Doing Things The Old Way With Manual Tools

 by Tammy Taylor

*contains affiliate link

I enjoy using manual tools as much as possible.  I’m not sure why, it’s just my preference to work with my hands.  Of course I’ve had an electric can opener in the past but I got rid of it decades ago, much preferring to use a hand-held crank one instead.  I prefer a whisk to an electric mixer and I sharp knife and cutting board to a food processor.  Our youngest daughter often teases me about my old-time preference.

Maual kitchen tools.  garden gloves - Manual tools are my preference in my daily chores #TaylorMadeHomestead

We have a high-end dryer in the utility room, but it hasn’t even been turned on in over 4 years.  I love to hang our laundry outside on the *retractable clothesline .  Not only does it reward me with the country-fresh sunshine aroma that you simply cannot get from a bottle, but I feel my heart smile as I remember being with my grandmother as we completed this task together when I was a child.  Add to the equation that it does my environmentally-friendly heart good to use 100% solar power for this necessary chore and you’ve got a winner!

Passive Solar Laundry Line - garden gloves - Manual tools are my preference in my daily chores #TaylorMadeHomestead

In the garden I would rather use a shovel and hoe as my primary method for working the soil.  You’ll often find me on my hands and knees stubbornly pursuing the root to that rogue weed that’s trying to invade my garden. I don’t like to use poisons or pesticides.  I even irrigate my garden with rainwater that’s collected from the roof of our home and sent to an underground cistern where it’s stored until needed.  You can see pictures of my cistern here.

garden gloves - Manual tools are my preference in my daily chores #TaylorMadeHomestead

It takes so much effort to obtain that tomato or squash that first started with preparing the beds, planting the seeds, water/weed/repeat, and finally harvest.  I like to preserve garden excess that we can’t eat fresh and after we have shared with family members, church friends and our community retirement center.

sun-oven-coupon-299

I have a * solar oven to dehydrate garden excess, bake bread or cook our food.  I absolutely love it and I plan on using it even more heavily this year.  Especially since dehydrated food takes so much less in storage space and energy!

Solar Oven.  Low-Waste Working garden gloves - Manual tools are my preference in my daily chores #TaylorMadeHomestead

Yes, using manual tools and implements is slower and takes more effort on my part.  But I love that they don’t use electricity which makes them much more gentle on the environment.  Plus a manual tool is often much less expensive than the powered counterpart.  And many times lasts much, much longer.  I also love how it puts me in the moment with the chore at hand. I guess I feel it’s just the way that suits me best.  What about you?   Do you enjoy doing things the ‘slow’ way?

~TMH~

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*Sun Oven & Amazon affiliate

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24 thoughts on “Doing Things The Old Way With Manual Tools

  1. Summers Acres

    I really just can’t stand an electric can opener. I have always preferred my manual one. A outside clothes line is another of our “to-do’s”. We always had one growing up. Hopefully we will get to that soon. Thanks for sharing! Please join us again Thursday at: The HomeAcre Hop ~Ann

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Ann – I haven’t’ had an electric can opener for decades – I always hated those things! LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
  2. Mary@Back to the Basics!

    I don’t most I my cooking using hand tools, except for my blender. I would in the garden using gloves and a shovel. Simple is better IMHO. Thanks so much for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist. Hope to see you again this week! back2basichealth.blogspot.com/2013/05/tuesdays-with-twist-7-and-huge-seed.html

    Reply
  3. debra@ HOMESPUN

    I think that I do alot the slow way too : ) No food processor here…if I bake bread I knead it. I do use my dryer but I like to hang the bedding on the clothesline. Don’t use pesticides of any sort in my yard or anywhere, no.

    Reply
  4. Kristi @Let This Mind Be in You

    I used to do things manually much more often, but have gotten out of the habit. I did mix up the pancake batter with a whisk today, though! ha ha I’d love to get back to hanging my clothes. It’s such a calming thing to do. Thank you for linking up to From the Farm Blog Hop! We hope to see you again next week! ~Kristi@ Let This Mind Be in You

    Reply
  5. Linda @ A La Carte

    I also love manual kitchen tools. Just more basic which is how I cook…lol! Thanks for joining Diann and I at TTF this week. Linda

