The Happy-Sad Story of the
German Harvest Basket
For the next 5 weeks, on Saturdays our newsletter will introduce you to someof the gifts for gardeners that we would really love to have ourselves and that are now available in our BRAND NEW website sections – Gardening Tools & Equipment, Beneficial Bugs and Gift Certificates. The first piece of gardening equipment that we are going to discuss may be our all-time favorite, but it is a bittersweet story so please read to the end. The German Harvest Basket with its wood spool handle is one of the most useful, and it will become one of the most beloved, garden tools you ever own – this is NO exaggeration.
Like so many of the items we offer here at Harvesting History, this metal basket has quite a story. This basket is made in Germany by a family-owned and run enterprise. The family’s name is Dippe. They had been making metal baskets like the one in the photo for many, many decades, but after WorldWar II, they and their enterprise got caught behind the Iron Curtain, and they decided to stop manufacturing. For more than 40 years they waited until the Iron Curtain finally came down in 1989, then they began to manufacture their marvelous baskets again. The basket will last several lifetimes – it is made from galvanized metal, and will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in plumbing bills, because it allows you to take your vegetables, flowers and herbs right from the garden and clean them thoroughly with your hose before bringing them into the house. The mud and stones remain outside your home not down your drain.
We believe that this basket is the best harvest basket manufactured. Its oblong shape accommodates many vegetables and flowers with long stems – items that do not fit well in a round basket. Its size is large enough to handle a daily harvest, but not so large that, when filled, it is too heavy to carry in from the garden. The only wood is in the handle, so unlike metal baskets that are rimmed with wood or wooden baskets or woven baskets, this harvest basket will last forever. It does not have parts that will rot and it does not rust. Harvesting History has been carrying these baskets for years, because, years ago, one of our most beloved and most quiet employees, Chris Brinker, asked in her gentle, unassuming way, if we could buy a case of these baskets. Stunned, I asked, “Why?” and she responded with. “I think this is a really neat and useful product.” Still stunned, I further inquired, “Who would pay $40.00 for a metal basket?” She quietly replied, “I would.”
Well, we purchased a case of these baskets and they were sold before we could get the case opened…and the rest, shall we say, is history, but there is a sad note to this story. The rapidly rising prices for products manufactured in Europe and the import costs for bringing product into the United States have increased our costs for these baskets so that we would have to charge $60-$80 for a basket imported into the US beginning in the fall of 2018. Our importer has decided to stop importing these baskets effective immediately. Harvesting History has 50 baskets left, and when they are gone, we will not be able to obtain more. We are not going to increase the prices on these remaining 50 baskets. We have always charged $40.00 plus shipping and that is what we are charging until these baskets are gone. I have watched so many of you look longingly at these baskets and whisper, “Maybe next year,”. Well, next year has come. Anyone who knows this basket or has one will confirm that it is one of the best pieces of gardening equipment that you can own. I have two of them, and they have carried vegetables, flowers, herbs and tools for me for over 14 years. Except for being dirty, they are in the exact same shape as the day I purchased them. Our dear, sweet friend, Chris Brinker was right. This basket is, “a really neat and useful product.”
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