herbsThere are some items that you can’t have too many of. These are the things that have multiple uses and can be adapted to odd uses as well. Here is my list but feel free to add to it.

6 gallon buckets-Not only will they store food but they can be used to collect rain water, become a toilet with an added seat, haul pig food, transport water, compost, soil and piles of potatoes. You can drill holes in the base and grow anything from carrots to tomatoes. Turn one upside down and it is the right height for a garden stool or a step ladder.

wool blankets- not only good bed covering but blankets can be hung over windows for insulation, cut into a poncho or stiched into clothing.

canning jars-bug, leak and moisture proof storage for all manner of food and seeds, incubate yogurt, sprout seeds, ferment kraut and shake cream in one to make butter.

hay bales-make cold frames and enclosed, no till gardens, mulch, insulate the base of you house or green house, wind brake for animals including bee hives.

rubber bands and paperclips-I have made a number of different sized bungee cords from these for blanching cauliflower and anything else that might need fastening.

I can add duct tape, baking soda, bees wax and string to this list. I could also add books on gardening, homesteading and emergency preparedness. Lots of times the information is something you already know but reading about can jog your memory or motivate you to get busy on a project you have been putting off.

The opposite of this are the things you should find a new home for. Single use items like rice steamers, bread makers, and electric ice cream makers are rarely worth the space and the investment. It was my birthday yesterday and I knew I needed something to grind spices in. There is a dandy little electric grinder on the market but it’s electric and really hard to clean. Bruce got me a mortar and pestle set that is sweet, small and a breeze to wash up. I like it so much I might get a second so I will have one for spices and one for more pungent flavorings like garlic and onion. I will make a decision when I see if this one holds odors.

As an aside, I pulled my garlic yesterday. It has been so wet that I feared it would rot if I left it in the ground any longer.  I pulled carrots for dinner and they were beautiful, long, straight and very sweet. I will pull beets in the next couple of days as they are good size now. I have started the seeds for my fall garden and begun the plan for a new herb bed. I am thinking I will start with 10×10 with an arbor at one end. I will have a culinary and tea bed primarily as I know so little about medicinal herbs. It is on my bucket list to learn more but I have not had time yet to give this the attention it deserves.