I like to air-dry clothes. (I promise I’m not a hippie. I only made tie-dyes once. I mean twice. I mean, like eight times… but I’m over it now. Really and truly. And I don’t listen to THAT much Bob Marley.)
Okay, after that awkward start, here’s the meat: most of the tools we have today are junk. The problem: good tools are expensive. I carry a few at my nursery – and those that buy them love them – but they make me very little income, since most people are accustomed to paying low prices for sub-par goods.
That reaches even into the world of the humble clothespin. Over on my site, I posted a lengthy (and snark-riddled) review of Herrick Kimball’s (the Whizbang Chicken Plucker guy) foray into the realm of clothespin manufacturing:
“When I was a kid, Mom would hang out the laundry on sunny days. Our backyard had a tangerine tree, a royal poinciana and a grapefruit tree where Dad had built a tree fort for my brother and I. The clothesline was right next to it, and we often played in the sand or in our fort, whittling spears, digging little rivers and filling them with the hose, or even throwing little unripe grapefruit at each other. Really hard.
On laundry day Mom would join us in the backyard for as long as her basket of wet laundry lasted. We’d always wheedle her to stay out longer, but being the diligent woman she is, she wouldn’t stick around for long.
All that to say, I don’t have a clothesline in the backyard because I’m trying to save lots of money or the planet or anything else. I have it because I like to see long lines of bright clothing hanging out to dry, and because there’s a sweet simplicity to the thing. It’s good and wholesome, and reminds me of being a kid. Unfortunately, like most everything else, the slave-manufactured goods of China have crept into this traditional household chore. If you try to get a decent clothespin, you’ll fail. We’ve gone through plenty of lousy pins.
That said, when I saw Herrick Kimball was going to reinvent the clothespin and bring it back to being made in the USA, I was amused. Dollar Store clothespins are garbage, sure – but they’re CHEAP garbage! I figured there’s no way Herrick would turn a profit and that Planet Whizbang had finally jumped the shark (click here to keep reading)”
Sometimes it makes sense to get something that’s made really well. And sometimes you just get the thing that’s made really well because you want to support people that are still creating good stuff here in the USA, not because it makes a lot of economic sense. I like using good things, though – even something as humble as a clothespin.
Do you know someone that’s making a great tool we should know about? Something that would be really handy around the homestead? Chet, Dave and I are not stingy about linking to other preppers who are doing good things, so let us know in the comments and we’ll check it out.