As long as I can remember I have loved barns and what is inside of them. The older, the better. And, often inside those barns of my childhood, I would see stacks of wooden fruit lugs, sometimes empty and sometimes full of apples, or peaches, or pears, or tomatoes. On the side of the fruit lugs would be printed “Property of So and So Farms” or “Please Return to Such and Such Farms.”
Sometimes a flatbed truck would pull out of the barn with stacks of those wooden boxes filled and heading to a market. During the winter the lugs would be stacked in the barn, waiting for the next harvest.
Today these fruit lugs are sold in antique stores. People decorate with them as the farm style is becoming popular. Some people use them to decorate for their wedding and reception. Others make book shelves from them.
Today all the new fruit lugs are made of plastic and that just doesn’t do it for me. So this morning, I convinced a son-in-law that we should make our own fruit lugs. We ‘reversed engineered’ one of the old ones I bought at an antique store and we tried to make one with the exact dimensions and the exact width of wood. Under the shade of a tree and with his buddy joining our efforts, we built a box, while laughing that next we should invent the wheel.
We ran into one issue and that was how to router the finger holds on the side of the lugs? We decided, with 100% agreement from the ladies who joined us under the shade tree, that rope handles would look good. We will continue to research how to router the grips.
My daughter had a little peach tree that is loaded with peaches, so we put them into our first fruit lug. We are going to look at how to laser our “farm names” too. It took about $15 of material to make one lug. We used redwood, planed one side to be smooth against the fruit. Used the same number of nails and nailing pattern as the old one. It weighed a half pound more than the old one, but the wood was still green and it should get lighter as it dries.
The best part of it all was family and friends just talking and enjoying the time together under a shade tree.
I present to you…the box!