My household has a hook overflowing with canvas tote bags, not to mention a pile of sturdy plastic carry bags from IKEA and our grocery delivery service. Which is to say, we are not hurting for bags. However, when I saw Barebones’s harvesting bags, my heart went all aflutter: Here was a bag that could do so much more than even the sturdiest tote.
Photography courtesy of Barebones.
Known for their heritage-inspired products for the outdoors, Barebones took their inspiration for the Harvesting & Gathering Bag from vintage fruit picking bags, says Jessica Kopp, the brand’s vice president of marketing. As a result, it has a clever drop-out bottom: You unclip the bottom, unroll the canvas, and empty your harvest.
Like many of my totes, the bags are made from heavy-duty canvas, but these have been treated with a wax coating that makes the bag weather-and water-resistant. Both the thickness of the fabric and the waxing give it structure—a feature anyone who has found themselves constantly rearranging a floppy tote bag at the farmer’s market will appreciate.
I bought a harvest basket last year, hoping it would be the solution to picking produce in the fields of my CSA, but I discovered it was just as awkward as my floppy totes. What I needed was a hands-free harvesting experience—which the Barebones bag can offer. Its straps can adjust to make the standard shoulder bag into a backpack, a front pack (ideal for apple picking!), or a cross body sling. It even comes with a removable waterproof liner that you can take out to shake off the dirt left behind from a bunch of just-picked-beets.
In addition to gathering fruits and vegetables, gardeners can use the bag to tote tools to a remote part of their garden or to gather cut flowers. You can even add a little water to the liner—treating it like a bucket—to keep your blossoms hydrated as you pick.
Barebones also offers a smaller version of the Harvesting & Gathering Bag that they call their Foraging Bag. It’s a bucket-shaped model made from the same waxed canvas with a mesh bottom and removable waterproof liner. Even if you’re not the type to go foraging for chanterelles, this tote would be a great companion to carry your water bottle and snacks on a hike.
As a bonus, either of the Barebones bags are handsome enough that I could imagine carrying them around the city, just as easily as I could see toting them in the field or in the woods. It might just need another tote bag after all!
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