How to fix a wheelbarrows handles

How to fix a wheelbarrows handles is probably one of the tasks that you will need to do at some stage on your farm.   In our disposable world, good ‘barrows are often discarded when one or both of their wooden handles rots and snaps.   It really is not difficult to replace them with just some simple tools.

How to fix a wheelbarrows handles

Rotted handles being removed from our farm wheelbarrow.

Our wheelbarrow has had an exciting life in Colorado and now in Maine.   One of the very first repairs we did was replace the tire from a pneumatic (pump up) tire to a solid rubber tire.  This was a simple purchase from our local hardware store – but saved us a million hours of tire repair.  The main culprit for flat tires for us in Colorado was the horrible ‘goat head’ thorny seed that punctured every tire on every piece of equipment.

After a few years in the moisture in Maine, the thin wooden handles finally succumbed to rot and broke.    We decided to replace and upgrade using a set of new handles we bought at the local hardware store (like these). These were slightly larger dimension, but as they had no holes predrilled, they were perfect for us to use.

Fixing a wheelbarrow

Slightly larger dimestions, the new handles will be much stronger.

How to fix a wheelbarrows handles

The first task was to remove all the old fittings and handles carefully setting aside the hardware (nuts, washers and bolts) to reuse.  Fortunately for us, all the existing hardware was in good condition and could be reused.  We did have to buy just two longer bolts as the new handles were slightly larger and the old bolts were too short.

Fixing a wheelbarrow

Marking the location of the holes using the old handle as a template.

The second step is to line up the new handles with the old and mark the location of all the holes that need to be drilled.  This is as simple is inserting a pencil into the old holes to mark the new locations.


Making the pencil marks for holes easier to see before drilling.

Making the pencil marks for holes easier to see before drilling.

Then you need to drill the holes using a size drill that will let the bolts slide freely through – but not too large that then can move from side to side

Drilling the holes

Drilling the holes

Once all the holes are drilled you need to refit the handles using the saved bolts. And you are back in business!

Almost complete!

Almost complete!

After a few days of use, go back and tighten up all the bolts as some will have become loose.

We hope this is helpful for those who find themselves with a wheelbarrow that needs some repairs 🙂

While you are here, have a look at some of our other pages like:

Homestead treasure chest

Flying the flag on your farm

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Homestead treasure chest

We have a homestead treasure chest in our town.  It is the town dump!    I know that not everyone can be this fortunate – to have a dump that allows you to collect materials left by others.   But for those of us that have it, it’s a wonderful resource!

Homestead treasure chest

Treasure is waiting for us at the local dump

Homestead Treasure chest items
Items that we can collect for free include:

Lumber – there is a lumber pile that you can take material from.   You are not allowed to climb the pile, but a quick scouting each week can get you a lot of materials for building jobs.  Sheets of ply and construction particle board, dimensional lumber, internal doors are very common.  I have also found balustrade, ladders, pallets etc.

Homestead treasure chest

Lumber pile at our dump

For some strange reason treated lumber is placed into a bin from which you can’t collect.   I would have thought that people wanting to reuse treated lumber would be a better solution that having to dispose of the chemically treated wood?

Roofing shingles – while the vast majority of the material is used, broken and torn shingles, builders also drop off unused portions of packages and occasionally FULL packets.  You can always find enough to roof a small shed or chicken coop.

Homestead treasure chest

Roofing shingles

Windows and external doors – windows of all sizes and shapes and kind (wood, aluminum and vinyl) can be had.  Again, these are perfect for building a shed or chicken coop.  Sometimes windows from an entire house renovation can be found…all matching and often not in very bad shape.

Homestead treasure chest

Windows and doors

Plasterboard/dry wall – if you just need a small piece to make a repair, this is the place to come.  You have to time it in a dry spell so you don’t just have a pile of wet sheets.

Homestead treasure chest

Drywall pile

Homestead Treasure Chest II – the dump store
After all the free stuff is perused, we then have an area in which dump workers place items that they feel should be reused.   This is the dump store – and normally has furniture, tools etc.   We have found some wonderful items in here too…and they charge a few dollars for large items and a few cents for others.

Homestead treasure chest

The ‘store’ items

Check the rules before you go on your treasure hunt
Before you go to your dump and start ‘collecting’ you will need to ask and make sure that ‘scrounging’ at the dump is allowed.  Some places allow it.  Other places it is forbidden!

Some other places always worth checking out:
Building site dumpsters – but you must get permission BEFORE you collect.  Go find the owner of the site foreman and get their express permission.
Business dumpsters (especially hardware stores) – again…get permission, but these can be very worthwhile as they discard items that they believe will not be able to be sold.
Lumber mills – often allow people to pick over their discard pile before it is burnt.   You need to always ASK FIRST  (do you see the theme here).

