Recycling

Unpredictable weather has me aching for greenhouses. We had late frosts this year killing most of our blossoms on our fruit trees and bushes. Not much I can do about that. It has been cold despite being the end of June. The mountains north of us had up to 2 feet of snow last week and our daughter was in Yellowstone or Jellystone as we call it, last Saturday and it snowed on her. Not normal but not unusual either. There have been years I have not been able to put in a garden until the end of June because of frosts. That makes the growing season really short when frost hits the middle of September or earlier. The point – our weather is unpredictable. Greenhouses and covered grow boxes are a insurance policy.

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So the next project is 3 heavy, ratty, old wood doors that I will also make into a grow box. Two doors for sides and one cut in half for the ends. The doors cost me $15 bucks total. Pretty cheap wood for a grow box that size. The depth should allow me to do root crops and deep roots plants like broccoli which I’m saving seed on. I’ve more plastic pipe to make hoops so I’ll just have to buy brackets. It too will receive a coat of white paint which adds a touch of continuity.

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The 3rd greenhouse project I want to start on this summer is the big 8×8 foot heavy wood square box that large equipment was shipped in. It will be a small walk in greenhouse with a growing area on each side of the walkway. Our oldest granddaughter likes to build so she can help me put up the plastic pipe arches and screw in scrap wood to build the insides of the two grow beds. Kirk will use the chainsaw to cut an opening. It will then likely sit until next spring when we will put a cover on it as other projects are awaiting.

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Kirk began putting together the 12 by 24 foot McGee hay loafer frame last Saturday. He ran out of bolts. The sides will be bolted this weekend hopefully and then we will need to buy metal for the base. This will be the largest of the greenhouses. What we will cover it with, I’m not sure but we are tossing ideas around and looking for recycled materials that might work. We bought the McGee hay loafer from a rancher who had removed the floor but the frame and metal skin were intact. I saw potential to store our small square baled hay in it.

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All the barn cats had their kittens in it.

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The grandkids loved to use it as a slide, climbing to the top of the hay stack and sliding down the plastic on the end. When we began using large round bales, we bought a tractor and stored the hay outside putting the tractor in the loafer. Too good to leave, Kirk dismantled the frame and tin and we brought it with us. Oh the memories within this old loafer and the ones yet to come as it transforms into a greenhouse.

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Last but not least, another heavy equipment box, but much smaller, I partially buried it in the front flower bed. It will become a cold frame for spring and fall lettuces after I increase the height and add a top which will have glass from a shower door, another scrap find. The flower bed’s rock is being hauled from the neighbor which he wants gone. The blue rain barrel will be replaced with a 250 gallon tank painted black. It is sitting behind the barn waiting transformation. Another recycle find. The stand will be cinder blocks that were once under a house trailer.  Had they been new, they would have cost twice as much. Yes, recycling again.

Recycling stretches our dollar and affords us things we could not otherwise have. It allows our creativity to stretch. What can I do with this that I need? It causes me to ask my husband to creep into a cold creek to retrieve a rusted piece of culvert. What I am going to do with that he had no idea until I held it up over the windows in the office and showed him how the light peeked through the rusted holes. A valance with barn wood and the rusty tin is working its way around in my imagination. Hopefully by the end of the summer it will be built.

Recycling can become rather addicting. BUT wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all recycled a bit instead of heading to the dump and to the store for new once more? Our dumps would not be so full and we would learn to appreciate things more. We would become more creative.

I’ll show you more of the things we have done and scraps yet sitting to be made into useful items.

I bet some of you have done the same.

 

7 thoughts on “Recycling

  1. It’s satisfying when you turn out to have just the thing amongst all the kept items that you need to do a job. I must admit to probably hanging on to too much clutter, but when you have little money and live a long way from convenience, you learn not to be too tidy!
    Are you thinking of a glass roof for the mackee hay loafer? It looks to me like a plastic sheet would cover it nicely too, like a polytunnel. Light weight and not too expensive new. Don’t forget the anti hot spot tape though.

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    1. Never heard of hot spot tape for greenhouses. Must be because we live in a cold climate. We had a rebar greenhouse where we lived before and the cover lasted a really long time. It was a special kind of plastic with a reinforced fiber running through it. Rather expensive though. We never had any heat tape or problem. This location is even colder. We’ve had a couple 80’s F so far and tomorrow starts a long of low to mid 70’s F. Really pleasant. it just might be a cool summer.

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      1. In polytunnels the hot spot tape insulates the plastic from the metal hoops where it is stretched over – you’d be surprised how hot they can get in a bit of sunshine. It also protects a bit from rough edges. In the UK it adds years to the plastic sheet life. Of course you may find an alternative material to reuse!

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      2. Does the wear happen where the metal touches the plastic? Ours never wore there and I would have thought it would have since the rebar is not smooth. It eventually ripped because of the wind and not in the rebar metal areas. I just hand sewed it and it worked for years more. I would have thought the intensity of the sun would have done just what you talk about. I expected it. The new cover may not be what we used before so I will look for the tape you describe.

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      3. It does get weaker in that area (not helped in our case by the cats climbing up there). For a few more pounds for the tape you may get more years life, so I think it would be worth the investment. The reinforced plastic may be different but standard polytunnel plastic needs to be quite tight – the flapping also kills it – so this may be the difference

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  2. I still can not get over how unpopular recycling is in our local culture. I believe that it is just as popular elsewhere, but we seem to be getting even more wasteful all the time here. People pay millions of dollars for a home here, just to demolish it and build something new (and offensively decadent). I know that new homes consume less energy, but they still don’t add up. I mean, a new home that uses a quarter of the energy of an old home uses just as much if it is four times as large, and those who live in it do not live conservatively.

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  3. Hello there! This article could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.

    Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read.

    Thank you for sharing!

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