Self-Sufficiency

A Sink for the Vegie Patch

Eleven years ago I collected a metal desk frame that was worse for wear but solid.
I dragged it home and put in store to await its new purpose.
As we moved about so did the frame.  It travelled from our property in Thirlmere. Then it moved with us to Young. It was once temporarily used as a cage frame to transport chooks when we moved and settled at Buxton. 
After four years of clearing rubbish and clearing land I found an antique cast iron sink buried under a pile of broken glass.  It took about thirty minutes to free it.  And oh boy – it was heavy.  As the size and shape was revealed I thought of the old metal desk frame.  Moving quickly with excitement I went to our store of windows, doors, frames, gates and fence panels.  Rooting through hurriedly,  I found it.
Instantly I could see a perfect fit.  No need for the measuring tape nestled in my pocket.
Equipped with a heavy duty wheelbarrow, Paul and I lifted the hefty cast iron sink and headed for the vegie patch.
I flung open the gate and quickly moved every thing out of the way.  I grabbed a spade and roughly leveled the ground.  After putting the desk frame in place we positioned the sink on top.
Hey presto. It worked.  A match made in heaven. The desk frame after eleven years of waitinbe trimmed and washed ready for eating.

Bath tubs of a different style and purpose

Bath tubs are seen by some people as the ultimate luxury for relaxation after a hard days work. But I don’t.  A spa however – indeed I do!
Mint is both a culinary delight and a wonderful companion plant to vegies, fruit and nuts.
It is unfortunately  very invasive and at most times cannot be maintained in a mixed garden.  I then like to grow it in a bath tub.   Its roots can dig deep and spread far and wide without entangling neighbouring plants.
Here my mint bath has been dressed with a rock wall.


Tyres keep roots and soil warm

  

I use tyres as planter pots in many different ways. Mostly I like to use tyres as heat beds.  I plant out seed or seedlings in winter and put a cover over the tyre.  The morning sun warms the tyre which in turn warms the soil within and the plants usually grows healthy and strong.  I use this method for early planting of frost tender plants such as  tomatoes,  basi, other herbs and potatoes.  It simply means that I can start the plant earlier than it would normally be expected.  Thus harvesting the crop sooner too!



Terracotta Pipes Reborn

 

Paul and I have been known to accept all sorts of throwaways.  And a pile of broken, various length terracotta drainage pipes came our way.  They sat in a corner of the shed for two years before they got moved  to make room for something else.  It was at this exact moment  I saw their new purpose.  Pot plant stands. A stand for a bird bath made from a pot plant saucer.   I also have several of them in our food forest with herbs and strawberries planted in them.


Basin for Small Birds and Frogs.

 

An old and ornate vanity basin arrived at our place with whole lot of junk.  The moment I saw it I began rubbing to expose its antique beauty,  Small hair line fractures was the reason I believe it was thrown on the scrap heap.
I carried it into our food forest and placed it under a blood plum tree.  That was about two years ago . Over which time I have seen little birds dive in and splash around. Frogs have a swim.  It also provides easy access to water for snakes.

Industrial Wares Find a New Purpose

 

Eighteen months ago I was given a wonderful opportunity to take home several industrial large hardwood boxes that has been previously used to house machinery engines.
Not getting any younger I decided I could recreate my vegetable garden and make it a raised garden.   I had already in my garden four used old water tank sections which Paul had cut to my specifications . 
These boxes were exciting  beyond belief.  But how was I going to fill them all with soil. I had no idea. Sleeping on the challenge I awoke in the morning with the solution.
In each box I would make compost.  And when made,  the compost would establish a grow bed in each box. Brilliant. It is still working well today.
In autumn and winter I  put sheets of polycarb over each box to raise seed  and to prolong the life of frost tender plants such as tomatoes and capsicums.  I also attach frames to the boxes to grow climbers such as peas, beans, cucumber and melons.

Author: Earthkeepers

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