The Agrarian Buying Guide – a Top Ten List!

If you’re like me, you’ve been looking to simplify your life, get back to basics, and really re-connect with the earth — but you haven’t found the kind of shopping experience that allows you to do so with classic vintage style

So frustrating. 

Well, good news.  If you weren’t familiar with Agrarian, Williams-Sonoma’s new line of fashionably overpriced garden and urban homesteading accessories, consider this your introduction!  

Thank goodness somebody is looking out for your image as you undertake your new committment to gardening, canning, chickening, and honey-making (you need bees!!!), because otherwise you might have to buy your supplies from a regular nursery or hardware store.  Ewwww.  Or even make do with something you already have around the house.  Gasp!

Anyway, here is a sampling of what Agrarian has to offer —

1. Gardener’s Essential Twine — $14.95

Thank god your days of using “that other twine” are over.  This twine is actually “handcrafted in Scotland” which should assure you of its superiority.  I mean, Scotland is known for its world-class whisky, its hauntingly beautiful highland landscape, and its twine, so why would you settle for anything less?  Plus, this Scottish twine comes in a lovely green tin, so let’s ditch that hideous, naked wad of twine you have shoved in your kitchen drawer, shall we?  I mean it’s getting embarrassing.

2. Copper Long-Handle Fork – $299.95

Is this beautiful or what?  Let me tell you, with this copper garden fork, you will be stunning as you toss straw and chicken feces into your wheelbarrow.  It’s so gorgeous you may want to lick that chicken poo right off its gleaming tines.   No, seriously, don’t!!

 But quite truthfully this fork was “handcrafted by Austrian coppersmiths” who I’m sure lived in a quaint Alpine village and ate strudel.  Each fork comes with a hand-written card that tells you its name, age, likes and dislikes.  The fork in the picture is named Johann and he’s a little shy but enjoys dining out.

3. Reversible Burlap Tote – $110

It took a team of twenty designers a full year to come up with this devilishly understated concept of two squares of used burlap sewn together on three sides.  The mark-up is 20,000% but quite frankly, all the coolest urban homesteaders are sporting burlap now.  That  canvas thing you bought for 99 cents from the local library really isn’t sending the right message.  Who wants a bag that says “Reading is FUNdamental” when you could have a bag that says “Lot 417 1363-183”??

4. Alexandria Chicken Coop and Run – $879.95

Why would you donate money to your local homeless shelter or something when your chickens are slumming it in that tacky homemade coop your neighbor helped you build?  The Alexandria Chicken Coop and Run is nice enough that it can double as a guest room for your mother-in-law when she visits, PLUS — as you can see from the picture — the coop comes with a set of wheels so you can hitch it up to your bicycle on nice days and treat your chickens to a ride.

(Set includes one animatronic chicken. If you want a real one you are really getting carried away.)

5. Garden Allotment Kit – $29.95

After any global environmental catastophe or total economic meltdown, the only survivors who will make it long-term are the ones who have honed their urban homesteading skills with top-of-the-line faux vintage home and garden products.  You will be ready!

So after the smoke clears, you can begin planting your post-apocolyptic heirloom garden with this special kit.  Featuring beechwood dibbler and biodegradable coir starter pots.  Widespread famine and civil unrest are no excuse for sacrificing style.

6. Beekman Tart Cherry After the Garden Soap – $10.95

Brought to you by “the gentleman farmers Beekman Boys” this soap is exactly what you need after a vigorous day out in the garden.  When you come inside and your loved ones tell you that you “smell like sh-t”, you know it’s time for some designer soap.  If the soap you’re using now doesn’t have organic ground tart cherry pits embedded in there for defoliating exfoliating action, then it simply won’t do the job.

Also available: Beekman’s Cranberry Cinammon After the Squirrel-Gutting Soap.

7. Vintage Galvanized Seed Tray – $59.95

It looks old and beaten-up, but this is an incredibly stylish and useful tray.  Just don’t leave it around when your mom comes over or she will take it away, donate it to AmVets, and buy you a new tray from SteinMart.

8. Shiitake Mushroom Log – $29.95

Another Urban Homesteading Must-Have item.  Why buy a pound of Shiitake at the grocery store for $5.99 when you can order this special log embedded with spores, soak it in water for 24 hours, mist it regularly for 30 days, and harvest enough of your own mushrooms to make two bowls of soup!?  I mean, are you insane??

9. Organic Oakleaf Lettuce – $16.95

It’s true that you could start your own lettuce from seed, or buy the same size transplant from your local nursery for $3.95, but this one comes in a cute little burlap diaper.  It’s irresistable!

10. Old Wooden Box Vintage Seed Crate – $39.95

These are “found seed crates from coastal New England” with “vintage appeal.” 

Seriously, any wooden box in which you store your miscellaneous junk must have the Coastal New England pedigree.  If you insist on using a wooden box that originated in El Paso, Texas or Saginaw, Michigan, then maybe Upscale Urban Homesteading is just not for you.

*DISCLAIMER: Williams-Sonoma did not officially sponsor this post, nor did they donate any of these items to me for review, so my write-up is completely unbiased.  That’s what they get for not sending me any free stuff.

*All photos are from and are used with my mom’s permission.

25 thoughts on “The Agrarian Buying Guide – a Top Ten List!

  1. OMG…hilarious…the sad thing is…you didn’t make any of it up! I almost spit out my coffee at the $15 twine…yikes. Just another case of people with too much money and too little sense 😉

  2. I’m so glad you did this post. I recently saw a facebook post from a well know garden designer plugging this laughable line from Williams-Sonoma. I guess jumping on a bandwagon is easier than serious thought particularly when income is involved. BUT now we have you!!! Wonderful post, Mary.

  3. Oh good gravy! When I got to the chicken coop, I decided you were making it all up. OH, WILLIAMS-SONOMA! Thanks for making my Home Dee-pot $3 twine feel inadequate. What WILL the neighbors think?

  4. Just checked the site and noticed “Kilner Preserve Jars,” $24.95 for four 32-oz jars. And why are these better than the Ball 32-oz canning jars that sell twelve for $18.19? “Kilner jars have been a trusted choice of generations of European families for canning foods at home.” Ah yes, if the Europeans use it, it must be better!

  5. Dang I knew people were looking at me funny. I’m a poser, getting all my, um, “props” from garage sales and thrift stores. Who knew that Classic Vintage Style could only be obtained after winning that stupid lottery? I SO want that twine. I’m depressed.

  6. I’ve got to put the “fork neamed Johann” on my birthday wish list…your caption commentary is side-splitting hilarious…tears of laughter, even after multiple readings.

  7. Mary G, if I didn’t know that these products are real (if you can call them that), I’d think that you made them up to satirize conspicuous consumption! Another brilliant and well-written post! Thank you!

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  9. I am always impressed with your wicked humor, sarcasm, etc, but the last sentence is even better – “That’s what they get for not sending me any free stuff.”

    I can only hope your writing style does not get you so much fame, that you start getting free stuff to pimp, and then the corporate borg absorbs you into exurban eco-homesteading with a New England twist! (maybe a “commonwealth” twist, since you are in VA, deep south to some)

  10. Can’t buy any of it, I’m afraid. My Rwandan internet provider blocks W-S (really). The authorities must have read your post and decided to protect their local markets from imported Scottish twine.

  11. Hilarious as usual. I opened the website just long enough to see the chicken coop. I’ll just say it doesn’t fit my gardening style. Of course, “gardening style” is a bit of an overstatement too.

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