Over the summer on one of our many berry-picking adventures, the girls and I happened upon a place where a farmer had hung an old apple ladder (from her orchard) from the ceiling in her store, and wrapped around the ladder itself hung strands of little white Christmas lights. It was beautiful. So I've been on the look-out for an apple ladder myself, and you'd think with all the cousins and farms around here I'd have a connection in getting one. Not so. Well, Pete Snell did tell me he'd give me the "family discount" if I should choose to purchase one he had for sale in a Wells antique shop in which he has some high-priced items. I decided to stick it out and hope for a more naturally-occurring situation, as if maybe I'd happen upon one in an old orchard somewhere, and the farmer would let me take it home. Ha! These things are evidently in high demand.
As it turns out, a farmer did let me take one home-- well, it was a Christmas gift from my brother, and he is a farmer, so that counts right? Here's a look at what I've got on my wall. It's stage one of the ladder/lights project. I don't see the lights happening any time soon, but that's ok because I love the ladder just the way it is. LOVE it.
I did end up picking up a few of these hand-forged barn nails from Pete Snell's place in Hollis Center. He got them from a salvaged barn in Buxton.
Blog Addendum: I worried that you'd think I was hanging up a perfectly good ladder on my wall, which thus serves no purpose at all. So I came back to tell you this-- the ladder has seen its day. It's been patched on various rungs, is rickety and old. It is a beautiful example of a tree, cut in half, attached by wooden rungs -no metal at all. The way it used to be. The ladder points at the top so the pruner/picker can avoid damaging the tree with a typical ladder's two sides. It was painted red so the farmer wouldn't lose the ladder in the orchard, and because red paint was cheap. Note how many barns used to be painted red too. Anyway, I would use this baby if I could.