Life in the countryside sounds like a bunch of roses, with glamorous large county homes and peaceful walks through nature. In part that’s what it is, but in the bleak winter when it hasn’t stopped raining for weeks and you’re up to your ankles in mud once you step outside of the door, the countryside certainly has it’s pros and cons. So I’ve put together this list of what I’ve found to be essentials for living on a dairy farm in the middle of nowhere.
I love my leather county boots but even I have had to admit that there are occasions when you can’t beat wellies. If there is likely to be cow muck involved then wellies are always the better choice, they will wash down much easier than leather and will keep your feet dry, even if you’re stood in the middle of a stream. Plus if you are dealing with livestock it’s better to have a pair of boots specifically for cow muck as the smell never really goes away.
I purchased a pair of Ariat Mudbuster wellies after trying on HUNDREDS of wellies at Olympia Horse Show last December and they have been bloody brilliant. They are warm and comfy.
Bowl / Hose pipe & Towels
Muddy fields full of cow pat = muddy, grotty dogs! Either a warm water hose pipe or a bowl is perfect for washing them down. I personally find it easier to dip Guinness’ legs in a warm bowl full of water and rub them with a cloth. Of course lots of mud and washing down means you’re going to need a good supply of towels!
A loud doorbell
If you are lucky enough to have a big house in the country then you’re going to need a doorbell, and a good one. With farms often come a large, old farmhouse and with our house the front door and living room are opposite ends to each other, so we have a doorbell with 2 speaker thingies to be sure we don’t miss visitors or deliveries.
Slippers are one of my essential items no matter where I live, but especially here as some of the rooms are cold, stone tiles and there’s normally some kind of dirt being walked inside by shoes or the dog. Not so nice for your bare toes!
Farm houses tend to be rather old so come with their quirky beams, lop-sided doorways and doors which do not stay open. Therefore doorstops are a life-saver, especially when you have a dog who does not like to be shut out of a room. This cute fox is my favourite and was a great spot in B&Q!
While it’s currently light when I wake up and often still light when I go to bed, in the winter it’s very dark in the middle of nowhere. Whether you’re walking the dog after work or walking to your car, a torch comes in really useful and head torches keep your hands free. Ash and I bought these enormous ones for seeing to the cows and walking the dog as they light up the whole field.
Not only is meal planning good practice to save money and keep you healthy it’s also very practical considering the nearest shop is not a short walk or drive away. While we’re not far from nearby towns it’s a bit of a trek to go out and pick up some chicken for tea. Plus when you work long hours the added time of deciding what to have and fetching missing ingredients really pushes your evenings on. I love our weekly planner board and we write on it in chalk most weeks to plan at least half of our meals.
I love living on a farm, sure its muddy, sometimes it smells of cow poo and you have to drive down a bumpy, dusty track to reach the house, but they’re all tiny cons compared to the fresh air, peace and quiet, views and abundance of wildlife.
Do you live in the countryside? What are your essential items?