As I wind down my first season as a farmhand, I find myself taking stock of what I’ve learned, how it’s changed me, and mostly, all of the pieces of my gear that have failed simultaneously as I near the six-month mark.

  • Waterproof pants (Sierra Designs): waistband cord exploded, zippers at ankles barely close, no longer waterproof at knees/thigh
  • Fleece jacket/liner (REI): Zipper pull disintegrated
  • Work boots (Ahnu): hole in left heel, but still remarkably viable
  • Waterproof/windproof shell (REI): No longer waterproof beyond a light shower
  • Knife (Kershaw): Lost when clip loosened and jettisoned knife off a moving golf cart (bought another).
  • Nitro work gloves (Atlas): Tomato stringing decimated dipped coating on one pair, sharp rock removed tip of two fingers on another. Good thing I have four pairs.
  • Work pants (Adventura): My favorite pants dammit! Mysterious rip in back of right thigh, huge gaping hole in left knee.
  • Sunglasses (Target): Now scratched enough to be unusable while driving due to, well, being unable to see.

Inexplicable top performers: Old navy cargo pants, my brother’s Iron Maiden 1988 tour shirt.

I still have four more days. I’m sure the clock is ticking on more…