By Jim Phillips
— Hello, my name is Jim. And I’m a clothes horse.
So I’m a musician. I spend a fair amount of time in clubs, with people, on stages and in photos posted afterward. That being said, I also have a tiny urban farm. Dirt. Compost. Chickens. Lots of digging and dragging and sweating and hoses and growing and, yes … lots of shit. I gave up my daily sleeping in to do this.
I gave up a lot of other time, too, and changed how I eat. Also lost 45 pounds. It’s totally worth it for health and community issues. It provides me with a genuine sense of purpose. But blowing my threads was a bitter pill to swallow. I may dress kinda ragamuffin socially, but it’s all by careful design.
The first rule of thumb is to not throw away anything that you don’t mind ruining. I just wear things until they disintegrate. I had a pair of shorts that, when I recently tossed them, my wife jumped and applauded their demise. Me, I cried.
My wife and I are big givers to Goodwill. That has admittedly slowed. But Goodwill is also a great place to grab farm duds. Buffalo Exchange, Savers, Salvation Army. If they’re giving, you’re getting. Farming is not cheap all of the time. Get the cheap when you can. And put them in a separate wash.
Looking cool? No. The way I figure it, if somebody from the club is looking at you while you’re in your field or feeding your chickens, they would probably make fun of you. That, or they admire you. I don’t really care about either one. On to other essentials.
Rubber boots are the greatest thing on earth if you have chickens. The ladies feed us like we’re rich. However, they do make a mess. A very serious mess. Mud does the same. Compost is not like a trip to the spa. It’s beautiful, fun to create and incredibly beneficial. You just don’t want it on your Chucks. Don’t touch my Chucks.
God, the gloves. Buy a good pair. Wear them. All. The. Time. Before I learned this lesson, I had 10 times the cuts and bruises that I currently have. They cut down on fear of dirt and other nasty things. They do not look cool. But when you feed chickens at 5 a.m. in winter, they are so welcome.
Once summer rolls around, get yourself a floppy hat. Again, not necessarily a hip hat. A floppy hat. A Papa hat. A boonie hat. I have to yell at my wife all the time as she goes out to the South 40. “HAT!” Our New Mexico sun will rip the hide off of you.
I would love for more of our community to be dabbling in self-sustainability, and I’d love to hear of any “farm fashion” tips that anybody else has. Any tips, for that matter. Hey, we’re always learning.