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Do you ever have those moments where you look at what appears to be a simple kitchen or garden tool and you think to yourself, "Oh my gosh, I love this thing. What would I do without it?"
Maybe I'm just a nerd, but there are certain things I repeatedly thank myself for finding or buying, even when I can't remember where and when I found it or bought it.
My harvest basket fits in that category - I absolutely hands down love this basket, and filling it up brings me more joy than some people might imagine you could get from an old dirty wooden basket.
If you are a gardener, and you don't have a harvest basket that brings you this much joy, well you are seriously missing out. I mean, go buy one, or find one at a second hand shop, or make one. I promise you, it will put a smile on your face over and over.
Here's why (and I'm only partially being silly here):
1 It's Functional - I mean, you garden right? Or you know someone who does? Or you buy veggies at a farmer's market? You need something to put those veggies in, right? Are you still using your shirt or a bowl from your kitchen, a plastic bag or even a cloth one? Are you using an ill-fitted implement like your child's wheelbarrow? Come on now, that's not good for your back! You need a big old harvest basket with tons of room, one that you can fill with dirt and dump out, easily carry to the house, and fit between rows when you're picking crowded tomatoes.
2 It's Beautiful - I refer you to the photo above, or the lovely shot below of our concord grapes. How can you not feel romantic and nostalgic about your garden when you look at a pile full of produce emerging from a beautiful wooden basket? This is the thing that dreams (and catalog shots) are made of people, embrace it! Take a picture, post it online, make all of your friends jealous (then share the produce with them of course). You need a basket that matches and enhances the beauty of what you're putting in it, for goodness sake!
3 It's Tough - Enough with the plastic buckets that crack under the weight of pumpkins, the pretty baskets that break in multiple places and leave pieces in your lettuce, or the flimsy imitation garden crates that shed their handles just when you pick up a load of cherry tomatoes. You need a harvest basket that is as tough as you are - it can take a licking (like when you drop it full of squash) and keep on ticking. It doesn't crack under pressure, or need to be washed each time you use it.
So where can you get a beautiful, functional, tough basket just like the one I have had for the last 5 years? I have no idea. I told you I sometimes don't remember where I get these awesome items I grow to love. I warned you.
But I won't leave you hanging.
Here are a few links to some baskets that I think would pass the test - let me know what you think!
The Burpee Garden Hod
The Garden "hod" gets its name from a tool that was used to carry bricks, so that's a good sign of toughness. It's long and wide so you can fit more veggies without piling them on top of each other if that's important to you. It has a sturdy handle, and the wire basket will let dirt fall right through the bottom.
The Peterboro Half-Bushel Basket
This is the closest basket I could find to the one we own, which was probably picked up somewhere without a name-brand or logo. The basic theme here is similar to a half-bushel apple basket. Sturdy, reliable, deep for a big haul, and won't fall apart on you (plus, its nice looking). While you can find apple baskets elsewhere, many of them have unreliable-looking metal handles; we love the leather handles and they just seem more sturdy and easier to manage while carrying.
The Hutzler Garden Colander
If you are going to go plastic, go big. Get a garden trug that is capable of holding lots of produce, will stand on its own, and has easy to manage handles. This garden colander has the benefit of big large handles that you could throw over your shoulder, as well as the holes in the basket to let the dirt out. It gets high praise on Amazon and is available in multiple colors.