Gardening Supplies, Why I Love Stainless Steel: Homesteading Basics

Hi, this is Marjory Wildcraft.   And on this edition of Homesteading Basics, I’m going to show you exactly why you should look for stainless steel the next time you’re in a thrift shop or at a garage sale–and how that item might actually turn into a family heirloom.

I have a love affair with stainless steel. I know that sounds a little bit odd, but some of the many advantages homesteaders have today over people in the Middle Ages or Roman Times or even prehistory are the new materials that humanity has created.

And one of them is stainless steel.

Using Stainless Steel For Gardening Supplies

I found this pan the other day. It had been out in the dirt in the yard for, I think, a couple of years. It looks horrible, but I’m going to clean it up and show you how it can look brand new again.

That’s really the amazing thing about stainless steel. It’s virtually indestructible, and it cleans up so well.

Quite frankly, even with the abuse that it has already gotten, this stainless steel pan from my yard can not only last my lifetime, but also could be handed down to my children. I’m not sure if they’re going to want it or not!

But still, stainless steel is an amazing material.

A little bit of grass makes a great scrub brush. Look at that. It just cleans up, and it’s beautiful. It’s almost like brand new.

I happened to notice on the back that the label says this pan cost $1.99.

You can’t beat that for something that’s going to last forever!

I use pans all the time. They’re great for chicken feed, for dog food, as a tray to hold tools for a project that you’re working on, and even as a miniature pool for baby geese. There are just so many uses for stainless steel pans and containers.

So, the next time you’re at a thrift shop, a flea market, or a garage sale—even if you’ve been dragged there by force—go check out the section with the pots and pans. Pick out the stainless steel stuff.

You’ll find it incredibly useful, and it will last a long, long time.

This is Marjory Wildcraft with The Grow Network. We have tons more tips and information available to help you grow your own food and produce your own medicine. I’ll see you on another segment of Homesteading Basics.

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  • Mark A Baker says:

    I agree 100% on the value of stainless steel. We use it for feed and water bowls outdoors. When I repair something, I always try to replace the hardware with stainless steel screws, nuts, bolts and washers. All of our cookware is stainless steel, which also avoids the possible effects of aluminum exposure for Alzheimer’s. I always wanted a DeLorean!

  • Melanie H. says:

    Do you have a segment of cooking with stainless? My pots and pans are my next swap out, but I’m a little intimidated.

    1. Sandy says:

      You might find a generous coating of coconut oil or ghee and a dusting of flour or cornmeal helpful here. I gave up using lecithin because it is usually extracted commercially grown gmo-ed soy, and it also tends to stick an scorch firmly to the pan.

  • Sandy says:

    We used to live in Madison WI where the students tended to be affluent and would commonly fully furnish their apartments for the few years they were in school, then graduate and leave pretty much everything behind. the end of the school year becomes a major second-hand shopping festival, with so much near-new stuff piled in the street on trash day that the wildest dreams of a stainless steel fan can easily be realized. As a result, my kitchen is well stocked with stainless cookware and multiples of very handy kitchen gadgets. If they had seriously baked-on residue, I found a moist paste of baking soda, salt and milk (which has protein digesting enzymes) will often dissolve traces of food the kids didn’t know how to deal with. I laid a damp towel over the pan and misted it a few times in the evening before bed. By morning the gunk would usually release, avoiding the use of harsh scouring pads that leave tiny scratches that tend to collect more gunk. The one caution I have about metal cutlery is that it will carry a mild charge. If you have traces of metal amalgams, this can ionize and release mercury into your bloodstream. So I now use wooden spoons for soup and beverages instead. And stainless steel roasting pans do make fabulous waterproof, reusable seed starter trays, especially with soil blocks or small seed flats made from perforated plastic mushroom trays.

  • Pamela says:

    Yep its true 🙂 much better than Teflon coated stuff. I have used sand to scrub and also if needed a little ammonia in the soaking water works wonders

  • Joanna Newcomer says:

    I know Im late to the game on this article, but Im currently replacing as much as I can with stainless steel. Even wearing stainless steel jewelry now!

  • Joanna Newcomer says:

    I forgot to add, one of my favorite supplies in my cleaning kit is a square of stainless steel chainmaille. It makes a great scrubber for the nastier messes.

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