Best hiking boots? Tried and tested smallholding equipment
- Credit: Archant
A forceful professional pressure washer, two pairs of rugged boots and a patio nectarine tree are just a few of the diverse products that have been put through their paces by our testing panel this month
- EVENT EQUESTRIAN WOMEN'S COOL TECH HALF ZIP SWEAT UV TOP
Product: A functional stretch top for all weathers and uses, this sweat top is made from a Cool Fit Performance bi-stretch fabric. It is an ideal all round top for working, walking and riding. Available in navy and grey.
Tester Stephanie Bateman says: This is a great quality product that is lightweight with just the amount of stretch needed to allow ultimate flexibility when working outside on the holding, riding and walking. It fits perfectly under gilets and over light layers and is a flattering fit. I wore it for walking the dog, working in the garden, bike rides and horse riding. It was breathable, which meant that I didn't sweat, but it still offered a light layer when the days were cooler. It has washed well and still looks as good as new.
Star rating: 5/5
To sum up: A lightweight top that is functional, looks good and is comfy to wear.
- 1 Smallholding for beginners part 3: Which skills do I need to be successful>
- 2 Smallholding for beginners - part 1
- 3 Trade body’s wasp warning for farmers
- 4 Chicken coops - the dos and don’ts!
- 5 How to: create the perfect chicken run
- 6 Smallholding for Beginners part 4: identifying (tagging) your sheep and goats
- 7 The benefits of the “no dig” bed system for veg growers
- 8 How to spot tomato blight and what to do about it
- 9 What to grow in winter: sowing & harvesting winter veg
- HOWND's HEMP WELLNESS TREATS
Product: These delicious mini cookie-shaped treats are intended as a complementary pet food for dogs. They are 100% natural, hypoallergenic, gluten free, grain free, human grade and vegetarian. Organic hemp is a complete source of protein and is super rich in healthy fats.
Tester Stephen Woollon says: I've been giving these treats to my Border Collie for two months now and she loves them. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but I have seen an improvement in the quality of her coat — there is a definite shine. They are a handy size to carry in your pocket to use for training and they don't crumble. I like the idea that they are 100% natural and the container they come in is cardboard, so its better for the environment. They are a little pricey, especially if you have a big dog and give more than a few treats a day, but for me they are worth it for the positive effect they have had on Sybil's coat. I would definitely recommend them.
Star rating: 4/5
To sum up: A 100% natural treat that is ideal for training or as a healthy snack.
- MEN'S TARGHEE EXP WATERPROOF MID HIKING BOOTS
Product: A durable and tough walking boot that boasts a waterproof, breathable membrane, a metatomical footbed design to provide arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot, plus a Polyurethane-coated leather mud shield.
Tester Michael Bateman says: These are good looking walking boots. I used them mainly for long walks in the countryside and the high ankle was good for supporting the foot without feeling restrictive. When looking down at the boot on your feet, the front edge is very wide with the rubber folding over the top. This gave a real sense of confidence that there was a lot of grip in contact with the floor, especially when walking over uneven terrain. There was no water leakage when wading through streams and they still look in great condition even though they have been tested extensively. They look stylish and I think the colours are great.
Star rating: 5/5
To sum up: A stylish, hardwearing walking boot that offers support and grip.
- KÄRCHER PROFESSIONAL PRESSURE WASHER
Product: This jet washer features a new trapezoidal Easy!Lock thread which combines quick release coupling with a reliable connection. The ball and valve within the EASY!Force trigger gun is now manufactured in ceramic which will ensure a long lasting and reliable seal.
Tester Fiona Howard says: My first impressions were that this was a quality piece of kit. I used it for a variety of jobs, including cleaning out my donkey's stable. It was great on everything from rubber matting and concrete floors to painted walls — I just varied my distance. It cleaned everything perfectly. I was surprised by the power. I would definitely recommend it as the quality is great and it looks as good as new even after weeks of use. My favourite thing was its power/precision, but it is a little heavy. Good value for money, though, especially if doing a lot of serious washing.
Star rating: 4/5
To sum up: A powerful and effective jet washer that is ideal for precision jobs.
- HARRIS DRYBOOT
Product: The Harris Dryboot is a 100% guaranteed waterproof, multi-purpose, lace-up boot. A comfortable, hardwearing waterproof boot made from natural rubber that is fully lined and washable.
Tester Andrew Rock says: This is an attractive boot that is well made, soft and comfortable. I used the boots for all the daily smallholding tasks, including feeding the animals, driving the tractor, planting vegetables and mucking out. I also used them for a few days of hard, rough work rotovating and stone clearing. For a rubber boot they are very hard wearing. After a wash with water they look like new again and are smart to wear off the smallholding. I would recommend them as a great replacement for wellingtons.
Star rating: 4/5
To sum up: A high quality, practical and comfortable alternative to wellies.
- PRUNUS NUCIPERSICA 'NECTARINE', THE PATIO NECTARINE TREE
Product: This beautiful patio fruit plant is a stunning addition to any patio or garden. It boasts beautiful pink, blousy flowers in early spring which attract pollinating insects after which fruit will begin to form.
Tester Michael Harding says: The tree was tiny when it arrived, being about 60cm tall, delicate looking but healthy, with beautiful pink blossom. It has clearly been grown with great care. I transferred it to a large terracotta pot and put it on the terrace outside my kitchen. It is a nice small ornamental tree and I'm hopeful it will produce plenty of fruit this summer. It is suited to people with small outdoor spaces, balconies, or patios who would like to grow a fruit tree. It is not suitable anywhere near sheep! It has been easy to care for so far and just needs watering. It is around the same price as other good quality fruit trees, although it will not grow as big as most.
Star rating: 5/5
To sum up: A pretty, ornamental fruit tree that is perfect for small gardens and patios.
- CLAYS NATURAL HEALTH
Nature has a great way of providing mankind with everything he/she needs, from food to natural medicines. Nigel Clay, founder of Clay's Natural Health, is a strong advocate of natural remedies and his natural antibiotic Allitech has a variety of uses, from treating skin conditions to fighting infections.
"Abscesses in the foot are painful," says Nigel. "For horses, the veterinary procedure is to cut into the bottom of the foot to release the pus."
Unfortunately, this can expose the foot to more infection and it takes months for it to grow back. To make matters worse, when the horse is kept barefoot, cutting into good foot that has taken months to strengthen is not recommended.
When an abscess comes along, Nigel advises allowing the horse to move, giving homeopathic support, tubbing the foot in warm epsom salts to above the coronet band and applying Allitech.
"We had a case of a horse who's abscess took seven days to erupt at the top of the foot, by which time the growth behind the abscess was sterile and had started to heal as the pus travelled up the foot," he says. "We gave Annabelle Allitech for a further seven days as the infection had started to travel up her leg, but having the confidence and knowing that Allitech would deal with this I had peace of mind without using pharmaceutical antibiotics."
For more information on Allitech, visit www.claysnaturalhealth.co.uk