Today I was over on another blog (Thekitchensgarden, a lovely blog about a lovely woman homesteading that everyone should read!) when I was reminded about our big, old basket that we use for just about everything here on the homestead. And just how wonderful this basket has been for us.
Most of the time it hangs from a livestock scale, tared to read zero while holding the basket. Suspended from the rafters by a thick chain that was there when I moved in. It seemed the logical place to put a hanging scale. When one glances outside of the window in one of my two back doors, through the screen door, it just hangs there, serene and old, rising above all the chaos of my garage floor… A floor still covered in rabbits and cages and drying wood after the big freeze.
It’s quite a humble basket, despite it’s elevated position. This basket has earned it’s respect for months now. It’s not a basket of pretense or posh, filled with flowers or kittens or pretty things, to look decorative and charming in photographs or on tables… This basket is a hard working basket that does not mind getting it’s feet dirty. It’s so humble that I never really thought about how wonderful this old basket is until now.
This basket is truly the unsung hero of our homestead. Not a day goes by that I do not see and at least think of using this basket for something, and most days I do use it. It gets filled to the handle with hay, stuffed with rabbits going from cage to cage, filled with the harvests of our little abode, or used to transport feed and water to the animals that support our lives.
I have never taken a picture of this basket that is just of this basket, in all it’s repose and glory… With it’s weathered weave and it’s extremely sturdy handle. It would almost be offensive to such a wonderful old basket that is so hard working to take such a photo. It’s always been a photo of what the basket is doing at the time, a photo of it’s work, holding whatever it needs to hold.
This basket has been left outside in rain and snow and mud by accident… It has been trampled by many feet and knocked off kilter by dogs charging past. It has been filled with fresh veggies, sticky grapes, cut grass, leafy greens and plenty of tiny little animal toes. And it never seems any worse for the wear.
I haven’t taken many pictures with this basket in it. Which is a shame. It’s the most-used tool on our homestead. I will try to take more photos with this venerable old basket in it from now on. Always with the basket doing it’s job, mind. It’s such a good basket… It’s handle seems to fit in my hands perfectly, it is light weight, the handle never shows any signs that it is about to pop out like so many baskets do during hard work. And it is big enough to hold whatever I need it to, even animals that are quite a bit larger than one would expect to put into a basket… Such as fully grown CX chickens, or a 13lb rabbit.
I got the basket from Greg’s grandmother… When we moved into our new home we received many a gift from her as she, too, moved… But into a much smaller location. We got just about everything from her but the kitchen sink including a wide variety of baskets much to my delight. (Not everything she sent was so useful… What DOES one do with 30 empty, unused picture frames, or a huge bag full of coat hangers?)
She probably simply picked it up from a thrift store or other place that carries small, random things such as a house sale. But here on the homestead it has found a new and wonderful life. Who knows how old it is or where it really came from. I shall have to ask and see what I can discover. Perhaps it’s origins are a bit more exciting than I currently believe.
In any case, this basket will remain on the homestead, working hard until the end of it’s days when it’s weave loosens and it’s straws break… Then, like so many things on the homestead, it will return to the earth, composted, and eventually put into the gardens it helped to tend for so many years.
In the meantime… I am sure you will be seeing more of this basket quite soon!