
We joke all the time as a team about starting a workwear blog for women and anyone who struggles to find well-fitting gear for their physical work. Last year, when it rained more than imaginable, I would have said that the essentials were my waterproof bib overalls and my mosquito net. This year, after experiencing months of drought, I am especially grateful for my 1.5-liter insulated water bottle.
Over the years, I’ve collected farm clothes that do what I need and that feel good to wear, and it’s great that there are more and more options for “women’s” workwear out there. But it can still be frustrating sometimes to see how many more options there are for men—often made with more durable materials.
I have committed to the practice of staying hydrated this year. It has been on my to-do list for a few years now and this is the year. I carry a clear 32-ounce Nalgene that allows me to see how little water I’ve been drinking and encourages me to drink more water.
I also started buying clothes from a women-owned and -operated workwear company called Dovetail. Wearing clothes that were designed by people with body types similar to my own has been a game changer. The clothes I have bought so far are thoughtfully designed and much more comfortable in the field.
I am an overalls enthusiast. No belt required! So many pockets! I like to keep a small notepad and pen in the chest pocket to jot down questions to research when I get home.
My favorite farm gear is my bright yellow rain bibs. I got them last summer when it was pouring rain pretty much every day and my old rain pants weren’t quite cutting it. It was so dry this year, though, that I didn’t wear them as much. It’s kind of silly, but this season I actually would get excited when I got to put them on for my weekly shift at the wash station, or for a particularly dewey morning harvest.
Oh gosh, this is a tough one. Though it feels like one of the most obvious choices, I’d have to say my bibs. I started off last season with rain pants that tore more and more, inch by inch, each week. I highly underestimated the power of waterproof clothing.
So I invested in bibs from Helly Hansen and I feel ten times more comfortable, quick, and focused on the task at hand knowing that I won’t be cold and wet at lunch and that I can work through dew, rain, snow, mud, and sun.
These past two years we really have experienced two extremes! Rain bibs and comfortable waterproof boots are the two pieces of farm gear that honestly made it possible to work on those rainy days last season.
This season I would say my large sunhat and insulated water bottle!
My big sunhat, sunscreen, and work gloves!