I got a new knife.


Hand-made Jerusalem steel blade by Seattle artist Celeste Tracy.

That is all.


Mason Jars or bust

One of the hallmarks of being in the urban farmer jetset is the prolific use of mason jars (I need to start a new blog called “Things Urban Farmers Like”. But I think that might be a little redundant, so I’ll keep it here.) I haven’t done a feature on my sure-to-get-a-comment-wherever-I-take-it travel mug but that may need to come soon.

In the meantime, Alicia discovered on Pintrest that you can use the top of a Morton’s salt container on a wide-mouth jar, just as we were using up a container of iodized goodness. Taking inventory of all the irritating containers in our pantry, I decided it was time to retire the grungy corn meal container we’ve been refilling since our days in California and go with something a little more farm-chic. Plus, pretty much the only thing I use corn meal for is making sure pizza doesn’t stick to the peel, so the new spout will work great for applying a limited amount.



Clearance Bin Rain Gauge

I always cruise the clearance bins of whatever stores I happen to be in… you have to know which dark back hallway leading to a break room they stick it in at most grocery stores, and the selection is usually just a dented can of peas and carrots and a whole box of some dubious-sounding product that didn’t fly off the shelves the way the marketing department had hoped (Ginger-Mango Habañero Ketchup! Vegan Mayonnaise!)

Lowes is clearing out the stuff that didn’t sell very well this year, and one thing they had that I fell for was a rain gauge. It was only 98 cents, and ever since I’ve installed it the kids have been obsessed with checking how much it rains. It’s frozen right now, so I’m assuming it’s expanded a little past the actual rain we’ve had, but it’s been at least an inch and a half over the last week or so. We’ve had a wet winter (hence a flooded basement a month or so ago), so now at least we can track exactly how much water is falling. I think we’ll empty it every month, and maybe make a little chart. Teach those kids the scientific method, you know?

Our new $0.98 rain gauge from Lowes.


The old Rusty Wheelbarrow

What farm would be complete without an old rusty Ford pickup, or even better, a tractor? Well, we have a micro-farm, so the farther our rust extends is to the hand-me-down wheelbarrow that my dad gave me earlier this year. They don’t write country songs about wheelbarrows, but I would contend that there is untapped potential there.

This thing was in pretty sad shape when I first got it. The base struts had collapsed, so someone put some plywood down there as a support. Plus one of the handles had broken off, and my little brother Alex had repaired it by attaching a 2×4 to that side. So one handle was normal, and the other was grotesquely large. After a little while dealing with it, I had the bright idea to take a jigsaw and router to it, and I have to say, it was a whole new experience with handles that actually fit in your hand.

Well, at some point this winter, the wheelbarrow fell over and the other original handle broke off. I thought I was going to have to take the whole thing apart and replace all kinds of parts to get it back up and running, so I was doing the mental calculations to decide if it was worth it. It was sunny this weekend and I felt like doing an outside project, so I took a look at it and realized that it wasn’t too hard to do what Alex had done on the other side. I basically just needed to make another handle and screw it onto the remaining wood frame.

This baby’s only got another year or so left, but every year I keep it out of the landfill is one more year before it eventually decomposes into compost in said landfill. Which I think it a good thing, but I’m not sure.

Written by dan in: Garden,Tools | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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