I was thinking earlier this week about how my clothes have changed since we became full-time farmers. Mostly I was thinking about it because we had our first snow event of the season and I had forgotten how often I change clothes in the winter these days.
First, The Snow Event
It was seriously an event. Nearly 9 inches of heavy, wet, spring-like snow at our house... which is next to, not in the Rocky Mountains. They said on the news that the water content of our normal snow is 10 inches of snow = 1 inch of water. It's why people love to ski Colorado.... Champagne Powder!
The snow we had last week was 10 inches of snow = 6 inches of water.
The trees still had most of their leaves, so there were fallen branches everywhere. We had many friends without power for more than 24 hours. It was the coldest night of the season at a low of around 15F. Fortunately those friends all have fireplaces so they were not cold.
We were very lucky and only lost internet for a couple of hours during the big melt and only have one broken branch that I now need to remove from the tree. But wow, it was certainly an event.
On to the Clothes
Prior to being a full-time farmer, I lived in a city. I had my going to the office clothes and my comfy at home clothes. But for more than 10 years my going to the office clothes and comfy at home clothes were the same because it was normal to wear shorts and t-shirts or jeans and t-shirts to the office. I do miss those days.
Eventually we purchased a few alpacas that we agisted at a nearby farm so a group of going to the farm clothes were added... or rather, removed from my going to the office clothes.
The going to the farm clothes were often torn or stained and of course the boots had poo on them.
Now that we're full-time farmers, live outside of a city and I commute to a client office where proper office clothes are the norm I have several more groups of clothes.
In the Summer
There's the proper office clothes that look good in the summer heat and the indoors *^%-freezing, air-conditioning. They are easily removed and replaced for passing thru TSA checkpoints and generally need to be dry-cleaned.
Then there's the comfy at home clothes and farm clothes. These are often the same unless it's been raining and is therefore muddy outside.
I wear shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops for the majority of the summer. I often find myself in the corral wearing jammies and flip-flops and toward the end of the summer, I occasionally forego the flip-flops and find myself in the pasture without anything resembling shoes at all.
I have my clean shorts and t-shirts for going out and my dirty shorts and t-shirts for mucking, feeding, weeding and other farm chores. All of these are sent through the general wash without much care or worry.
I do have a pair of hiking boots that I use for working around the alpacas. They generally have poo on them too. Alpacas can have very sharp toe nails and Flip-flops don't go well with them. Let's just say, I know this from experience. :-/
In the Winter
I have the proper office clothes that look good over layers of long-johns and under layers of woolies. They are also easily removed and replaced for passing thru TSA checkpoints and yes, also generally need to be dry-cleaned.
Then I have the comfy at home clothes and the farm clothes. I have old ripped and stained jeans, long-johns, snow boots, big coat, winter gloves and woolies that are dedicated to farm chores. These things all get donned and removed in the mud room which is really just a shelf in the garage. These are all machine washable and are cycled through every few days.
The comfy at home clothes are jeans, t-shirts and sweaters.... but often they're jammies. Yep, I will often be on a teleconference with technical developers and business users in other countries and time zones wearing my jammies. I do like this part. :-D
So I guess the big difference between not being a farmer then and being a farmer now is the mud and snow management. There isn't nearly as much access to mud in the city as there is on a farm. So anything that gets muddy or snowy stays out of the house. Which means that when I am home and going in and out of the house quite a lot, I am therefore changing clothes several times each day.