In Process/Completed

 

Projects: In Process/Completed

These projects are either currently in process or have been completed


Irrigation System


With no water source for our garden or greenhouse, we knew we needed to find one. We decided to add a gutter to our pallet shed and collect the rainfall in a rain barrel. A family member had some gutter parts laying around and we were able to get it attached to the roof without issue.  We had some used wood in our salvaged collection along with a barrel. We purchased some a spout for the barrel and some screen for the top to keep out solids. A stand was made to raise the water barrel and create water pressure. We removed the barrel lid, tapped it and covered the top with the screen. We had collected various garden hoses during the fall cleanup garbage pickup and drilled holes in a few length placing them in the soil of the greenhouse beds. We then connected them to the water barrel with a Y connector and our greenhouse had its irrigation system. all we needed to do was to turn the spigot on for a few minutes each day. After a few weeks, we found the barrel was running dry on us and added a second barrel to the system. The second barrel was set slightly lower than the first and was attached to the first barrel with a hose. When the first barrel was full the overflow filled the second barrel. With the second barrel in place, we made it through the first season without requiring any additional water sources.

The Garden


 

2017 is the first year we had a garden. We needed to keep the garden near the front of the property as we do not yet have the exact layout of the entire property. this meant we were a bit limited on space to what was available where we have developed thus far. So we got creative and used some dead spaces. Along the driveway, we created a long squash pile using manure and seaweed. Next season this soil will be able to be used for any crop as the squash breaks everything down. We also created two squash piles of mainly manure next to the temporary home we have on the property. We planted plenty of squash and cucumbers in these two areas.

For the main garden, we were limited on soil and had to make it go a long way. We created several beds, including 2 in the greenhouse, where we used organic matter in conjunction with the garden soil in order to stretch our 4 yards of garden soil. Next season the organic matter (seaweed and mulched leaves) should be broken down. For the beds, we laid down cardboard to suppress the weeds and added our organic matter on top to form the base. On top of the base, we put 4-6 inches of garden soil. in between beds we used straw to line to the path. We had enough straw bales to start a 4 bale, straw-bale garden as well. 

The main garden beds were mulched in order to protect the soil from compaction and prevent moisture evaporation. It was a great success and little to no watering was needed. In the greenhouse we used shredded leaves for a mulch as the pests for tomatoes and peppers would not be an issue with the leaves. Outside of the greenhouse, we used tree mulch that we sourced from the property. Old fallen and decaying(so as not to leach nitrogen from the soil) trees were collected and we split them into smaller chips, by hand. Next season we hope to have a chipper to create our mulch as its far too time consuming doing it by hand. 


Green House

 

The first thing we had planned to do was build the greenhouse, but reality pushed it further down the to-do list. We started with a simple plan, to get the frame for free or next to free. An ad was put on Kijiji looking for a free popup garage frame. Someone responded with a frame that had just been dismantled the day before and they had everything, including the assembly manual. We actually ended up with 3 free frames, one from another Kijiji response and a third that was left for garbage pick-up, the other two are planned for future projects. We knew we wanted the frame to have some weight to it so we planned to add a sturdy base to attach the frame to, turning again to Kijiji we found an ad that someone had torn an old deck up and was offering the wood to anyone who wanted it. We spend a few hours combing through the old deck removing screws and nails and we came up with the
materials for the base, for free. Now that we had what we needed, we chose a site and build the base, and the frame, attaching the two together. As the ground wasn’t completely level the frame was propped in place and stones were placed in the gaps as a more permanent solution. Next, we made the raised beds and path inside the greenhouse.
Cardboard was added to the ground to suppress weeds, on top we put seaweed for the beds and straw for the path down the center. Shredded leaves were added to the seaweed and garden soil on top, on top of the soil we added more shredded leaves to act as a mulch. Greenhouses tend to evaporate moisture quickly so a mulch acts to keep moisture in.  We purchased $70 worth of code-approved vapor barrier and some strapping and covered the greenhouse. We had to screw some lengths of wood to the frame in order to have something to attach the strapping to. Lastly, we made two doors out of salvaged wood we had on hand and clad it in leftover greenhouse plastic; a door on each end for venting. Our only other cost was some hinges and screws. In total, we spent under $100.00 for the entire build.

Pallet Shed


in May of 2017, we realized that we needed storage space. We had large pallets we saved for our projects and decided to build a shed with some of them. Some lumber was purchased for framing the base and roof, otherwise, most of the shed was salvaged. For the time being it is clad
in a few tarps, but we hope to find some salvaged materials for a more permanent solution. The door is sandwiched between two channels and slides to open and close. 

Compost Pile


In May of 2017, we decided to start our first compost pile. We made an 8-foot circle using some extra chain link and leveled it up with some local seaweed we scavenged. After some searching and a bit coincidence, we found a source of manure, close by and scavenged up some extra material to get our pile started. Next year we will be able to nourish our gardens with our wonderful new compost.  

 

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