On my trip to Montana, it rained quite a bit. I practically lived in the new Carhartt Women’s Cascade Jacket. It’s much easier to enjoy the sweeping views and wide open skies when you know your rainwear will keep you dry. This Storm Defender® waterproof breathable jacket comes with articulated elbows so you can easily move around, a left-chest map pocket that’s certain to keep its contents drip-free, interior cuffs with thumbholes for those extra inches of protection, and an adjustable hem with drawcord and barrel lock adjusters. It’s basically your rain jacket dream come true.
There is so much to appreciate about fall: crisp air and crunchy footsteps, soft earthy tones and speckled foliage. It marks the start of bonfire season and cuddle-up in-warm-blankets season. I’m a big proponent of surrounding oneself with the great outdoors. That being said, it feels natural to pluck up a few flowers from the yard and put them in a vase, but what about leaves? They can be just as lovely, with free flowing branches and freshly turned hues. Why not give it a try? It’s a free way to decorate for the season and it challenges you to see the beauty in what most consider mundane.
When there are obstacles standing before passions, the Carhartt woman does what it takes to break them down. Laura Mikulski moved to Ferndale, MI in 2006. As an organic gardener, the draw of keeping chickens seemed very alluring. They eat bugs and provide fertilizers. You can also rest assured that the flock is well cared for and their eggs are healthy to eat.
Laura’s planning and preparation led to the realization that there were municipal ordinances against keeping backyard chickens. (i.e. residents were not authorized to keep fowl within a distance of 150 ft from any building) That was outrageous to Laura. In hopes that it would be an educational experience for the city, she looked for a way to amend these restrictions. Laura researched the plat maps and contacted the city’s assessor to find out how many properties would be eligible to keep fowl under the current ordinance. The results were shocking; there were so few properties eligible, that the regulation may as well have outlawed anyone from keeping chickens in city limits.
Laura reached out to Ferndale’s city council members and city workers to start the conversation. Several officials responded favorably, and the ball started rolling. Her fight for backyard chickens gained even more momentum when her work began winning over the locals. Ultimately, her appeals weren’t granted until 2012 when the ordinance was amended. She was the first to submit paperwork and have her coop inspected.
It was a long road to her ultimate goal, but now she and her hens can live happily ever after. If you’re in the Ferndale or metro Detroit area, keep up with Laura here.
For any of you that are looking into raising chickens of your own, Laura advises research and more research. Read as much as you can. Glean knowledge from online articles and blogs. Here’s a good starter kit of first aid care for your own little flock:
- Wazine: a wormer, for emergency purposes. Some people recommend worming twice per year, but chickens often develop a natural resistance to these pests- use this only if necessary after a fecal test.
- Tetracycline Hydrochloride: an general antibiotic for use primarily when you notice respiratory issues or ‘headcold-like’ symptoms
- Sav-a-chick Electrolytes: crucial for when weather gets very hot, or when dealing with an ill bird
- Flexible wrap: get the kind that sticks to itself, for use in holding bandages in place if a bird gets injured
- Gauze pads: for injuries
- Wound wash: be sure to get one without pain relievers, as those are toxic to birds
- Activated charcoal: for symptoms of poisoning
- Providone Iodine ointment: a substitute for things like neosporin, for injuries–great antibacterial ointment
- Blu-Kote: germicidal fungicidal wound dressing. Crucial for a chicken kit- when chickens see red or blood associated with an injury, they will peck at it, and can turn cannibalistic if they’re not stopped. BluKote turns the wound area dark blue-purple, which immediately stops the other hens from picking at an injury.
- Rubbing alcohol: sterlizing
- Hydrogen peroxide: wound cleaning/debriding
- Styptic powder with no pain relievers: for staunching blood flow, but be sure it does not have pain relievers in there, as most that are used with dogs do
- NuStock: ointment used for burns and skin disorders
- Medical scissors: for cutting dressings and feathers around a wound site
- Epsom salts: for soaking when the hen is egg bound or needs a site cleaned
- Superglue: for repairing a broken beak (it does happen)
- Tweezers: for pulling splinters
- Nutrient drench: for sick hens to revitalize and regain energy
- Probiotics: for use after antibiotics
- Gloves: for when things get messy
- Book: The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow, contains tons of information on disease, illness, and malnutrition including symptoms and treatment
The proper workwear is also essential when tending to your flock. Take a look at Laura’s look: Carhartt Women’s Kenmare Henley, Women’s Huron Shirt, Relaxed-Fit Denim Jasper Jean, El Paso Utility Jacket, & C-Grip Knuckler Glove.
Are you familiar with the Broken Windows Theory? It’s the idea that when a neighborhood begins to fall into disrepair, it jumpstarts a downward spiral for the entire community. That negativity spreads and leads to more decay and even crime. The good thing is that the opposite action of investing in your home and stomping grounds leads to further beautification in that area. That’s the driving force behind Urban Farm Collective in Portland. They transform unused land into neighborhood food gardens. This fosters community development, promotes education, and food security.
I got to follow garden manager, Chelsea Updegrove, around as she tended some of her daily tasks. It’s hard work, but it’s every bit fulfilling as it is demanding. Hours spent kneeling over rows of carefully planted seedlings, covered in dirt, call for clothing that wears mud well. Take a look at Chelsea’s work wear: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, Sibley Denim Cropped Pant, Force Equator Jacket, Plaid Military Cap, and Rapid City Utility Work Apron.
I’ll leave you with a parting quote from Chelsea, “Peace, love, and carrots.”
