Adjusting to Life on a Mini-Farm
So if there’s one comment I’ve gotten a lot in response to my recent move, it’s people saying “Really? I can’t picture you on a farm!” I’m not quite sure if it’s intended as a compliment or a veiled insult, but I am definitely enjoying the change of scenery. There’s things I’m still adjusting to and new problems to solve in this new life at the mini-farm. But getting to wake up and see little animals playing outside in the morning is pretty amazing.
If this is your first time “meeting” me, I’ve recently moved from Tampa, Florida to a rural area outside of Ocala, Florida with my farrier boyfriend, Renan. You can see even more back story on my first blog post. And while I still visit Tampa for both professional and personal visits on the regular, the new home base was quite a shift for me! So I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite moments so far and along with a list of products that helped with adjusting to life on a mini-farm. I hope you enjoy!
Favorite Mini-Farm Moments So Far
1. Getting Used to Having Horses as Pets
Before moving here, I don’t think I’ve ever had a pet I couldn’t carry! Enter Hunter and Nate, our beautiful 9-year-old dark brown/black Friesian horses. With lots of training and a background in dressage, Renan was very quick to begin educating me on the ins and outs of horsemanship, so I could take part in their training.
The above photo was taken from a video of my first morning feeding and taking off their jackets by myself. I remember it was a little scary getting so close to these two green, 1200+ pound animals, but after it felt like a rush. One of those times where you think – man, if I can do that, I wonder what else I’m capable of!
Now, I’ve ridden one of them (briefly) and I help Renan with training by taking them one at a time for mile walks around the property. Hunter has become attached to me and pretty much lets me “catch” him and even puts his head down so I can put his halter over his ears. Even though he’s still pretty wild, I just love that horse so much!
Nate, is our “nosy” horse who always wants to be in the action and to find out where there’s any feed he can get into. I’ve read that Friesians are one of the sneakiest horse breeds, and that certainly holds true with Nate! A few weeks ago, Nate came back from a training session and walked around the house checking three different windows for me. Very few dull moments with Friesians apparently!
2. Piggy Cuddle Time
There’s nothing that could’ve prepared me for the amount of instantaneous love we felt for our piglets. Renan says it’s because they toyed with our emotions when they ran away in the first 24 hours. But when they came back, we would give them a bath and they would rest their little heads on our chest for hours, wrapped in towels. But the next day, they’d find another hole in the fence, and the cycle would continue!
I could write a novel-length blog just about what I’ve learned as a co-owner of eight pot-bellied pigs, but I’ll just stop here with – they’re both ridiculous and ridiculously cute. I’m totally wrapped around their little piggy fingers.
When I walk outside, it’s so funny to see all the little animal heads popping up and making their respective racket over the idea of getting a meal. But there’s two animals on this farm who are excited to see me regardless of food, and that’s Mia and Lyla.
So the #goatjogs started one day during quarantine where I decided I wanted to go for a quick jog down our half mile road. The littler goat, Lyla, escaped under the fence to come join me. And she was a great running partner since she could easily keep pace with me! Then I decided to make it a thing and invite Mia to come with us next time. They LOVED it, and I loved the added motivation to work out.
Nowadays, we keep the jogs to our own property to avoid #animaldrama (other farm people know what I’m saying.) But those two would follow me on a jog to the ends of the earth!
4. Having the Space for Creative Projects
I’m very lucky on the mini-farm to have my own office space – with a view and a door – for my first year of owning a business. But in addition, I’m really enjoying having the yard space again where I can paint and DIY to my heart’s content. It’s something I definitely missed when living in an apartment. If you’re interested in seeing some of my DIY projects, check out my Instagram.
5. That the Animals Support My Professional Development
This year, I started with a goal to read one book a month that could help me professionally in my first year of business. This was already going well, but apparently I need to get more hard copy books to read during the piggies’ siesta time. Again, I can’t handle the cuteness of the piglets at this stage.
Additionally, I’ve started to get hooked on audiobooks and podcasts for interior design and entrepreneurship. And apparently these are perfect listening for my horse walks. Maybe Hunter will be able to run a company one day, too!
