Homemade Harvest Basket

harvest basket

Over the years we’ve mostly harvested garden items by carrying a 5 gallon bucket around. Somehow over the winter a few of our buckets disappeared and this summer Chitter commandeered several of them for one of her projects.

Saturday we were gathering garden bounty and I joked about the fact that I had already made one trip to unload on the porch and was about to have to make another because I was using a plastic Easter basket from twenty years ago 🙂

After we finished up with what we needed to do outside The Deer Hunter said he had a project he needed to work on and headed to the basement.

A few hours later he presented me with the harvest basket at the top of this post. I was tickled to death! He made it with what he had on hand and wished he had the material to make the sides taller, but I think it turned out just perfect!

I’ve already used it for harvesting and I’ve thought of a dozen other uses for the sturdy basket.

My favorite part of the basket is the handle. It’s made from an old broom family friend Tim Ryan gave the girls a few years back.

One year they worked on his landscaping crew. At the end of the season Tim decided he was going to retire and he gifted the girls with some of his tools so that they could continue to work a few of his regular clients. The old broom was among the implements.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    August 1, 2020 at 11:24 am

    That is the definition of Love. He 1.heard you, he 2.considered your need, he 3.created it for you, he 4.gifted it to you. Deer Hunter you could start a school for husbands, how to show love to your wife.

    I can not speack for all womem, but that act of love is much more heart worthy then something just because of a date on the calendar.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    I love your new basket, Tipper – I’m still using an old Easter basket and my hat! Neither of which lets me rinse off vegetable before bringing them into the house, which your nice hardware-cloth bottom will allow. Great job, Deer Hunter!

    • Reply
      July 31, 2020 at 10:27 am

      I made my autistic grandson a basket similar to this, it is called a garden hod. They can be found for sale on the internet. I couldn’t see paying the price they wanted. After seeing Tipper’s basket, he wants me to make him one like it. He enjoys helping me in our garden.

  • Reply
    Dee Dee Parker
    July 29, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Tipper, I have a “gathering” basket my mother made, and it means the world to me. Like you, I love the rich heritage we share here in our mountains and handmade harvest tools are a part of that heritage. Love your harvest basket!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    …dang that Chitter sure is a rascal….stolt your buckets and left you nary a thank you in her trail of dust I’m sure of it… Love your replacement for certain!! Better than any old plastic bucket…with that in your hand…you might wanna put a chain on it when your not using it… Kind’a “rascal-proof” it…

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 29, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Years ago I worked for ESCOD Industries in Taylorsville, (Harry Gant Country). While I was there, the Plant Manager, Bob Planchak from Rochester, N.Y. asked me where I was from. I told him that I was from the Beautiful Mountains and when you get to Asheville, you are about half-way there. I made a Mold for them in Robbinsville a few months earlier for Dell Electronics, a plant that they owned, and that’s how they found out about me.

    They sent Gordon Clark to see me and he told me that they had about 30 Sister Companies. He was one of their Engineers, and liked to hear me talk. When he got back, he told the bossman about me and Bob Plancheck came out. I asked Bob what ESCOD stood for and he didn’t know. He said he’d have to get back to me and while we were sitting in his car, he called the Headquarters at Myrtle Beach, S. C. He said Escod stands for “East South Carolina Oceanview Drive.”

    For about 14 years, I built Injection Molds for them. Sometimes I didn’t even have to Quote. One time I made a Mold ( I called them “Strain Reliefs ) for OKI Telegram in North Georgia. Bob told me not to Bill him for a time and he would see what he could do. I had figured on $8000.00, and in a couple of weeks they sent me $13,945.00.

    Bob liked me and my work, but One day he called me and asked if the company owed me anything. He said the Company was diversifying and he’d let me know. They soon pulled Bob back to Walton, N.Y. to take over a handicapped place. You never know what will happen! …Ken

  • Reply
    L B BARN
    July 29, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    with NO more bounty than was shown in the basket, Why would you need a larger bucket or basket ???
    Try using a plastic grocery bag from the supermarket or Walmart works great, hold a lot, about all you can carry, and they are reusable.

    • Reply
      July 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      LB-LOL that small harvest was done for the photo, I had already done a huge harvest the day before when the Deer Hunter got the idea for the basket. On Saturday harvest days we normally get about two 5 gallon buckets full of goodness 🙂

  • Reply
    July 29, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    That looks alot better than mine. I’m still using the 5 gallon bucket. I filled a 5 gallon bucket last night with tomatoes. I love yours.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    July 29, 2020 at 11:50 am

    What a great gift! I love turning one “heirloom” into another. That basket will be appreciated for years to come.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2020 at 11:29 am

    What a guy!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 29, 2020 at 11:21 am

    The Deer Hunter, like my dad, sure is a Crafty Devil and I’m glad he’s my friend. One time he came over to the shop, I was reading something Tipper wrote on the Blind Pig, and I already had the door unlocked. I was startled when I saw him, sitting on the Piano bench at the Piano I use to Bang on. He’s good with dogs too, cause they didn’t even bark. He didn’t want to disturb my reading, so he eased in.

