The Portable Garden
Even though I can’t tell you where we will be moving to just yet, I can tell you that we are starting to get a little bit prepared to move. It feels as though things are speeding up and so we are needing to be quite strategic about the things we do on any particular day.
Now that we have officially entered Spring, there is an urge to start planting the garden again. I love waking up to birdsong at daybreak. It’s so much lighter outside now at 6:30. I want to jump out of bed as soon as I wake and embrace the morning! Having said that, this morning I woke up to the noise of dairy cows mooing and it sounded like it was right outside the bedroom window. Sure enough it was! I literally jumped out of bed to find out what all the noise was about and when I pulled back the curtains, there was a herd of dairy cows staring at me! They had obviously taken a wrong turn on their way to the milking shed, and were checking out our garden instead. Judging from the noise they were making, they had quite strong opinions on what they found. It only took a couple of minutes for the farmer next door to realize what was going on, and I have to say it’s amazing how quickly a herd of cows can mess up your lawn and driveway! I think I prefer to lie in bed and listen to them from a distance.
All the sounds of living in the country have now become quite familiar, and I’m going to miss the smell of lovely dairy fresh farm air. The tuis and wood pigeons have become part of our family and even the magpie seems to know of our comings and goings…I digress…
I have spent a few days away recently. We took a trip to the NZ Gift fair last week looking for stock for our shop, and what fun we had! The dream is now becoming a reality. With so many products to choose from, it was a great opportunity to fine tune our thinking around some of the things we want to stock in the shop. One of the factors which is becoming more obvious is that we are drawn to clean green merchandise, specializing in natural linen fabrics and linen products in general, as well as wood products and anything else that fits in the raw, fresh, clean and natural category. No plastics for us! We also want to incorporate that fresh clean green image bringing what we practice at home into the shop.
Part of our desire is to try and grow our own veges and to work towards being self sufficient in the garden. There won’t be much opportunity for us to plant up a garden before we leave our home in the country and so we have had to think outside the square as to how we can still eat home grown greens from our new destination.
After we went to the Gift fair last week I needed to take some time out to care for my Dad after he had his cataracts done. I arrived home to a lovely surprise on Friday night to find that the man in my house had been very clever in my absence. He had constructed a wonderful portable raised garden for me, using pine fence palings, complete with wheels, and filled with potting mix. The French green been seeds we had planted earlier in seedling mix were transplanted into the new portable garden and now they just need some water and sunshine to produce a good summer crop.
We inherited some old chemical pods with this house when we moved in, and had planned to take them to the recycling depot before we moved on. The pods were made of heavy duty plastic, which can still be cut up and recycled, but the steel cage-like reinforcing was very useful for making a trellis for my new portable garden. By using a grinder, the steel was cut to size, painted in a nice natural green colour and once the potting mix and plants went in, the trellis was placed behind the bean plants and looks very smart!
The only problem with this rather large portable garden, even though it has wheels with brakes, is that it is quite heavy. It measures 1.5 metres long and is half a metre wide. It took 8 bags of potting/compost mix to fill up to half way, so moving this mama could be quite difficult if it was completely filled up with soil. My suggestion last night was let’s wait until after the move to finish filling. To make the garden more portable, the prototype may need to be slightly smaller. So anyone who wants to have their own portable garden delivered can order with, or without the soil inside. And no one’s back will get broken in the delivery process.
We are fine tuning many of the products that we have been playing around with up until now, and standardizing the measurements so that there will be minimum wastage with the raw materials we are using. We want to make the most of the resources that we have. Our whole philosophy has been based on ‘using what we have to make something better.’ Call it classy upcycling if you like, but we have both enjoyed taking raw materials and scraps that we have had, and using them to create some cool stuff.
As we move forward with the dream and vision, we know that as part of our fine tuning, we may need to start purchasing some better quality raw materials to complete the products that we are making. We now have the blueprint for some good quality products and we have been able to use that to figure out where we go from here. It’s time to take everything we have gleaned over the last year and use it to step up and build on that foundation. Something that will carve out our future based on the foundation of the past year. Our dream is to equip others with the same skills and to be smart about using what we already have to make something a whole lot better.
Would you like to join us on this fun ride?