Products that Help, Big Time
So, we all know farm life doesn’t only consist of Disney-like animals following me and frolicking around. You’re also frankly going to need a tetanus shot and a credit card to make this work. #Justsayin
This brings me to the products that have helped me make the city to farm life transition more doable. I’m hoping these can help others with adjusting to life on a mini-farm (or a farm-farm). As I created my list, I realized many of these products were actually gifts, which I’m so thankful for! So if you are looking for glam or practical gifts for farm girls, this is a good spot. Some of these products would make great, gender neutral housewarming gifts in general.
For Keeping My Hair in Check
When I told my hair stylist about my move, she accurately guessed that we would be on well water and recommended a water softener. While I do know the value of a good water softener, this was not an investment that was realistic to make in the move. However, this water softener shower head has saved my hair from turning crazy colors, for under $30. It comes with two filter cartridges and was relatively easy to install. I’ve been using for months and can highly recommend.
My mom bought me this dual sided silk/bamboo pillowcase for Christmas and I actually noticed a difference in my hair. It’s perfect for farm girls who blow dry their hair at night and don’t need to heat style it every day. You can find it cheaper in this black silk set option as well.
Are you sensing a theme here? Hair is important! Since I style it less and wear it in a hair tie more now, I notice more tangles. So in general, I’m using more hair mask treatments to comb through, and this one is my absolute favorite. If you’ve not tried any products from Briogeo, this mask is your gateway drug.
For Keeping Cool
Shout out to both Victoria & Amy who bought me some insulated wine tumblers for our new place. These are speakin’ my language! Renan and I love sipping our ice cold wine during our quarantine date nights or when celebrating things like my website launch. If you in general live somewhere warm and enjoy chilled beverages, you will like these!
Please don’t judge me for the love of my inflatable pool! This thing was awesome when we didn’t have any A/C for a hot minute, literally. In general, it’s nice to have on a hot day after working outside in Florida! Renan’s brother recommended a mini-blower to fill up with air and it’s a game changer for your inflatable pool dreams. Hello again, weekend pool days!
To Keep Me Safe from Sunburn
This is another great item I was gifted as part of the Costco k-beauty set from my mom. This sunscreen is the only one I know for sure doesn’t break out my skin, so of course it’s a Sephora-level price. It’s perfect for a long day outside.
This is mandatory for my #goatjogs and otherwise outdoor activities, because farmer tans happen, but farmer burns I try to avoid. Hey, if it’s good enough for Jennifer Lopez, it’s good enough for mini-farm life. 🙂
For my Mental & Physical Health
I’ve had this elliptical for years and have recommended to several friends who want to try more home workouts. I include this from a practical standpoint, because living in a rural area often means you are farther away from a gym. In my case, my gym is 30 minutes away, so this is perfect in between. If you check this link later in the year, you’ll probably find deals that are a third of the price of a Peloton (which I think would also be great for farm life.)
If you live anywhere with questionably high humidity, these Damprid bags pull water from the air to dry out your space. I’ve been using these since my college days and I find it helps a space to feel fresh and take away dampness.
Another practical device! I was very lucky to receive an older version of the Dyson Cordless Stick Vacuum as a hand-me-down from my mom. This is so handy for quickly getting farm dirt out of the house, but it can work for anyone! Fingers crossed this is the first of my growing Dyson appliance collection. 🙂
For Convenient Lighting
Outdoor solar lights are so fantastic for our Florida mini-farm life. Renan bought some motion-activated lights that he has put up all over the property, and even on the golf cart. They all work very well. He’s also bought a set of string lights like this, but not solar. I love when he plugs them in on the front porch when I’m coming home after dark. These solar string lights would definitely be an upgraded version of this!
This was one of our last upgrades to the mini-farm and I’m loving it. I went to my parents house a while back and noticed they had their Christmas trees and some lighting decorations plugged into this little remote control system. They likely found theirs at Costco and not long after complimenting it, I got a set of my own as a gift! We have some wonky electrical here, so a remote power outlet set like this helps to control lights not connected to switches.
So that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this life update and product recommendations from my experience adjusting to life on a mini-farm. Feel free to share any additional tips or recommendations in the comments below. If you find this article because you are moving to a farm, please be sure to comment so I can say hi! I hope so much that this helps make you feel happy and adjusted in your new home. 🙂
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