    I made a Carpenter’s Box for my oldest daughter when her and Steve lived in Seattle. I put Mama’s Mop handle to remind her of Home. She has never used it for it’s purpose, cause she thought it was too pretty, made out of Chestnut, worm holes and all. It was made from our old house that Joel tore down. Me and Harold spent many good times, when we were young. …Ken

    • Reply
      Miss Cindy
      July 29, 2020 at 6:12 pm

      Ken, I’ve never seen an animal that doesn’t love the Deer Hunter! He just has a magic touch with dogs and cats!

      • Reply
        July 30, 2020 at 10:06 pm

        Miss Cindy, I’ve always thought I can learn most of what I need to know about a person by seeing how they are around animals 🙂

  • Reply
    Cheryl Christensen Bennett
    July 29, 2020 at 11:17 am

    I agree with everyone else – what a thoughtful, loving husband you have and now a perfect garden basket to boot!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    July 29, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Same problem here! buckets just seem to disappear & no one knows where they went.

    That’s a great basket! I love the old broom handle. My husband made me a similar one years ago to put my painting stuff in but it’s one of those vanishing things, too. It sure is a blessing to have a handyman husband!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Wines
    July 29, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Looks like something my Grandfather (Jules Reynolds) of Brevard would have made. He was a furniture maker plus made many children’s toys.

  • Reply
    Sallie the Apple doll lady
    July 29, 2020 at 9:23 am

    What a special basket you have! Will the girls have to share it “someday”? I have the “Handy” my dad made to carry canning jars to and from the dirt cellar for years. I guess the size and shape was to accommodate filled quart jars and were just enough that it wasn’t too heavy. Knowing him it was also made from what was available. It’s all wood with sides that taper for a broom handle. I don’t know how it was named but was and still is “handy”. It’s great that you have someone to make something you need instead of having to buy. There are not as many of those kinds of people around as there once was. Lucky you!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    July 29, 2020 at 9:07 am

    tipper, your family is truly blessed……with music, wisdom, and sharing love, thoughts, recipes….
    deerhunter that basket is gorgeous……im sure it will last many years.
    big ladybug hugs
    stay well….
    lynn legge

  • Reply
    aw griff
    July 29, 2020 at 8:45 am

    I like it!! I can’t make out what those pretty looking greens are in right hand side of the Mattmobile. Is that Malibar spinach?

    • Reply
      July 29, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      AW-it is Malabar Spinach! I’m still loving it 🙂

      • Reply
        aw griff
        July 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm

        Thanks. That really looks good. I’ll have to try it.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Sounds like you have a very handy man, and he is thoughtful also. That certainly is a handy little basket. My garden has shrunk so much I use plastic bags to separate out everything and carry it in. I cannot help thinking back to my grandmother when I see a helpful item. There were no helpful baskets and not even a plastic bag to help carry her loads. I remember that tiny woman moving canned goods, and we children lined up to help. I still feel bad that I dropped and broke either a half gallon or gallon of pickles.
    There are lots of gifted woodworkers in the family, but my grandfather was not one of them. In the study of genealogy I look back and cabinet maker was listed as an occupation with many of his ancestors. That is just one of the many things about genealogy that make me wonder why. Another is if that type of skill is inherited. Your posts make me wonder about lots of things!

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    July 29, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Good job Matt. Aren’t we lucky to have such great handymen in our lives.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2020 at 8:09 am

    What a special husband you have!! That is creativity showing through and such a useful tool. I love the broom handle and the screen bottom.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 29, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Great idea! Good looking, practical, sturdy, durable and no complex joinery. I suspect he may have to make some more of these. Barnwood silvery-gray maybe?

    Our pastor made several of the ladies at church what he called a wooden “basket”. It is a similar idea except handles are cutouts at the ends while sides and bottom are slatted. It has been very handy but is too good to take to the garden.

    My Grandma had white oak split baskets she used. I have wished many times I knew where she got them. I am confident they were locally crafted and maybe by a family member. No idea where they got off to, sadly.

    That problem about a garden carryall is not trivial. I have been using a plastic water bucket which has not really been big enough so I’ve ended up making multiple trips. That wire bottom idea is genius because carrying in dirt is always a problem. I have often though of making a wash station out by the garden to give things a rough wash before bringing them in.

    PS: Thanks for the tip on finding John Parris (thanks Ed) books.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 29, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Figure it any way you wish, Matt is what traditional mountain folks would style “a right handy feller.” That is sure a dandy basket and has none of the fragility of the peck and half bushel baskets I normally use. Its best feature though, to me, is the fact that it’s divided.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Rebecca Layfield
    July 29, 2020 at 7:12 am

    LOVE so pretty!!

  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    July 29, 2020 at 7:11 am

    Good job, Deer Hunter!….In modern times that is called to McGiver an immediate project…..But to me it is good old American Ingenuity!…..I’ll keep it in mind when Mary needs such a fine basket!….Looks great, Tipper!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2020 at 6:56 am

    I really like the basket too! It’s just handy yet attractive! What a pleasant surprise from your thoughtful husband!!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 29, 2020 at 6:22 am

    That’s a beautiful basket! The Deer Hunter is talented as well as sweet! How smart to put wire on the bottom, it both aerates the veggies and lets any dirt sift through! It’s also very pretty!
    It’s so cool that he just went to the basement and made it!

  • Leave a Reply