How to Fix Stuff on a Farm

Fixing stuff on the farm

It has come to my attention that one of the main responsibilities of farming is putting things back together, sometimes known colloquially as fixing stuff, which leads to the other main responsibility of farming–finding stuff to fix stuff. 

Finding stuff is a satisfying pastime, best enjoyed in the company of others. There’s no greater pleasure than shouting across a scrapyard, “Hey, I think I found something!” Over the years, my wife’s poppaw Lowry and I have spent many pleasant hours wandering the local scrapyard in search of the perfect piece of scrap. The chance to work in outdoor environs like a well-organized junk heap with birds chirping, heavy machinery roaring, and jagged metal gleaming is what draws many people to farming.

What also draws people to farming is a love of the land, and there’s nothing like landing a quarter-inch wrench from the disaster area that is my tool shed. Sometimes I forget to lock my tool shed, and I’m pretty sure that’s when my wife sneaks in there to play with my wrenches and forgets to put them back in their correct place, which is why she often finds my pocket wrench in the washing machine. 

Once you find the tools and materials needed to put something back in working order, then you just need to remember how you took the thing apart. Truth be told, it’s very simple to fix things, so to give the repair a sporting chance at failure, it’s best to reference only mental notes from taking the thing apart. Writing down the order in which the thing was disassembled is considered cheating–unless, that is, the written notes are promptly lost, in which case they become fair game for the process of fixing stuff by way of finding stuff. 

The final step after reassembly is to apply duct tape, JB Weld, or bailing twine. Then you can either call your neighbor to brag about your ingenuity and successful farm repair or, more likely, ask to borrow his equipment since your thing still isn’t working. 

15 thoughts on “How to Fix Stuff on a Farm

  1. I like your sense of humor! We sometimes take cell phone photos of things as they come apart so we can remember how they were supposed to look.

    1. Thanks! There have been several occasions where I wished I would have slowed down and taken pictures; sometimes slowing down actually saves time in the long run.

  2. Where would we be without duct tape and baler twine?? I’ve got a huge rollof antique natural jute baler twine, acquired at a farm sale (roups we call them in Scotland)…in interests of being plastic free I decided to use it rather than have it as decoration in the shed and ration it carefully. But think there’s enough to see me out!

    1. We can still buy the natural twine here but most people use the synthetic stuff. But i keep roll of the old natural stuff on hand just for random uses too. It comes in handy.

    1. It’s amazing the technological advances in duct tape these. You can it in nearly ever color. I got some camo duct tape, hoping people wouldn’t be able to see it when I plastered it on stuff, but it’s still fairly obvious.

  3. I like to wait until my husband is at work and ask where he keeps a certain power tool or send pictures asking what size a bolt is. Keeps his heart in good working order!

  4. Haha… Yeah the first piece of advice we got when we moved out here was “if you want it done, learn how to do it yourself because half the contractors suck and most of them over charge”. So we I have definitely learned a ton, from replacing all of the windows in our house to deconstructing a massive crazy second-floor deck to building our own kitchen base cabinets to my husband’s least favorite job in the whole world, removing crawl space insulation (as the skinny dude it automatically became his project). Fortunately we have a good electrician and plumber for the hard stuff but they’ve both been great at teaching us little tricks as well. Our biggest challenge is the fact that we bought a battery powered riding lawn mower which we love but had to special-order because nobody believes in not using gasoline out here, so no one knows how to work with its little peccadilloes (but I got to say it’s the awesomest thing ever and does 3 acres on one charge… Right about the time your butt gets super tired!)

    1. I’m a skinny dude too and often get sent to the crawl space. I can’t wait till those robotic electric lawnmowers become mainstream, like a roomba for your yard. We got a roomba for our house. I think it was the best purchasing decision we ever made.

      1. oof, our pitbull would not take kindly to the vacuum. she’s a pussycat until we start vacuuming…she’s literally put her jaws around it in the past trying to make it stop 🙂

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