Tim Tyne is a career smallholder, offering advice on a range of topics.

Handy bags

The lower legs off old pairs of trousers that have gone at the knee make very useful storage bags.

Simply turn the leg inside out, bind the cut end tightly shut (or sew it, if you’re feeling fussy), turn it back in the right way and that’s all there is to it!

I use these handy bags for keeping a small selection of appropriate spanners with each piece of machinery, so I can easily carry out simple tasks (such as fitting new shear-bolts to the baler) in the field.

They could also be used for storing dried beans or peas, or carrying ferrets – uses are limited only by your imagination! Filled with sand and tied at both ends they’re very good for weighing down tarpaulins, holding back floodwater or for use as a sturdy rest when zeroing a rifle ‘scope.

And while we’re on the subject of handbags, and old 5-gallon plastic drum with the top cut off, fitted with a rope handle, provides another useful solution to the problem of carrying tools out to fields (e.g., when erecting or repairing boundary fences) and keeping them all together.


Everyone seems to carry a mobile ‘phone these days, and most – if not all – of those ‘phones are capable of sending emails. Therefore, it’s a simple matter, when you administer any veterinary treatment to your animals (either to an individual, or to a whole group) or need to record an eartag number for any reason, to send yourself an email with all the relevant details. Then, next time you’re in the house and sat at the computer you simply download the email and transfer the information to your farm records. Although personally I don’t like the idea of being dependent on electronic gadgetry, this method is definitely more reliable than scratching a note into the dust on the quad-bike mudguard, and then forgetting all about it!


These tips from Tim are from the November 2014 issue of Country Smallholding

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