We rely on some of our gear pretty heavily and if it stands up to real life homestead use then it deserves a shout out. I really appreciate when someone warns me away from a particular product or shares their all time favorites and why it’s so good. We actually try to make do with what we have for a while until we are sure we need to make a purchase. I dig around, research, read reviews and really look into things before we make the purchase. I look for promotions, coupons, free shipping and of course look for used options when possible.
There is a lot of “disposable” stuff out there, and that makes me really mad. A garden hoe should last years and years. Items used to be made to last. Items not made with quality control and good standards just end up filing up our landfills and they eat into our budgets. Its all around bad business in my books. Let’s weed out the junk and help each other to save money, time and resources by sharing reviews on items that really stand up.
The following items are things we love and use frequently. We are not affiliated with the companies that I mention, they have only been mentioned to help you source these items.
Hori Hori Knife
A cross between a knife and a trowel, this tool has replaced all of my other garden hand tools. We have had it for three years and it is still sharp after daily use through the summers. It is useful for; planting, transplanting, grubbing, removing roots or deep-rooted weeds, dividing perennials, cutting open feed bags etc. Traditionally used in Japan to collect specimens for bonsai (hori means “digging”), the knife has a heavy steel blade that is dished, with a serrated edge on one side and a sharpened edge on the other. It’s been left our in the rain and treated badly but the blade is still shiny and new looking. Tip: The wood handle camouflages itself really well in nature. Paint the handle or tie something bright to it. I have lost mine several times only to discover that it was “right there”.
We got ours at Lee Valley online but recently also bought a second one on amazon that was identical and about $5 cheaper plus free shipping.
The Amish Water bath canner
This double long water bath canner sits across two burners. It makes my regular WB canner look so tiny. This monster of a canner is a big time saver during canning season. It holds 27 quart sized jars! I love it. You can also use it to make soups and stews. You can read our review for more details.
These boots are on my feet whenever I am outside. I keep telling myself I need a cleaner “dress pair” for going into town but I am sure they would just become dirty pair #2. I wear them pretty much year round expect super hot days (even then for the mucky stuff). The boots are comfortable and although I have thankfully not tested them in -40, they are rated for that. They have a variety of cute styles and colors. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of their boots. Tip: Wait for sales, you can snag some styles at big price reductions. Order one size up.
My husband has the Classic Ultra High Men’s Insulated Boots and after a good scrub they look like new even when they arrive home in a state that makes me want to run away or burn them.
You can browse their website at: bogsfootwear.ca but I have seen them in various shoe stores as well.
I have tried dozens of brands of garden gloves in a variety of price ranges. I finally found some that are tough, durable and worth the money. They are the Miracle Worker glove made by Altas Glove Company. They have a nitrile coating that is abrasion and puncture resistant. They are comfortable in hot weather and they don’t sweat your hands too much. They are really comfortable and the fit really well. I have long fingers and these fit great. I got a six pack and have not had to throw any of them out. They have done a lot of nasty jobs, worked hard and I am really satisfied. Yes, I got one of each color meaning that I almost always have mismatched gloves 🙂
You can find them at vesseys.com, homehardware and Amazon.