Apple Crates

Last week I had discovered several gems on Craig’s List. Some, like the apple crates, are (ahem) starting to bear fruit. After much phone tag the owner of the apple crates and I hooked up last weekend and I ran out to grab them. The owner of the crates is an 80 yr old former orchardist/farmer on what is now the southern edge of Monona, WI a suburb of Madison. The sprawl is literally at his lot line, but his property is still a fantastic haven of diversity -my 6yr old son counted 10 woodpeckers as we loaded and the sound of Sandhill Cranes was constant. Luckily he refused the developers huge sum for his land, but only because the City wouldn’t approve any more development. Instead the City ended up paying him 7 figures to turn it into a park. Prime farm land will now hold play systems and soccer fields. This story must find a better ending soon, but that is another post.


Beautifully old and used, they are even better than I expected with alot of useful life left in them. So I filled the trailer with 48 of them as one of my farming partners wanted “20 or so”. They each hold a bushel and will work fantastic for harvesting root crops and perhaps even peppers. With 1500lbs of potatoes expected for late July harvest this will work fabulous! For tomatoes I will probably take a 10 or so and modify them down to 6″ deep so as to not crush the more delicate fruits. This half bushel size will also work better for selling at the stand. $48 for a useful piece of history. Fabulous!

After we were finished loading I asked him if he had any other tools that he wanted to sell, hoping to fall into one of my lucky finds. You never know unless you ask. And, boy am I glad I did! Check this out:


For the princely sum of $6 I got this gorgeous (and heavy!) counterbalance scale for the market stand. With almost no adjustment it read true-those monster onions are 14 oz each. Some elbow grease and this will be (even more!) fantastic. WOW! Not bad for $54 and an afternoon!

In my continuing stream of progress I am meeting with the Guinea Pig Manure Lady (her name is Susan) tomorrow to see if the 250 gallons/wk she is offering will work for a composting operation. Price delivered? Free.


4 Responses

  1. Those crates are fantastic! And so is that scale–what’s the weight limit on it?

    And, on top of all that, animal crap!

    Great shopping day.

  2. I know! The crates are even built so the top 1×2 acts like a mini handle so you can grab them when hey are sitting on the ground. Loves it.

    The limit on the scale is over 180 lbs. It might actually be overkill for the stand as it doesn’t read partial pounds too well, but the nostalgia is too cool!


  3. One thing to ask about any manure is will it contain any medicines/antibiotics/etc being administered to sick animals. Some animal hospitals and dairy farms (hormones are routinely used) have free manure, but you wouldn’t want to use it due to the chemicals.

  4. wanted to let you know that I tagged you HERE. Don’t worry about obligatory pass on or anything, I’m terrible about them generally.
    Love the Blog. Keep it up.

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