Homesteading Safely

My husband Mike has been working incredibly hard on our homestead for years, even before we knew where our land might be. He worked hard to make and save money, locate and secure the property, and now is putting the sweat equity in every chance he gets.

The Farm At Homestead Cove
That’s not how any of this works….early days learning the “right way” to wear the hardhat when working with trees.

We knew when we we spent our first day cutting up trees we needed to put safety ahead of our eagerness to get started. I insisted on hardhats for both of us and chainsaw chaps for Mike whenever he was using the saw.

The Farm At Homestead Cove
Safety First Folks!

Above is an example of one of the fallen trees on the property. This one will be used for firewood and is now stacked and ready to season and be split this fall. Mike had cut trees before, but to ensure he was using all the best methods he spent many evenings this winter watching YouTube videos about how, and how not, to cut down and cut up trees. Knock on wood (see what I did there?) he has really become skilled at this and can drop a tree to a very specific location. I’m always impressed.

The Farm At Homestead Cove
Pure Exhaustion/Labor of Love

Unfortunately I have some trouble with my back and have to be careful with what and how I lift stuff. Mike is strong and has great endurance, as well as a healthy dose of stubbornness to push him along. I help with the lighter stuff, keep track of the dogs, and make trips to the hardware store as needed.

The Farm At Homestead Cove
Post Hole Digging

We will be putting up a good deal of fencing, but until we get a tractor with an auger we are sticking to simple post hole projects as seen above. Mike installed a simple gate here to deter uninvited visitors.

Note the snake boots Mike is wearing, designed to protect against snake bites. They aren’t the most comfortable footwear in the world and we both wear them anyway because one snake bite could set us back significantly.

Speaking of snakes, did you know there is a snake bite vaccine for dogs? There isn’t one for humans but since one does exist for pups, ours are getting vaccinated this summer. According to our vet it doesn’t mean you skip the emergency vet visit if your beloved Fido is bit by a snake, but it gives you a bit of extra time and lessens the severity of the symptoms. Too bad there isn’t a snake vaccine for humans!

The Farm At Homestead Cove
The “Why are you taking my picture?” expression, which I see often. I think he’s handsome. ❤

And then there’s all the lovely neon colors. Up until this week (more to come on that in a day or so), our homestead has been entirely wooded minus a few trails and the gravel drive. More than once we have run into hunters on our land and while we support the hunting world completely, now that this land is private and frequented by people we want to be sure no stray bullets or bows are flying. So, we wear neon colors when on the property working, at least until there are fewer trees and we are easier to spot from a distance. We also tie neon cloth to the dogs collars (cut from Mike’s shirtsleeves) to be sure they aren’t mistaken for bears or boar.

The moral of this short post is to stress how important it is to be safe when working in this environment. It is easier and more comfortable to wear tennis shoes, a ballcap, and a pair of shorts for this type of work, but it just isn’t safe. We both need to stay healthy to accomplish our BIG dreams, so we committed early to only working safely.

Thanks to my husband for allowing me to snap endless annoying pictures to show how to be safe working land!

Sneak Preview: the “underbrushing guy” has been clearing out on the land for two whole days now, pictures to come on Sunday!

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