Did you know that September is National Organic Harvesting Month? Well, it is!
We’re celebrating by teaming up with seven other bloggers in a month long promotion. Each week we’ll cover a different theme and the last week we’ll have a couple of super cool giveaways. If you’re on social media you can follow #organicharvest15.
I know many of you are in the thick of harvesting right now. And while it’s a blessing to have a bumper crop, it can really take a up a lot of time and feel overwhelming. So, today I thought I’d share a few thoughts about harvesting and some of my favorite frugal tools.
First, try to harvest daily or at least every other day. If you don’t you can easily loose produce to it overgrowing or birds getting it this time of year. I find I can also handle smaller harvests better than I can larger harvests.
Try to harvest in the morning. It’s cooler than the evenings which makes it more pleasant and the plants will have more water in them. This is especially true for herbs.
Remember it’s okay if not everything gets harvested. I can’t tell you how many cucumbers our hens got this year. We can only eat so many, make so many pickles and share with so many friends. I don’t consider it a waste to feed some to the chickens. I also let many of our greens and herbs go to seed. The bees love them and I can harvest the seeds. So when you’ve had all the greens you can stand or you just can’t harvest the broccoli fast enough, it’s okay to let it flower and let the bees enjoy it.
You really don’t need lots of tools for harvesting, but there are a few that will make your life a little easier.
I love baskets for harvesting. I have several that I’ve picked up at thrift stores that are designated for the garden. One goes out with me all the time and carries my harvesting tools and the others are in the garage for larger harvests. I also have a few rope baskets that I use to keep herbs separated or at the beginning of the season and I know I’m only going to pick a few things.
I also have several of these bags that I made that are great for harvesting herbs. I can put each herb in its own bag and keep them separate. We’re planning on having some of these available in our etsy shop in the spring.
I use the wheelbarrow when I have a lot to harvest. I usually will still separate things in baskets still, and just use the wheelbarrow to bring it all into the house.
For cutting vegetables off the vines I usually just use a sharp pocket knife. I recently found this harvesting knife and think its super cool, but it’s not as multi purpose as a basic pocket knife.
I also have a set of pruners and garden scissors that I bought on clearance a few years ago. These just stay in my basket at all times. I will usually grab the basket each time I go out to the garden…just in case.
The “real” gardening tools I keep in my basket are ones that I bought on clearance for a $1 a set, there is a trowel, a weeder and a cultivator. They aren’t the best quality around but they’re pretty good, especially for the price.
For digging potatoes and other root vegetables we just use a shovel. I recently found out that there are potato hooks that will work even better but until I don’t have children around who love digging up root vegetables, the regular shovel will do just fine.
Last but not least….Sloggers. This year I bought a pair of Sloggers and have been so happy with them. I can slip them on and off, which is imporant to me. They’re waterproof but have fabric inside and cover the entire foot, unlike clogs which leave the back open.
And guess what? That’s it. No fancy stuff and really, nothing that only has one purpose. These are the things that we use not only to harvest but also to plant and maintain our garden and fruit trees. There are so many gardening gadgets available you can begin thinking that you have to have a lot of tools to get the job done, but you really don’t.
What are some of your favorite gardening tools?
I’ve teamed up with these other amazing bloggers. Please be sure to check out their tips and more: Rachel from Grow a Good Life – Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living – Teri from Homestead Honey – Chris from Joybilee Farm – Susan from Learning and Yearning – Shelle from Preparedness Mama – Janet from Timber Creek Farm