Homesteading Tools, Dividing Household Chores, and other Wisdom from Helen and Scott Nearing

Helen and Scott Nearing advised readers on homesteading tools, dividing household chores fairly, and a few other matters in this installment of their column.

  • Scott Nearing
    Scott Nearing with a visitor. The Nearings advised readers on such matters as homesteading tools and household chores.

  • Scott Nearing

The following are questions readers submitted to Helen and Scott Nearing in their regular column on homesteading.    

Q: As a beginning homesteader, I'd appreciate knowing which homesteading tools you consider most helpful.   

Homestead tools can be broken down into three classes: general tools (such as picks, shovels, hose, rakes, forks, hammers, saws, and sickles) ... tools for tilling (including shovels, spading forks, hoes, rakes, wheelhoes, and hand-powered — we use no motorized tillers — cultivators) ... and tools used in working with wood ( for example, hammers, saws, chisels, squares, files, and levels). In addition to the implements covered in such loose groupings, we occasionally use posthole diggers, drills, tin shears, and so forth ... and wheelbarrows (or garden carts) for general hauling chores.

This list may sound large, but it doesn't even take into account many specialized tools, and overlooks the fact that you may well want to have a variety of one particular kind of implement. (For instance, we always purchase both long- and short-handled shovels, snow shovels, and spades.)

Q: Now that my husband and I have settled into the "country life", we've discovered — as I'm sure you did — that there are numerous chores that have to be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. How did you two go about dividing household chores?   

Speaking generally, the matters which pertain particularly to the house and household are dealt with by Helen, while those involving farm maintenance and the outdoors are handled by Scott.

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