The story below is an excerpt from our May/June 2016 issue. For the rest of this story and more like it subscribe today, log in to read our digital edition or download our FREE iOS app. Thank you!
And really, it’s more than just the garden that gets recycled on the Neil farm. And it’s all pretty easy once you get your mind attuned to the goal.
Last year, we built a new barn in our front field. When the carpenters had put the last nail in place, we drove out to inspect. There were piles of leftover tin and boards everywhere and, like good country folk, we began to gather up the scraps and plan for their use. Although we made a pile for the dump, we also made piles for kindling, piles for patching and piles for building. Living as far as we do from a Home Depot or Lowe’s means we carefully consider what we throw away and what we save. Thank goodness we have outbuildings to keep our recycled treasures in. I’ve discovered that “if you build it, it will fill.” I’m sure that new barn will be full of things we can’t live without in a couple of years.
Lots of my repurposed items end up in my garden. I like to recycle the old pieces of metal that I find lying around by making them into wind chimes. Used baler twine is good for emergency gate latches, and when Joe takes down a section of old woven wire fence, some of it becomes tomato cages.
Household waste ends up in the garden, as well. Ratty tee shirts are cut up for tomato ties. Milk jugs become cold-weather cloches for tender seedlings. Food scraps go to the compost pile. Big cardboard boxes are cut into strips and used as a groundcover to smother weeds out of the paths in the vegetable garden. Newspapers, feed sacks and dog food bags work for this, too.
My best recycle, though, was the steel bathtub that was a casualty of a recent bathroom remodel. It wasn’t a claw foot tub so it wasn’t pretty enough to stand alone as a flower bed, but it just seemed to me that I ought to be able to find some use for it. Then it hit me. Bathtubs are perfect for holding water. I’d make it into a fish pond.
... The story above is an excerpt from our May/June 2016 issue. For the rest of this story and more like it subscribe today, log in to read our digital edition or download our FREE iOS app. Thank you!