Cool Tools for Wiser Living: A Cedar Cold Frame, Tripod Ladder and More

These five cool tools deserve a spot in many a homestead: a well-made cedar cold frame, a lightweight broadfork, a sturdy tripod ladder, portable chicken coops, and hose nozzles that will last for life.
By Cheryl Long
October/November 2013
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Grow food year-round with a modestly priced cedar cold frame.
Photo Courtesy Cedar Cold Frames

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With so much poor-quality — and sometimes even silly — merchandise on the market these days, we’re always excited when we discover new, well-made tools and products. Check out these five great tools for wiser living that I spotted at the June MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Wash.

First up, I found an outstanding cedar cold frame with stainless-steel hardware and hail-proof corrugated polycarbonate glazing. The frame is 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet (and 2 feet deep), so it can hold quite a few plants or six 10-by-20-inch flats of seedlings. Get one for $180 from Cedar Cold Frames.

Our friend Bob Powell, developer of the superb Vashon Broadfork (also called the Meadow Creature Broadfork), was back at the Fair, this time with a new, lighter-weight model of his broadfork. He also introduced a spiffy, heavy-duty Avalon cider press. Learn more at Meadow Creature.

From the Midwest, Quail Manufacturing displayed its sturdy, steel-and-aluminum portable chicken coops. The company offers sizes ranging from the 4-by-6-foot Egg Cart’n down to the 2-by-4-foot Patio Perch. Go to Egg Cart'n for more info.

The Hasegawa company from across the Pacific introduced its stable, lightweight, aluminum tripod garden ladders. Thanks to a wide, flared base, these are the most secure ladders I’ve ever climbed. I would not have believed it until I was able to use one. For more information, go to the Hasegawa Ladders website. To watch a demonstration, go to The Hasegawa Tripid Ladder: See a Sturdy, Lightweight Ladder in Action (Video).

Speaking of the frustrations that come with poor-quality products, how many hose nozzles and watering wands have you bought, only to have them start leaking shortly after purchase? Too many, right? Enter the Ultimate Hose Nozzle, which comes with a lifetime warranty. We discovered this product before the Fair and liked it so much that we added it to our online store. Buy it in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store at 25 percent off until Dec. 31, 2013.

Any of these products would make a great gift for the gardener or homesteader in your life — or, spoil yourself! For more Tools for Wiser Living endorsed by MOTHER EARTH NEWS, go to High-Quality Tools for Wiser Living: MOTHER-Tested and MOTHER-Approved.

Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on .

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