Hoses – The Good, the Bad and the Broke

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When we moved to our farm, we had never owned a house before. This meant that there were many items that we never needed before, that now became a necessity. Shovels, rakes, a lawn mower, trimming tools, and the list goes on… However, one item caused us no end of grief… Enter the garden hose (water hose?). Or whatever you call it. Maybe the Southerners have a special name for it, like “grab ye hoos y’all” or something.

Our first real need for a hose was a couple months after we moved in. We bought two Llamas and two Alpacas and using a hose to fill up their water is far easier than hauling heavy buckets of water around. As a sidenote: Llamas hardly drink anything…they really are like camels! Cows on the other hand, well that’s another story.

Black Hose #1

Unfortunately the hose has been removed from Amazon so I can’t find the price or any info on the hose, but it looked just like this picture. It was 33ft long, expandable to 100ft and cost probably $50.

Having never owned a hose before I wasn’t sure what to look for. But it was well reviewed, the price was good for the length and it was expanding! Pretty cool sounding, yes? Expanding, yes! Ha!

Our initial impressions were good. The expanding hoses are light weight and for the price you can get a longer hose. They also store pretty easy. But there are several downsides to this style.

  • Constant pressure is needed for the expanding to work
    • This means that the hose will expand when you turn the water on, but it loses some expansion when you actually start using the water.
    • Your mileage will vary depending on what is on the end of the hose and what you water pressure is.
  • When the water is turned off, the hose contracts
    • Depending on where the hose is and what it is connected to, this can cause extreme hose stress.
    • It will also pull smaller sprinklers across the yard/garden potentially damaging smaller plants.
  • Unlike traditional hoses, expandable hoses can’t really be repaired

After our first winter (mild use) and spring with it, tension on the spigot side of the hose caused it to start leaking and it shortly became so bad it was unusable. In short it broke…

Green Hose #2

We liked the first hose enough that when it broke I thought, well let’s try a similar one and be more careful with it. I searched around and ended up getting this: MoonLa Expandable 100ft Garden Hose

It was $48 and had the same upsides and downsides as the prior black hose. Unfortunately dragging this type of hose around the farm is too much for it to handle. It only lasted about two months before it started leaking more water than came out the end… I don’t feel like we were overly hard on it, but the contraction/expansion of the hose puts strain on the ends, particularly the end attached to the spigot. In short, it broke..

This hose was our last foray into the expandable hoses… I do want to say something about them though. If your hose use is light and you are careful, a hose like this is probably fine. But if you are like us and need to drag it around the yard, and aren’t always super careful that there is plenty of slack at the spigot when the water is turned off… You get the idea.

Steel Hose #3

I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought this hose… Tiabo Metal Garden Hose

It was 50′ long and cost $30.49. I suppose I was drawn to the idea that the casing was metal and maybe would hold up well? I mean it’s stainless steel, and surely it’d last a while? The hose is made of interlocking rings of steel around a plastic hose. The plastic hose is quite thin walled and as I discovered, it can balloon out in between the rings. In short, it broke…

It broke in less than 30 days and thus was a quick return to Amazon. I have nothing good to say about this hose. It is just a gimmick really and I fell for it. Shame on me.

White and Blue Hose #4

After three “non-traditional” hoses I found myself thinking I should just get a normal run of the mill hose. But I was in need of a good, drinking water safe hose to use for chicken butchering so the normal hose from the “local” chain stores wouldn’t do. After lots of agonizing searching and reading reviews, I decided to try the Teknor Apex NeverKink.

The upsides, as I saw it, were, decent reviews, good price ($24.50), made in USA and the whole lead free claim.

After getting it, I’ve come to like it quite a bit. For a more traditional hose, it is pretty light weight. It hasn’t ever kinked and we haven’t had any issues with it. It looks pretty nice, is flexible and the “wing nut” style connection is easy to connect/disconnect from other hoses or the spigot. I should note however, our use of it is lighter as I want it mostly reserved for butchering times.

So far we have owned it for more than a year, making it our longest lasting hose yet.

Red Hose #5

Hose #4 wasn’t intended to be our general purpose hose, so I still needed to find one. I once again decided on a traditional hose and after lots of soul searching I decided to get the Gilmour Farm & Ranch Hose 5/8 Inch x 90 Feet, Red. It cost $28.46 at the time (and seems to have risen to $34.99 at the time of me writing this).

Given my past hose experience, I think the thing that sold me on it was it’s claim to be a tough hose, designed for the rigors of Farm/ranch use. I’m pretty sure anyone using this hose would call it heavy duty, if only for it’s weight. It is one heavy hose and combined with it’s long 90′ ft, it is a beast to pull around the yard.

So far we have owned it for a year and it has held up pretty well. The hose is nice and thick and in our use of it (frequently moving it around) it hasn’t kinked up much if at all. I did have a issue where I had to replace the connection hardware on the spigot side. A simple hose repair kit got it fixed in a few minutes. Given my experiences with this and prior hoses, I have deduced that hoses really don’t like being pulled and tugged on the sensitive ends… I have since taken to lightly wrapping all my hoses around a nearby post to alleviate pressure on the end and this has helped a lot.

Oh one more note on it… The hose has a odd smell when first used that I can’t say that I like. I usually run the water for a minute if it hasn’t been used in a day. Just to clear the smell. But beyond that it has been a solid performer. Enough so that we bought a second one a few months back.

TLDR

Hoses can be quite frustrating, and there are many many options out there. The only advice I can really give is don’t fall for marketing gimmicks and get a more traditional style hose. The other hose types just don’t hold up.

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We bought a farm!