There is a certain feeling of empowerment and resolve that come with sticking your own two hands in the soil and growing your own food. Dusting the dirt off your clothes after a hard day of work never felt so good. To watch your labor generate new life is almost as satisfying as taking a big bite out of a your fresh produce.
Spend some time with the folks at Keep Growing Detroit and you’ll know what I’m talking about. This non-profit organization makes it possible to grow fruits and veggies in the city limits for the people of Detroit. Their focus is to help residents create a healthy relationship with food, spread knowledge about growing and farming, and cultivate a sense of community.
After a few minutes of following Imani around as she worked in the gardens, I sensed her connection with the land. With experience and dexterity, she performed each familiar task as if she were having her daily conversation with the ground. The interdependent relationship between Mother Nature and those who harvest its potential is one that should be respected and never taken for granted.
Included above are some tips to starting your own garden. Take a look at some of Imani’s Carhartt gear that helps her get the job done: Carhartt Women’s Force Equator Jacket, Carhartt Force Performance Quarter-Zip Shirt, Original-Fit Canvas Crawford Dungaree, Wellington Boot, and Soft Hands Gloves.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we’re all thinking about how to tell Mom she’s the best. If she’s a nature-lover, here’s just the gift. It’s simple, free, and crafted out of appreciation for her. You’ll need: about 30 to 40 short sticks of varying shapes and sizes, paper, scissors, and a hot glue gun. First start by cutting a heart template out of paper. Then find a few of the bigger sticks to form the outline of the heart. Glue those together so that they feel sturdy. Then fill in the gaps with other sticks, gluing them in place as you go until the shape is completely solid. It hangs on the wall easily. Just put up a nail and let a few of the back sticks catch it. It takes a little finessing to get it level. You could carry the outdoor theme even further by giving your mom a few gardening essentials. This Cahartt Women’s Force Performance Verdon Polo is perfect for a day of hard work outside. It releases stains, wicks sweat, and prevents odors. Another great gift for a mom with a green thumb is the Carhartt Women’s C-Grip Knuckler Glove.
I don’t know about you, but this never-ending winter is getting to me. Have you ever wondered how seasons can affect your animals? I did a little reading on how the year’s changes can bring about certain transformations in horses. Here are some tidbits of what I learned:
Spring expedites the growth of grass. Again, you’ll see spikes in potassium and nitrates. The warmer temperatures and damp conditions are prime for fungus producing myco-toxins. Watch out for Rye Grass staggers. With the increased grass, your horse can gain weight. Too much weight gain can put your horse at risk for type 2 diabetes. If you fear your horse is eating too much, a grazing muzzle may be your solution.
Summer climates allow grass growth to continue. Again, spikes in potassium and nitrates should be on your mind. Horses tend to be more relaxed during dry summers. Always have drinking water readily available. Just like humans, horses need more water on hotter days.
Autumn brings a big change in grass, often with lower sodium content and higher potassium and nitrate levels. Fungus can thrive during this season too, possibly producing myco-toxins. Take head if your horse is ill or starts to stagger. They may need to be moved to a safer spot with better conditions. When the soil is wet for a long period of time, your horse can feel tender footed after rain.
Winter slows the growth of grass, which will help lower levels of potassium and nitrates. In some cases, grass will even become dormant. Horses burn more magnesium during colder months. Make sure you are still providing the vitamins and minerals found in hard feed (especially calcium and magnesium). Keep your horse warm and dry. Horse safe hay is great for this.
All in all, keep an eye on your horse for any changes in behavior. If you can make them more comfortable, do so. Make sure to seasonally adjust their diets so that they receive the nutrition they may lack at certain times of the year. Here’s to hoping spring comes swiftly, but for now you should bundle up.
If you’re headed to Seattle, don’t forget your rain gear. With an average of only 71 sunny days a year, you have to be prepared at all times. The Carhartt Women’s Cascade Jacket is perfect for the region’s weather. Storm Defender™ waterproof breathable coating, a detachable hood, and fully taped waterproof seams protect you from the elements. Trust me, that’s the only outerwear I took with me on my trip to Seattle last week– and I stayed nice and dry. Grab one for yourself so you can keep your mind on your job and the view instead of the weather.
It’s that time of year again where we all get nostalgic as our thoughts pour over the year we’ve left behind. So often we look back wishing we could have been better, done better, or looked better. Maybe this year, we can take a more positive glance back on the past 365 days. Posted above are some of my favorite moments of 2013. I am so grateful for all of the tremendous Carhartt spirited women I’ve been able to meet and photograph. Each one of you has left an impression that propels me to work harder, see more, and appreciate what I can bring to the world. The chance to get to share those stories with you all makes my job feel like it isn’t a job at all. Thank you to the real women who work hard, defy the odds against them, and tackle the day excited to see what they can accomplish. Pat yourself on the back! You deserve a celebration over the close of year and the start of another.
For last minute decorations this holiday season, just step outside and integrate aspects of nature into your trimming. This is a great activity to do with kids. It will get the wheels turing in their heads and keep them active. What do you have lying around the house that can add to the festivities? Maybe some ornaments, ribbon for wrapping gifts, and pine cones collected from the backyard can do the trick. Use thin string or wire to tie your found objects onto the wreath. Check out Ellen and Elle’s creation. Decorating is fun for the whole family. Get outside and enjoy the season with the ones you love.
Ellen’s outfit: Carhartt Women’s Active Jac, Women’s Clarksburg Sweatshirt, Original Fit Canvas Crawford Dungaree, & Watch Hat / Elle’s outfit: Girl’s Redwood Jacket, Girl’s Brushed Fleece Sweatshirt, Girl’s Micro-Washed Canvas Pant, & Kid’s Watch Hat