Add a dash of the country life to any room with vintage farm collectibles!
Flea markets and farm finds go together like bread and butter. And what better time than fall to bring the warmth and nostalgia of farm living into your home? We set out to harvest farm goodies from the flea market! In the very first aisle, we saw a primitive bowl of rusty tools in the $7 to $20 price range. There were hay hooks, cattle leader pliers, and old-fashioned sheep shears, which we thought would look sharp grouped on a wall. The vendor also had an antique horse yoke, if you’d rather have one large conversation piece, but it was a bit more spendy at $150.
Along the way we also saw an eight-gallon cream can and a wooden butter churn—if only we had the room. Jennifer bought a cowbell for $12 and a wooden butter mold for $9 instead. Kitty’s find of the day was a three-legged milking stool for $25. She thought it would make a fetching step stool in the kitchen. She chatted up the dealer who also had washboards and found out they come in wood, zinc, and even glass. Zinc washboards cost around $20, but he had a rare blue enamelware one for $95. They are highly collectible now and people hang them as art. What a playful reminder of how easy we have it today!
A Tisket, A Tasket, A Green & Yellow Basket
From wire egg racks to wooden berry trays, farm life has brought us heaps of useful containers. Grape harvest baskets can be made of smooth wood or twisted grape vines, and are large enough to corral a craft project.
Apple picking baskets are just the right size to hold gardening tools, and strawberry boxes make handy caddies for condiments, utensils, and napkins.
On the farm, hand carved dough bowls were used to let dough rise after kneading. If you are more of a loafer than a baker, place one of these beauties on your rustic farm table and fill it with orange, green, and gold squashes for an autumn centerpiece.
Fair Weather Friends
Weathervanes have topped barns and farmhouses for ages. While these farm icons are primarily used to show wind direction, we like to think of them as folk art sculptures! To capture a little country flair, look for a copper, iron, or aluminum weathervane featuring a cow, a pig, a horse, or a rooster. If you have a grand entryway, choose a large weathervane on a stand. Or try a smaller one on a bedside table in a guest room as a whimsical objet d’art.
Hi-Ho The Dairy-O
Milk bottles are a staple at the flea market, and each one is different from the next. The sealed milk bottle was invented to keep milk pure and free of bugs, dirt, and bacteria (thank goodness!). From the late 1800s to the 1960s, your friendly neighborhood milkman brought bottles directly to your door. Early milk bottles were embossed with the dairy farm’s name, but those manufactured after the 1930s had the dairy name printed on the surface. Though they’ve been replaced by wax paper cartons and plastic jugs, the down-home feeling of the milk bottle lives on! These glass charmers are often inexpensive, making them great for collecting. We think they would be sweet (and creamy!) displayed in a whitewashed hutch with a tiered egg stand and a hand-crank coffee grinder. Farm livin’ is the life for us!
What To Pay
Milk Bottles $5 to $20
Harvest Baskets $5 to $75
Hay Hooks $7 to $20
Cattle Leader Pliers $12 to $25
Sheep Shears $15 to $45
Washboards $10 to $100
Dough Bowls $35 to $50
Small Weathervanes $15 to $50
Large Weathervanes $75 to $300