    Reply
  6. Daphne

    Good Morning to you, This was a refreshing post, as like you, I always use my “old fashioned” cooking utensils first. I use my balloon whisk for whipping and I was interested in the reaction to your juicer, because I have one which is exactly the same which I use all the time. I do own a Kitchen Aid, which I must admit I do like using, but my first port of call is always hand tools. I hang all my washing out on a washing line, like you say, there is nothing like seeing the washing blowing in the wind and the smell is so fresh. I have never owned an electric tin opener and actually I do not know what they look like….. I have to admit, my hand held tin opener is even more ancient that yours. It was given to me as a wedding present 42 years ago…… and it is still going strong! I have enjoyed my visit and so I have ticked the box to follow you. I would like to invite you to visit me at Ivy, Phyllis and Me! when you have the time, as the door will always be open. Best Wishes to you from England, Daphne

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Daphne, I absolutely loved your comment. I’m jealous of your can opener given to you 42 years ago – they certainly don’t make them to last that long anymore do they? I’ve had a hand-help opener for about 20 years but I’ve had to replace it several times over that duration. The last time we had to replace it was about a year ago and I didn’t want to buy another lightweight one (I’ve learned to only buy quality now) but I really wanted to find it in a thrift store if at all possible so that 1) I could support a charity with my purchase. 2) A new one wouldn’t have to be manufactured for me and 3) Hopefully it would be reasonably priced. We did find one at the thrift store, much heavier than the one it replaced for only $2. I’m hopeful this one will see me through many years now. ~TMR~ By the way – I thoroughly enjoyed your site and will be visiting often!

      Reply
  7. Karyn

    I, too, love my solar cooker, though we get a lot of afternoon showers, so it’s sometimes a bummer to have to move things into the oven for “finishing”. Anyway, I’m wondering how you use it for dehydrating. I have an electric dehydrator but would love to use the solar oven. Did you buy racks or make them yourself? Do you have to “vent” the top in order to deal with humidity?

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve cooked with my solar oven several times but I’ve not dehydrated with it yet. I’m sold that the oven will get plenty hot enough to dehydrate, you just leave the door unlatched to rid the oven of moisture. Can’t wait to give it a whirl! Last year I dehydrated lots of garden excess with the solar dehydrator my Honey built for me, the screens let moisture out and kept out any critters. ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Dar

    I have to chuckle seeing the citrus juicer…I decided to buy an electric one when I threw my back out from squeezing lemons with my manual one. It hurt for more than a week. Must be getting old!!!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      LOL Dar. The juicer must have emotional attachment for lots of folks, I’ve had quite a reaction to it. HA! At the time we had maybe 20 oranges to juice to be able to preserve them. This juicer cost $1 at a thrift store and those oranges were juiced in 5 minutes or so. ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Angela

    Ah! I agree! I have 3 boys and we have even taught them to push mow. We have an acre but with 3 of them going they get it done fast. Not to mention that it is a better use of time and the health benefits. They now have several clients and they are mostly the older generation and they appreciate push mowing. There is cliental that prefer it. I also use a hand can opener, knife and chop garlic without a press. Great topic.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Angela – I love that your boys have worked this chore into a business with clients and you’re right, the older generation really appreciates the help. Thanks for your comment! ~TMR~

      Reply
  10. Kathy G

    Depending on the job I’ll use either a manual or an electric tool. If I’m only chopping a couple of onions I pull out my trusty chef’s knife (and well-used wooden cutting board). If I’m shredding a head or two of cabbage for sauerkraut or cole slaw, though, I find the food processor does a much better job ~TALU~

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      There are some tasks that really are more feasible with more power. I love my KitchenAid and don’t hesitate to pull it out when the situation warrants it. ~TMR~

      Reply
  11. Linda@With A Blast

    I like to use some of them, but definitely not a manual juicer ! That’s where I will draw the line 😉 Other than that, I’m with you …

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Interestingly enough we bought that juicer at a thrift store in answer to a glut of oranges that were gifted to us. We ate as many of them fresh as we could and I wanted to juice the rest of them for the freezer so they wouldn’t go to waste. The $1 purchase was well worth the small amount of juicing effort that was needed. Of course if we drank lots of juice it could have been an issue… LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. Linda@With A Blast

        $1 is definitely worth it and as you say, you only needed it for a small amount 🙂 Thank you for linking this at our All My Bloggy Friends Party !

        Reply
  12. Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe

    I’m with you on a lot of these things, but a hand whisk just doesn’t cut it when making meringues and whipped cream. I never realized that until I used a stand mixer for the first time and realized how much of a volume difference there was. [#TALU]

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      LOL Chris, gotta agree with you there. I have a nice KitchenAid stand mixer that’s used where it’s appropriate and I love it as well. But my first go-to tools are typically manual. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thank you Lynn – Sometimes I get that surprised look when a guest asks “where’s the can opener?” LOL Glad I’m not alone. ~TMR~

      Reply

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