Monday, April 25, 2016

Thrifty Acres: Double The Thriftiness

Hello! Gardening season is finally here, so it's time to haul the yard work tools out.

And with yard work on my mind, I paid 50c for a vintage weeding tool at a thrift store last week. Here's what I got:

I wasn't familiar with this brand, Village Blacksmith, so I looked it up online and learned it was a company from Watertown, WI. It was in business from the early 1900's until the 1960's. 

My online search showed similar tools to the one above, but the handles looked different. This puzzled me until I looked closer at my purchase - and discovered that it's not the original handle! The photos I viewed showed a flat handle, either made of plastic or wood. I'm guessing older versions featured wood handles, while newer models had plastic ones.

My handle is wood, and was likely formed from a sawed-off handle of another tool. Once I realized this, I smiled, for this is what I meant by "double the thriftiness". Someone thought enough of this weeder to fashion a "new" handle for it, thereby extending its life further.

And whoever did the fix-it job did it well. I tried my vintage weeder out this past weekend and it worked like a champ:

The vintage weeder faced off against our OXO weeder on the right.  
I'd gotten the latter weeder several years ago for my husband as a gift during his mad gardening days. 

I'm now the mad gardener of the family, and so was dismayed when the tines of that OXO tool became warped during normal usage a couple of years ago. It still does the job, just not quite as well. I like the design of the Village Blacksmith weeder better. It's more solid overall, so it's easier to dig into the soil to remove whatever it is I'm trying to remove. 

In the above photo, I've removed some of what must be hundreds of scilla. They have pretty blue flowers, are among the first blooms of the spring, and remind me of the scilla in the yard of my family's house when I was a kid. 

But we never had anywhere near the scilla then that I do now in my present yard. In years past, I'd just pull them out, which removed the leaves but didn't stop their spread. These plants grow via bulbs, so to reduce their numbers, I had no choice but dig the bulbs out. Before I started weeding over the weekend, the above patch of ground was a solid mass of scilla.

This took quite some time, and I'm still not done, but at least I can now see where my perennials are coming up. And it's almost fun to do such weeding with my Village Blacksmith tool. 

I'm glad that a previous owner crafted a new handle for it, and I'm glad it was a inexpensive thrift store purchase. 

Yep, double the thriftiness!

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