On a self-sufficient and sustainable organic property, projects evolve from a combination of creative ideas and available resources.  When purchased from a hardware store or scrapyard fencing and gates can be expensive.  The cost of fencing wire alone is shocking.  Therefore budgets may be stretched beyond belief. During our forty years of living the good life we have developed an array of solutions using some of the most unlikely disused materials.  We believe that reducing overhead costs and recycling are only limited by one’s imagination.

We got word that a local hospital was throwing out some metal framed hospital beds.  We collected about twenty.  Each of the beds had an adjustable headrest which could be easily be detached from the main frame.  With the aid of a welding machine,  four bedheads were made into two gates in a matter of moments.  One for our aquaponics area and the other for the manure tractor yard.
A saving of about $160 – $200!

My father-in-law was driving home via a local industrial area when he spotted pinewood motor casing on the pavement of a factory.  He stopped and asked if could take the cases.  The conversation which arose between the factory manager and himself set up a supply of dozens of cases over the next twelve months.  Rotten timber became firewood and a few good frames became ornate gates.

When constructing our manure tractor (which uses older chooks to breakdown manures) we realised that  a very large gate opening was vital in accommodating  acess to the pen.  Out ute needs to  reverse into the pen to  dump the raw manure.
Some months earlier a neighbour had dropped off a few swimming pool fence panels knowing that we may find a use for them.  And we did!
Attaching hinges to two planels as well as a simple homemade latch, our gates came to fruition.

On a job, there is often building material left over.  Some builders take it back to their home ready to use on the next job.   We were contacted by a builder who was clearing away ‘stuff’ that he had stored for a number of years.  To meet him, we drove to his home on the south coast, then stacked and packed everything we could into our Ute. What a treasure!
A few months later we created access from the vegie patch to the north west section of our Food forest.  We needed a gate so as to secure the area.  An old metal panel of fencing fitted perfectly.  A simple wooden block was affixed as a latch.

Author: Earthkeepers

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