27 Jun A Better Hanging Fruit Basket
Hanging fruit baskets seem like such a great idea on a boat, yet in practice they have several problems.
I just love it when a reader sends in a way to really improve a piece of galley gear. Jackie Bartz of Lively Lady, currently in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala sent me information on what she calls her “cheap-y” fruit basket that she and her husband created.
What I immediately noticed was that her design solves all three of the problems I had with a wire basket. It won’t rust, there aren’t pressure lines on the fruit (causing rot) and it keeps bugs and flies (and, reports Jackie, fruit bats!) off the fruit.
I guess if you want it done right, you’ve got to do-it-yourself!
Luckily in this case, it’s a pretty easy DIY job.
Jackie got three colanders at the dollar store and her husband drilled three equidistant holes in the rim of each. Then they ran 1/8″ line through them, tying simple overhand knots in the line for the colanders to rest on (see close up below) and tying the lines together at the top to hang from a hook.
Jackie made the cover out of netting (you can get bridal veil netting almost everywhere and it’s fine enough to keep even the tiniest bugs out). She put a long zipper in one side, running from the top to the bottom. Then she folded over the top and bottom into casings and ran more thin line through them to be able to pull the netting tightly shut at the top and bottom.
A trick I learned on a charter we were once on: clip a bungee cord from the bottom to something below the baskets when underway to limit the swing. Using bungee or shock cord provides some give so that the produce isn’t tossed around by a hard stop!
Hanging baskets are great not just for fruit, but also many vegetables. A while back, I made a cheat sheet for storing veggies without refrigeration — notes on how to store various things and how long they’ll last. It’s really just the tip of the iceberg as far as storing food without refrigeration goes (my book goes into far more detail), but I’m happy to share it.