Farmer’s market basket

by Heather

The way we spend our food dollars is one of the most important votes we cast. –Michael Pollan

I’d been looking for a market basket for years when I finally found the one I have now at an antique mall. Now it sits on a table near my door, ready for next Saturday’s farmer’s market. It’s an old hand-woven oblong basket, a bit similar in shape to an egg basket, but smoother. Its thick double handle is fully woven into the basket, all the way around to the bottom. The same kind of reed (I think it’s a reed …) is the basis of the top woven edge of the basket as well.

The handle is sturdy and shallow–not much space between the top of the handle and the cavity of the basket. This makes it very practical for carrying comfortably on my wrist at a farmer’s market without bumping into things.

My basket has a bit of discoloration at the bottom–perfectly appropriate for a basket with a past. I especially love how it’s a little lopsided–the left and right sides are noticeably unmatched. It doesn’t seem to be the work of a specialist, but rather of someone who needed a good basket and knew how to make one. Very wabi-sabi, and just what I was looking for. I think I paid $23 for it.

I send a thankful thought to my basket’s weaver, who had the skill–lost to most of us now–to make this beautiful tool that was useful, endured, and now is mine.