Small Farm Living: 5 Steps to Upkeep

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Chelsea and I love traveling all over the United States as a family. We also love small farm living in sunny San Diego. After weeks on the road, this is how we get the home back into shape using STIHL!

Getting Charged for Small Farm Living

Most people don't really understand California. Californians barely understand California. Whenever Chelsea and I travel outside of the state (and that's A LOT), people are confused when we mention we not only live in the “Golden State” but also live on a farm with goats, sheep, and chickens. They just have the hardest time understanding how we enjoy small farm living in the big city / beach / surfing state. They typically want to know how long it takes us to get to the beach from our house, how many surf boards I have, and if we've ever worked hard a day in our lives. Well… 35 minutes, one 7′ 8″ short board, and yes. Pretty much every day.

Home and Away…and Back Again

So, Chelsea and I decided to buy a farm and have four rambunctious boys. All's good forever and ever. The end. Yeah, no. That's not how it works! As much as we love our property and watching the boys play on it, small farm living takes more than just, well, waking up to a rooster. As hardcore travelers, we find ourselves away a lot – only to come back to whatever nature did while we were away. This last spring, we went to Alaska, Hawaii, New York, Colorado, Idaho, pretty much all the Rocky Mountain states, and almost all of the California theme parks. That's just the first few months of the year. Every time, we come back to our little farm. And nothing stops growing just because we're away.

TEAM Work Makes the DREAM Work

Gone are the days when just the dad was found outside on a Sunday afternoon taking care of the yard. Chelsea is a hands-on woman and also loves to take ownership of where she lives. A big part of that is getting her hands on some of our STIHL battery tools and getting after it. Small farm living definitely doesn't mean small effort living, so it's all hands on deck! Here's our FIVE STEPS TO UPKEEP on our small family farm.

Taking the Power Back with STIHL Battery

Part of small farm living is delegating some of the work to animals. That's why we have goats and sheep. While we're gone, the field is THEIR job to manage and munch down. For the most part, they do a good job. That doesn't mean they take care of the home's cosmetic areas, though. There are grass and weeds in the cracks of the sidewalk, dead limbs, and messes left behind. That's why I keep my STIHL Battery system charged in my garage. A few fresh batteries and I have an instant, clean, and quiet armada of tools to keep my property ship shape.

Safety First

Of course, it's all safety first here! I had to learn the hard way when I was younger that safety with power tools is something to take seriously. Actually, my dad learned the “hard way,” I just cringed a lot and learned really, really well from him. After my mom took my dad to the emergency room a few times, I figured that keeping all of my fingers and toes stitch free was the best option. It's also a big part of STIHL's priorities as well. It's actually such a big deal that they MAKE SURE I express it every time I write about them because they also believe stitches belong on clothing – not skin.

Trim Between the Lines

I think one of the fastest ways to take back control at home is using the trimmer. Grass and weeds that grow between the cracks of our walkway are an obvious sign that things are getting out of hand in the yard care department. Using our STIHL battery FSA 90 makes quick and quiet work of these, as Chelsea cuts them out with ease.

Then, of course, she can quickly move on to knocking down the grass that has grown in our upper yard. The STIHL battery FSA 90 makes quick work of this area as well. It's actually a lot of fun watching Chelsea wield the battery powered trimmer, as it's actually a lot lighter than my FS 250!

Next in the Chain of Events

As much as we love our sheep and goats, they can be a bit of a pain. The goats, as stubborn as they are, love to eat the leaves off our trees. THEN, they like to chew on the bark until the limbs die. This spring was no exception. One of THE MOST impressive tools I have is the MSA 200 chainsaw, another STIHL battery powered tool. Even my father – who is over half a century old and perpetually skeptical – is amazed by the power and work load of this light, electric, and much quieter chain saw. He actually came over the other day to borrow it and remarked that he didn't have to pull a cord to start it. Just snap a battery in and go! And he LOVES his STIHL saw I got him for Father's Day.

Now, if I could only get the goats to be as helpful and a little less destructive. That would be the SUPER BEST!

And it would be great if I could get the goats to work properly as well. Chelsea and I both know they do a fair job on the wide open field while we're away. Could you imagine if they knew to just leave the trees alone and eat the weeds first!? They're like children that won't eat their vegetables. But that's all part of small farm living.

Blow it Away

What's simpler than using the easiest tools made in the industry to clear your property of that spring time growth? Why, using the STIHL BGA 100 just blow it all away. This powerful compact blower not only goes from 0-60 in nothing flat, but doesn't emit an odor, is incredibly powerful, and doesn't have to idle loudly when not blowing. We use it to clear up everything from grass clippings to goat and rabbit droppings in a flash. Well…a gust!

With a belt mounted battery pack, this is by far the lightest tool you will hold in your hand.

Finish Strong with Simple Maintenance and TLC

I know I showed a lot of Chelsea using the STIHL Battery tools around our farm house, but trust me, I'm out there too. I just got stuck taking the pictures this time. The last step in small farm living is taking care of your tools. Putting them away somewhere dry and cool to keep them safe is pretty much a given. But a lot of people forget to maintain the tools themselves. That's just silly, because it's so easy.

In our case, I refill the bar and chain oil on the chainsaws to make sure the chain moves freely and tree sap doesn't stick to it. I also make sure the used batteries get put into the charger and all the trimmers get their string refilled. I also grease the gears in the head.

Conquering Small Farm Living

Living in California is rough. People think we have a pool and it's sunny all the time! But it's not hard conquering small farm living with STIHL battery tools. Chelsea makes it look downright easy.


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