On our farm, we regularly talk about how we could not raise all the food we do without our kids. They know they are vital parts because they experience it all first-hand each and every day. To offer them freedom and room to experience what homesteading provides for our family, we encourage each of our children to make and use “high-value” items, like butter, cream, or lard, to make treats and snacks on a regular basis. Building their knowledge and confidence in their creativity of this process helps them better understand the effort it takes to produce the foods they enjoy – and instills our family motto – “work like dogs, eat like kings.” Being able to enjoy their own homegrown and homemade treats, like popcorn and ice cream, which are their favorite to make, help them understand the value of the work that they do on behalf of the family in milking and feeding animals, and makes it feel so worth it.
When it comes to mucks, my favorite boots are a tough call! Because we live in such drastically different seasons through the year, I tend to wear several different boots from season to season. For warmer weather, the Muckster II Mid Boot (in green with floral of course!) is my go-to. It's enough of a boot to protect my feet from livestock and muck, but not so heavy and warm that it is uncomfortable on hot days. In winter, it's the Women’s Arctic Ice Vibram® Arctic Grip All Terrain Mid Boot that performs the best for the weather we receive in British Columbia. The arctic grip on the soles is key in walking on areas with a bit of ice to keep me on my feet and not my butt! They’re black with a wee hint of pink, which is important when 2 of your sons have the same size feet as you but wouldn’t be caught dead in pink boots! As you can tell, I prefer a mid-height boot and this is because I do a lot of squatting while in the garden and milking, and a mid-calf boot gives me more ankle mobility to comfortably do this. My husband and older boys prefer a good tall boot as they do more hiking through water and snow, so the height helps keeps them dry.