I hope you liked this information.  Maybe you are interested in the following topics:

Farm science
Rocks and soils on your farm
Soil pH

And you can always click the ‘Follow’ button the lower right hand side to receive emails when new posts are made 🙂



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Using Google Earth to zone your farm

Using Google Earth to zone your farm is a great planning tool.

Google Earth is a wonderful tool for planning your farm permaculture zones.  Its simple to use, yet powerful interface, can be mastered in a few steps and provide you with a map you can print or share online.

To start ….

Permaculture zones (0-5) are a great way to divide your farm up into “use” zones.    If you are not familiar with the zones, you can find my take on them here.

Google Earth is a free mapping tool that you can download for your computer or mobile device from here.


Using Google Earth to zone your farm – the steps!

Step 1. Finding your farm
Open Google Earth.  In the search box in the upper left hand corner, type in the address of your farm….then click search and watch it zoom in!  Google Earth will place a red pin and display the address of your search on the image.  You can zoom in and out and change the orientation using the zoom bar tools on the right hand side of the image.   To remove the red pin (which I find annoying) and address you just click the blue X under the search results box on the left hand side.  For now, zoom to a level so you can see the entire outline of your farm in the image.

Using Google Earth to zone your farm

Search your farm address

Step 2. Adding the farm boundaries.
Google Earth has a tool bar that sits at the very top of the image.  You can hover over each of the tools and it will tell you what they are.  Find the Add a polygon tool and click on it.  A box appears in which you describe what feature you are adding.  In this case type ‘Farm Boundaries” in where it says Name (you may be over typing the words ‘untitled polygon’).  Click the box called Style,Color.  This is where you can change the color of your lines.  If you click the color box it will bring up a pallet that allows you to select the line color.  You can also change the line thickness etc.  You can come back and make changes later – so don’t worry if you don’t get it right at first.  I like to use yellow as my boundary lines as it shows up well against the image for my area.  In other drier and sandy areas, red is a better selection.   Change the Area box so it says just ‘Outlined”.

Using Google Earth to zone your farm

Setting the polygon name, color and outline

When you are ready to draw the farm boundary lines don’t click ok on the box!   Drag this box away from your farm image….just to the side so you can see the entire outline of your farm.   Click on any corner of your farm boundary on the image.  A small blue box will mark where you have clicked.   Move to the next corner of your farm and click.  A line will now appear between those two points.  Click the next corner and so on until your boundaries are complete.

Using Google Earth to zone your farm

Boundaries now complete. I used yellow and changed the line thickness to 2.

When you are finished, you can change the color and thickness of the lines.  When you are happy with your boundaries, then click OK on the box in the bottom right corner.

The boundaries you just added is a data layer that is now added to your image and you can see it in the Places box on the left hand side navigation.  You can turn it on and off by clicking the little box next to its name.  If you right click on the name you have some more options.   Get Info brings back the box so you can change the name, color etc.  If you want to do it again, you can delete the old one here too.

Step 3. Adding a zone.
To add a ‘zone’ is almost the same as adding the boundaries.  The difference is you want a shape rather than a series of lines.  It is still a polygon (so we use the same tool), but we set it up to be filled with a color.

So select the Add a polygon tool again.  This time change the name to the zone you are adding like “Zone 5”.  You could also use your own zone names or descriptions.  Select the Style/Color button and change the color of the lines AND the color of the area.  I use a different color for each area.  Make sure the Area option is set for “Filled+Outlined” and set the Opacity to 50%.  That will allow the zone to have a color, but you can still see through it and see features on the image underneath.

Using Google Earth to zone your farm

Zone 4 (purple) and Zone O (orange) on my farm image.

Just like before, drag the box to the side then outline the shape of the zone you want to add.  If you have a zone that is spilt  – that is two or more areas that are separate but you want them in the same zone, you can set treat them as separate and just label them Zone 1 (A) and Zone 1 (B) etc and use the same colors and fills.

You will end up with a list of zones for your farm on the left-hand side navigation under the Places category – like this:

Using Google Earth to zone your farm

Zones listed under Places

Using Google Earth to zone your farm – the final product.

Your final farm plan using the zones with Google Earth may look like this:

Using Google Earth to zone your farm

Final farm zone map

You can keep this in your Google Earth program and can turn on and off the zones just by clicking on the little ticks next to the Zones.

Using Google Earth to zone your farm

A few zones turned off!

Once you are happy with your map, you can print it off, email it of save it as an image using the tools at the top of the image.

The super thing about this tool is that you can add more information as you go.  You can add detailed descriptions in the Zone boxes as well as small images that you have uploaded to the web.    You can even create an interactive tour video of your farm….but now we are talking fun rather than planning 🙂

I hope this has been a useful tutorial for using Google Earth to zone your farm using permaculture zones.

If you like this sort of information, maybe you would also like other topics covered in our Farm science category – all found here!

You can also click on the “FOLLOW” button at the bottom right of the screen to recieve notices of new posts.



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