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Many have asked us, so how did you get here. Well it’s sort of a long story. But let’s start at the beginning.

A Chance Trip

We decided to spend the week of the 4th of July taking a road trip to visit our friend Jojo who lived in Louisville, Kentucky. While on this trip we decided to head further south together to check out Nashville/Tennessee. It was pretty much love at first sight!

Don’t get me wrong we really enjoyed Kentucky too but there was just something about the gorgeous lush green hills of Tennessee that just had our hearts calling. This was back in 2010 and as soon as we got back to Milwaukee we both knew that our long term goal was to get to Tennessee. We both felt this pull to get out into nature, buy some land and start homesteading.

Our Health Journey

A year before this trip we had started a journey to wellness. Through some health scares and careful research we began making changes in our household to a healthier lifestyle. During this process our eyes became open to the craziness of the food industry. We felt called to learn how to grow and produce our own food; to get back to the land and back to nature.

Fast forward to 2013…Brittany had just finished up her last season as a wedding photographer and was working on a horse farm while going back to school for holistic health and nutrition at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Working on the horse farm was the perfect experience to solidify the dream of needing to move to Tennessee and buy our own farm.

A New Addition

That January we found out that after years of healing Brittany’s body from severe adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances and digestive immune issues; of trying to get pregnant, we had succeeded! So our plans of moving to Tennessee that summer got put on hold.

Our darling baby girl was born at home in our tiny 2nd floor apartment in the city with our midwife that October. With the craziness of being new parents we sort of forgot about our dream until we both started to feel the frustrations of having Tony working 8-5 Monday through Friday and missing out on so much of Peppers life. It just wasn’t fair. He wanted to be home with us. He wanted to help with caring for her, and to see all her special “first” time moments, we felt stuck and trapped. We had over $50,000 worth of student debt that was debilitating and keeping us from the life we wanted. We couldn’t afford to buy a home. We lived comfortable, but felt like we could never get ahead. Our dream of getting out of the city and moving to a farm felt impossible.

A Rebel?

Brittany is a rebel at heart. She don’t like being told what to do, and especially doesn’t like being told she can’t achieve or do something. In fact when she is told NO, it only makes herwant it more. The summer before 6th grade we had to meet with the band instructor to “trial” some instruments to determine which instrument would be best suited for us. Brittany had her heart set on the flute. But she couldn’t get the flute to make one noise when tried. The band instructor told her ” The flute isn’t your instrument, I think you better do clarinet.” But of course Brittany said, “No thank you I’m doing the flute.” He wasn’t happy, he told her that she didn’t have the right shaped lips to do flute. But Brittany wasn’t daunted and being a determined and stubborn kid just said “well I’m doing the flute whether you like it or not.” She worked hard and learned to play the flute and while she may not have been a award winning flutist; she did what she had set out to do.

Brittany decided she was determined to find a way to get us a farm; to get Anthony home from his 9-5 job and to carve a life less traveled for our family. We had no idea how we were going to do this, but it was going to happen!

A New Business

Right after Pepper was born our family started using Young Living Essential Oils. After making herbal potions, infusion and tinctures for 2 years we loved the ease of using oils. It was great how we could support our health with ease and didn’t have to be brewing up all these crazy concoctions with herbs which was hard to make time for. When you are a mom it’s hard to find time to shower and put on cloths other then yoga pants let alone find time to make herbal wellness potions…. Brittany fell head over heals in love with the oils.

Oils combined with our eating and wellness changes contributed substantially to our health. Pepper never got sick as a infant, in fact her first illness wasn’t until 18 months old. She is about to turn 6 and she still hasn’t had a fever over 100. Oils have been great, and if you don’t believe it just gotta try them for yourself.

Brittany naturally started sharing the oils with her friends; a lot of her friends saw her as the “crazy” crunchy witch doctor often coming to her asking for advice or looking for more natural ways to combat everyday issues with their kids. She soon realized that you could do Young Living as a business. It seemed crazy that you could make money sharing and educating friends about oils, eventually turning into a full blown business. It seemed too good to be true. But It would be silly not to try given that we truly loved the product and saw the amazing results with my own family and others.

When you believe in something you share it.

Hard Work

I saw Young Living as our way out, a way to the farm, a way out of student debt! The best part about my business is that I’ve grown an amazing community of friends who are all on the same journey of wanting to be well naturally. My friends and I have changed lives together. We’ve changed the course of health for many families. What is better then that, knowing that you’ve made a difference in the lives of others for the better.

Having my own business has been one of the hardest and most rewarding, joyful experiences ever. Fast forward to 2017, 2 years after starting my Young Living business full time we’ve been able to pay down our student debt and we was now shopping for a farm! In February of 2018 we became 100% student debt free.

The Move

We moved to Tennessee in the fall of 2017 after 8 months of searching. We’ve now have been here for 2 years and it is honestly crazy how fast time goes. It’s been one wild ride! Looking back on it, we wouldn’t change a thing. Becoming home/farm owners, moving to the country, continuing to figure out how to keep growing our business, and owning animals hasn’t been easy. It’s definitely had its challenges, hardships, and it’s joys, but it’s all been worth it.

In February of 2018 Anthony quit his job to be home full time. Going from being a 2 household income back down to 1 again has been hard. But for us it’s so worth it. Our families priority was togetherness. We wanted to be together, and if that means projects on the farm will take longer to get done or not move as fast as we like, then that is ok.

And here we are 2 years later after we bought our farm finally telling our story. We’ve learned a lot in the last two years, and experienced some crazy stuff. You really just never know whats going to happen when you live in a old house and on a farm with 100+ animals. Every day is truly an adventure. And we are excited to share with you all that we’ve learned!