This Gem of a Garden Cart is Essential for us on the Homestead

This Cart Vermont (what they call their large garden cart) was THE first present Gene and I bought each other a few months after moving to the Small House. This was before I even knew that our spread was going to be called that.

This was our Christmas present to each other that year. Fourteen years later, I now I use it nearly every day and I can’t imagine life on the homestead without it. It is USA-made crafted of wood and metal, has superior craftsmanship, and the company offers replacement wheels and parts, making it a worthy and sustainable product in my book, and I’m tough on products as a consumer.


Source: Carts Vermont website

Our cart hauls buckets of soil, compost and manure as well as our heavy window air conditioners to and from the pole barn. With 47 White Oak trees (plus all the other types of trees we have) I use it to pick up twigs, branches and everything else blown down from our tree canopy after nearly every thunder or windstorm. It is not unusual for me to have 20+ carts full of twigs to haul to the burn pile after our typical 6 months of winter of deep snow, high wind and frequent ice.

We haul firewood in it, blankets when doing remodeling, fence pieces, evergreens, perennials, piles of leaves and much, much more. I have never been fond of wheel barrows as they tip over on me and this sturdy, stable and solid cart works like a charm.

Cart logo and wheel USE

The companies wood burned logo give you an idea of the quality of the wood and the bike wheels.

Our cart is already 14 years old and showing a bit of wear but it is as dependable as ever. We’ve had to repair the tires, buying new inner tubes a few times, resealed the wood with polyurethane and greased the axles but even with our heavy use this little gem of a cart is still going strong.

Large Garden Cart Dimensions:

Dimensions Inside: Length: 47.50″ Width: 31″ Depth: 16″ Capacity: 13.60 cubic feet

Dimensions Overall: Length: 67.25″ Width: 41.50″ Height: 30.25″

Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs. with heavy-duty 26″ wheels (we recommend the solid tires when ordering)

The large garden carts are priced on their website today at $424.95 and although I did not pay that much fourteen years ago, I do feel it is worth the cost. Nothing irritates me more than buying a product that you cannot get replacement parts for and have to scrap it before its time.

Cart in front of barn

Our cart sits in front of The Small House Homestead pole barn waiting for the next project.

You can see more about them on their website at Please realize that I am not being paid anything for this “commercial.” I am just a homesteader, a real-life user and a true-test-of-time believer.

Gene trimming garden cart

Our cart really comes in handy when Gene is cutting back the ornamental grasses

Since I was snowed in our first winter here and without a vehicle, I did my shopping on-line. Gene, unfortunately had rolled my Subaru on the black ice our first winter in the country and I was without a vehicle for about 6 weeks. That was not a good winter, let me tell you. I did my cart shopping on-line and from all the options out there I selected the Carts Vermont brand. I have never been sorry!

cart angled

We often use 5-gallon buckets to haul soil and compost in our garden cart. The buckets are an easy haul and dump for me.

I can’t imagine life on the homestead without this workhorse of a cart!

Small House Homestead Donna

It’s Hard to Homestead When You are Old

Homesteading takes dedication, commitment and a deep desire for a life that is meaningful. Homesteading  is more about personal satisfaction than status or fun and games. It’s about taking nothing and making something out of it.

People sometimes ask me for advice on getting started as a homesteader. I tell them this, do what I say… not what I did – homestead when you are young. I know this first hand. Homesteading is hard work, day after day!

Donna & Gene at Chop House

Celebrating with a rare dinner out for our anniversary.

My husband and I started this adventure just 14 years ago when he was 50 and I was 45. Today we are 63 and 69. It takes a lot of hard, daily, physical work to homestead and long tiring workdays. Even when one is healthy and in good shape, it’s darn hard to be a homesteader at this age.

Walkway lined w grasses

This is my meadow habitat I created for the birds, butterflies and dragonflies.

So why are we living this way? It’s a way to live more frugally and a way to contribute meaningfully towards conserving the limited resources of our Earth. It’s a way to live that allows us to work with our hands and to spend long hours out-of-doors.

And, it’s one way to leave the world a better place than when we found it. In spite of its many challenges, hard choices and sore muscles, I can’t imagine living any other way.


Our crabapple tree surrounded by the sidewalk I designed. The bench tops have a mosaic design that I made. This is where we sit, together, almost everyday for a quick break and a cold drink.

Why? We homestead because…

  • We care about the Earth and want to preserve and protect our land.
  • I want to leave this property, our community in better shape then when we came here.
  • We want to have control over the food we eat.
  • We want to take charge of our health.
  • We want to show our granddaughter where food really comes from.
  • We choose to build living soil and habitat for all the creatures of the Earth.
  • We want to live a simpler lifestyle in a rural place with a slower pace of life.
  • We are independent thinkers who love the Earth and its soil and want to take care of it.
  • We chose to do the daily work of “living with a purpose.”
  • Standing at hydragneas and looing to deck
  • The back of our house and the row of native oak hydrangeas I planted under our dining room window.

It’s a physically and emotionally satisfying lifestyle choice. That pretty much sums it up for us.

Donna at the Small House Homestead