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Do you remember the Gardenway Cart? Seems to me the thing originated in Vermont and every true gardener had one. They had big spoked wheels, a bent steel hoop of a handlebar, and were just about the most versatile garden cart ever designed. Me? I had a nasty old wheelbarrow with wooden handles that had weathered so poorly that the wood grain would leave its pattern on your palms after use. Rust holes were patched with little pieces of metal that I welded in place. Admittedly it was built like an Abrahms tank and it was unwieldy too.

My significant other’s Dad had a Gardenway Cart. She loved that thing and a couple of years ago she bought a foreign-made knock-off. I took on the task of assembling it. My grandson Luc was over that day, and knowing how much he enjoyed organizing like-items, ie: his toy cars, etc. I assigned him the task of grouping all of the differing types of nuts and bolts by size. This made the process of assembly go exceedingly smooth. We had that cart operating in record time.

As helpful as this Gardenway knock-off cart was, it did not winter well. I pulled it from storage last spring and both tires were flat. The valve stems were off at a skewed angle and dealing with it was a royal pain. My solution was to purchase two new spoked wheels with solid rubber tires so that we would never be greeted by flat tires ever again. The problem then became getting the proper diameter axle for it. I never did find one and the cart languished on its side in the back yard all summer and winter. That kind of neglect meant that I was done with it, damn the cost. My poor attitude towards it demanded that I come up with a solution to the problem.

I found the solution online. I shared the link with my significant other and she wholeheartedly approved of my choice. I ordered it, it came, I dragged it onto the porch. I slept in today. She went out and assembled it and started using it right off. Fortunately, this cart only required a small amount of assembly. Otherwise, I would have been rousted and would have deserved it.

One of the problems with the cheap Gardenway knockoffs that you can buy is the flimsy plywood used for the bottom and sides. Leaving it out in one rainstorm will begin the rotting process and before you know it your cart’s bottom no longer supports the weight of a vegetable flat. Between that and the pneumatic tires that leak air like a sieve, they are an inferior design.

The new cart we found has a poly body, made of the material they make kayaks from. Indestructible, able to deal with being left outside more than once before rotting to hell. The tires are solid rubber. No leaking air issues so no flat tires after a winter of storage. This is the kind of garden cart designed for careless, abusive, forgetful owners such as ourselves. We are unable to handle the classic design of a plywood and pneumatic garden cart responsibly, making us inferior owners and relegating us to purchasing plastic-bodied, solid rubber wheeled units. OK with me. If it weren’t so environmentally irresponsible I’d probably enjoy setting fire to that plywood-sided, pneumatic tired monstrosity and cheer as it burned to the ground.

For sale: Delightful Gardenway style garden cart, two flat tires, best offer. No returns.

“The Morning Almanac with Arlo Mudgett” is heard Monday through Saturday mornings on radio stations Oldies KOOL FM 106.7, 96.3, and 106.5 and over Peak-FM 101.9 and 100.7.