ISSUE 88  |  Take My Zucchini Please

Wheelbarrow Chic from La Mule

September 05, 2013 1:00 PM

BY Kendra Wilson

The French word for “mule” is easy to translate (la mule), rather like “le weekend,” which is when you are most likely to use La Mule. As its name implies, this wooden barrow from France is a hard worker and will carry out a variety of unrelated tasks. Unlike a mule, it is ravishingly good-looking.

As an amateur gardener, La Mule creator Jean-Baptiste Cachera was frustrated by the workman-like barrows on the market, which lacked beauty or versatility. Blessed with an “esprit d’enterprise,” Cachera got together with a carpenter friend and they came up with a traditional yet modern chestnut wheelbarrow. In his words (and I translate) it is “aesthetic, multi-functioning, light, and ergonomic.”

Photographs via La Mule except where noted.

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Above: Removable partitions help to save your tools from ending up in the compost. The basic wheelbarrow or “brouette” is 830€ including VAT, as is the cart. 

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Above: Removable sides, for bulky work. The large wide wheels are kind to the lawn. 

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Above: The cart, or “carriole,” prefers to be at a picnic but is happy to help out in the garden. Photograph by James Corbett.

Above: Both the barrow and the cart are surprisingly lightweight. The cart (above) is made from chestnut and aluminum and has an attachment for bicycles. A non-plastic trailer for the market, or visits further afield. 

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Above: The cart becomes the most comfortable seat around. Photograph by Jean-Baptiste Cachera.

N.B.: This is an update of a post published Oct. 8, 2012.