Flea Market Gardening has gone ‘On the Road!’ Come with us for a trip to a true treasure-filled junk yard in California Country.
On the road, junk shopping with Flea Market Gardening
Highway 49 is one of the most beautiful highways, running through the middle of Gold Country in California. Golden oaks and frosty grasses line the windy roads and reflect the bright January sun.
Just southeast of Sacramento, where our kids live, we drive the back roads along 49 this day, passing through a small town of El Dorado. But, WAIT! From the corner of my eye, I catch sight of a familiar and attractive jumble of outdoor galvanized metal, rust and rebar. Here was “The Barn”, where proprietor, Renee Hargrove, collects and sells a myriad of ‘junkola’ in a huge yard just off the road that is heaven itself to a Flea Market Gardener.
“Stop the car!” were the words that left my lips and the screech of tires was heard as a startled Tractor Man did my bidding. Resignedly, he sat with our Corgi, Maggie, on a nearby bench, as I delightfully perused and puttered my way through the lovely junk.
Rust upon rusty rust, there were farm implements, metal garden furniture, concrete double sinks and old gates, shutters and fence pieces. A huge bulldozer sheltered a network of ponds, made of old tubs and half barrels full of water plants and moss. A large rebar arch with iron flowers and orbs led the way into this paradise.
Renee explained how she runs the place with a few friends, some who do the ‘pickin,’ and some who fill a couple of inside rooms with their own artifacts for sale. The Barn will be moving soon, due to raising rents. What a job that will be, but Renee is cheerful and optimistic and hopes for more partners in the business when they move to the next location which will also be in El Dorado.
Here’s an wide shot of the whole outdoor area. I happily wandered around, collecting this and that in a pile near Tractor Man, who was now snoozing in the winter sun.
Shhhh,…. Come and shop with me….
Tractor Man was by this time making a few phone calls and mentioned sheepishly, as I passed, that he had talked to the kids and they were wondering where we were. I threw a knowing glance at him….a pathetic ploy! Ah, but time to go….
My loot was a galvanized bucket a square terracotta pot and a cultivator wheel of some kind. The best, to me, was a fine rusty bucket that will sit for the rest of its life, filled with flowers along one of my garden paths. These attributes were totally unrecognized by Tractor Man, who nestled my treasures patiently amongst our luggage in the back of our truck. Too bad there was no room for that concrete sink….
(This was a quick stop, but for tips on all day Flea Market shopping, see this, 15 Essentials for Flea Market outings. ~~ Sue)
Brenda Steele tells us “I remember this story about the antique barn in El Dorado County. I just wondered if you have been to El Dorado Ed’s Storage and Sales? He has a lot for RV storage etc. but on the opposite side is Junk-o-la Heaven with a plethora of rusty, crusty, goodness. Some of the prices are a little steep but he will haggle with you!”
El Dorado Ed’s Storage & Sales
6111 Pleasant Valley Rd, El Dorado, CA 95623
Diamond Springs Flea Market (website)
“Also every Sunday,” Brenda says, “ in Diamond Springs just up the road from here is a weekly parking lot Flea Market. If you are ever in the area you should check them both out.”
NOTE: Yes, I have visited the Diamond Springs Flea Market and Farmers Market (Facebook page link)
It’s a very busy market, filled with farm antiques, rusty relics, garden junk and even plants. The local antique stores have booths here as well as many individuals, and there’s where you can really get some bargains. ~~ Sue