i want to take a moment to explain a great resource for gardening and homesteading that i love to use. i learned about these lovely items from my father, who has used them since i was a child, picked up at the local asian grocery store.

they are… awesome, plastic, chinese baskets! in actuality, they seem to be colanders, but they come in various sizes and dimensions and i’ve found that they can be used in versatile ways.

the first harvest: sweet potatoes waiting in a large colander to be cleaning

sweet potatoes waiting in a large colander to be cleaned

the largest colander we have is about 3 feet wide and 8 inches deep, and it is great for collecting crops in the garden or for washing crops in bulk outside with the hose or inside in the shower (especially leafy ones like lettuce or herbs).

we have other colanders that are just as wide but very shallow, and they can be used for washing vegetables as well, or as drying racks for herbs. in fact, we used them last year to dry our catnip, spearmint, and dill for storage. we also used the larger, deep, blue colander as a drying rack for our basil plants!

storing our harvest: you can see the large pink colander in the corner being used a drying rack.

storing our harvest: you can see two large pink colanders being used as drying racks for herbs and the deep, blue colander for drying part of last year’s basil harvest.

i love my chinese baskets, and i have never seen anything like them except at asian grocery stores. i’ve even looked on amazon and i still can’t find anything as wonderful as they are! perhaps it’s because i don’t know their correct name… so if you do know, please comment about it!