Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Recyclers Garden

Original posting:
June 2009

As you know, I am an organic gardener as well as a recycler. I in the San Juan isalnds, on a hillside where there is not much top soil over rock. I guarantee if you place a shovel in the ground here, you will hit a good size rock within a few inches. So in order to do any gardening I had to have raised beds. Ben and I brought in 3 yeards of soil for our vegetable garden and he made some awesome raised beds from recycled materials.

Here's one of my garden beds. This is made from off cuts from a local saw mill. These great rot resistant cedar boards would have been burned as scrap had they not been repurposed for our garden beds. Also in this picture you can see how we are using recycled metal to form cages to support our tomato plants. This was scrap from a job that Ben worked on last spring and I have used them for 2 years now. They are actually much stronger than your traditional tomato cages.

This hose was saved from going to the landfill. All it needed was a hose clamp to fix the leak and it should last us another few years. Hose clamps and repair kits can be found at your local hardware store. Take a peice of the hose you want to repair with you to make sure you get the correct size.

This old boat was at our house when we moved in. Last year we repositioned it, added soil and compost, and started growing veggies! The wire mesh that is protecting our strawberries from the deer is old fencing material salvaged from a deck tear down. I've used that tube for my compost bin before too and will use it for compost again when we've harvested our berries!

Here's a couple more beds made from off cuts from the mill. You can also see our instant raised beds. We just bought bags of soil, cut them open on one side and planted directly into the bags. Also that metal container on the right is recycled from a house where the tenent moved out. It may have otherwise wound up in the landfill too!

The boxes here are double or triple recycled and repurposed. They were originally part of something that was torn down, then Ben made them into concrete forms to make footings, then I snagged them from Ben and use them as beds for seed starting! The other plants are in recycled nursery pots that I my neighbor graciously offered me for recycle.

Here's another reclaimed lumber bed with fencing material for tomato cage. Along with that, this one is lined with plastic soil bag! Another thing we did is underneath the straw we used layers of wet newspaper to block the weeds from coming up. The newspaper and the straw eventually break down into organic soil amendment

This might not be for everyone, but here I lined this old broken laundry hamper with newspaper and filled it with soil to plant my Jerusalem Artichokes. I figured I might as well get one last use out of it before it goes to the recycler and I had to get these planted right away so I couldn't wait until Ben has time to make some more raised beds. And the strawberry pot of herbs has one broken opening, but I just used some oyster shells to form the shelf and then replanted it with herbs. I've been using this pot for 4 summers!

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