A lot of the equipment used for farming can be found around any home. Especially if you have an industrious farmer who sees the use in anything and everything.
Farming families across the land will tell you tales of implements being used to thicken lumpy gravy in the kitchen one minute and then taken out onto the farm and never seen again. The romantic in me likes to think there is some parallel universe where all of these things go but the realist knows that they are either in the farm work shop or floating around the barns somewhere.
Take jugs for example. The measuring jug variety or the plastic ones sold in summer for cooling fruit cocktails. They are quickly swiped by the farmer for other purposes. Many purposes-probably too many to mention but when I found the jug from my blender being used to empty a diesel tank, there were some very choice words. I have even seen pans from the toy kitchen in use-much to the children’s disgust.
At lambing, it is all hands on deck but it is also true that the kitchen becomes fair game for “supplies”. Hand blenders and whisks vanish, to be used for stirring replacement milk powder. The same goes for kitchen scales-measurements have to be accurate and often the scales only come back when there has been an official complaint about the lack of baking.
All three of my children have experiences bottle envy when they have spied their old baby bottles being used to feed lambs and, with the inner vents from the Dr Brown’s bottles, not one lamb on our farm has suffered with colic or trapped wind. I’m can neither confirm or deny that all of my children may have had a swig from one or two.
Cutlery is taken at regular intervals and it is not uncommon to find a rusty spoon on the ground-especially in areas where scrap food is taken. Similarly, any bowl can be commandeered for farm cats and dogs. If you send out some left over stew or sausages on a plate, make sure it’s an old plate because the chances are, you will never see it again.
I regularly play a game with the children called mug hunt where the person who finds the most mugs wins a prize. Extra points for the worst thing growing out of the mug. Penicillin is regularly grown here.
Knives are taken to serve food for the dogs and I actually did a little dance when pet food tins started having those self-openers because I knew my tin opener might be safe.
I don’t get precious about brushes either. My sweeping brushes regularly find their way out of my house either never to be seen again or, when they are spotted, they are so clogged with hay and straw that you wouldn’t really fancy sweeping up your kitchen floor with it.
At Christmas when most parents stock up on batteries for the onslaught of toys, I make sure I have both type of screw driver handy and, in a totally secret location because I have been caught out too many times with waling children not being able to play (or worse still get it out of the box) because a certain farmer has stolen my screw driver.
The same goes for tape measures. They are actually gold dust so, unless you want the old rusty one that won’t go back in the casing, I keep one in a top secret location with the screw drivers.
Buckets are harder to hide but I try anyway. I’ve even bought pink buckets to try and keep hold of them but you will be pleased to know that farming is gender neutral so whether your bucket is red, green or glittery, it is fair game on the farm.
Scoops, funnels and scissors are also regularly found around the yard along with stolen washing up liquid which I am yet to discover the farming use for-maybe hand washing? There is no point asking though because the thing with this farm/kitchen grey line is that no-one ever admits to taking the things.