Garden Update: New bean trellis made from 6-pack rings & a pair of crutches

So, I made this yesterday.

picture credit: my daughter Lilly
picture credit: my daughter Lilly

My husband works at a large grocery store and he’s been saving 6-pack rings from the soda vendor when he comes to fill the machines. I attached them with just little bits of yarn from a leftover ball I had in my stash. I had started with twisty ties but ran out. If I’d been feeling super motivated, I could have made a rainbow or some design with different colors but nah. Anyway, will any luck, it’ll be covered with glorious bean vines!

And if that fails, we have a badminton net?

I plan on making more. I might use it to make a sort of a fence. I just looked up the price of a roll of plastic netting and it’s like $26 for a 80 ft roll that’s only 3 ft high. So, this was free to make for us. Took some time but I did it while watching The Voice (yeah,yeah…it’s my one and only guilty pleasure show… ). My little guy helped cut the pieces of yarn for me. It was tedious but went quick.

We still have signs that our woodchuck enemy is in the vicinity. I ammonia bombed the one hole. I saw him scurry into another hole farther away from the house one day while I was taking the compost out, so I know he’s still around, just relocated slightly. We’re borrowing a hav-a-hart trap from a friend and then, his wagon will be fixed. (I’m thinking Woodchuck Egg Rolls? )

One of the little made these little flag markers, too. They’re sweet. He used scraps of fabric and pieces of old dowels that I think came from an old drying rack we had that broke.

I like this idea and I think I’ll make some of my own.

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So, my running total for garden cost is still : $21

 

 

How to DIY When You’re Poor

 

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If you spend any amount of time on social media, you see some really cool ideas for DIY projects. Pinterest seems to be that place we all go for inspiration and then end up just feeling bad that we don’t have time, energy, or creativity to be that awesome. For low income and disabled people, the frustration is compounded by the lack of accessibility and ability. Even the cheap projects or ones that use junk often require tools or equipment,  and sometimes being able bodied,right?

I have possible solutions,though!

Where to Get Free Tools & Supplies

  • freecycle or craigslist – Find your nearest group at the respective websites : Freecycle.org and craigslist.com.
    On Freecyle, once you join, you can post something like this: “WANTED: Thing You Need” , with a description of what you’re looking for. If it’s a tool you think you’ll only need for one project, you can specify that you only need to borrow something. On craigslist, same thing but you usually have to find a category for what you’re looking for. Both Freecycle and Craigslist are great places for finding materials that someone might have leftover from another project (like, for instance, PVC pipe just waiting to be turned into a hanging indoor window garden ).I often peruse the FREE section of craigslist to see what people are cleaning out of their homes. I just scored an old crib with missing parts — perfect for upcycling as a trellis in my garden.

    If you have transportation obstacles, be sure to mention that in your post. Some people will generously drop things off to you or at a location easy for you to meet at. Of course, use your best judgement and common sense when telling strange people you meet on the Internet to come over or meet somewhere. You’re all adults,though. We don’t have to say more than that.

  • Yard Sales & Thrift Shops – I have a lot of crafting supplies and tools. I would say that 90% of them were purchased at thrift shops,yard sales, rummage sales,etc.Again, transportation is the obstacle here. There are also sometimes when even spending $5 on yard sale finds is out of the budget but if you can, these are the best places to find an amazing assortment of tools & supplies to build your DIY crafting arsenal.

    One thing I do to help add a bit of thrifting money is to sell my family’s used clothing at a local consignment shop. The checks I get every other month aren’t huge but it gives me a little extra to set aside specifically for going to sales.

    I also have gotten into the habit of going by houses that have advertised a yard sale after the sale has ended. People typically will put a free pile curbside rather than haul it back into their garage or load it into the car to dump off at the Salvation Army.

  • Local Hardware Stores–  By local, I mostly mean locally owned. From my experience, the people who work at small hardware stores are more than happy to drill holes in something for you or cut a piece of wood to your specifications. It’s iffy in a big box hardware store but it never hurts to ask.
  • Find a Tool Share – There are community groups where people borrow tools from one another and others that have a “library” of tools that they lend to people. These may be tricky to find but I would start with Googling “tool share” and your area. Some communities have had very active tool shares for decades but never brought it to the Internet. If you can’t find anything online, call local carpenters, hardware store,mechanics, bike shops and ask if they know of any tool sharing groups around you.
  • Sewing Machine Shares– They exist! I’m fortunate to have one here. If there’s one in your area, your local fabric store will most likely know about it.Give them a call.

Where To Find Help With Projects

If you aren’t physically able due to disability or the aches and pains that come with aging  to do some parts of a project, here’s some ideas of organizations that might be able to help.

  1. The Girl Scouts – ok, any scouting group but I like the Girl Scouts.
  2. 4-H
  3. Local Office of the Aging /groups that help the elderly – they often have volunteers with a wide range of interests and skills
  4. Local school shop classes or a vocational school
  5. Veterans groups

I am positive there are many more I missed or don’t know about. Please let me know in the comments if you know of any and I’ll add them.

My Upcycled Cucumber Trellis

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I have a very small space to garden in , so I need to grow up as much as possible.
I had a terrible gardening season this year. I dealt with a stubborn , jerky woodchuck and masses of greedy slugs. We live on a creek bank, perfect breeding ground for tons of slugs. There was no method of slug control that was 100% effective, my guess is because there were just so many of them ,but everything that I grew vertically or in containers was spared somewhat. They at least had a fighting chance.

I have been saving the crib we used for the last 3 kidlets , NOT for another baby (SO done with that) ,but to upcycle into a bench . It’s hard to get rid of cribs, even on Freecycle or Craigslist. Because so many have been recalled, a lot of people don’t want to take a chance on secondhand cribs, even if they’re free. This makes them great for upcycling projects. Since I didn’t need the metal springs for my bench project (which I have not made yet. I will, I will….) , I decided to use them as a trellis.

Here’s how it looked when I first “planted” it in the ground:
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All I did to set it up was to dig a little trench, set one end in to it, and fill with dirt. Then , I planted my cukes at the base.

The plants have since overgrown the top but it’s nearing the end of our gardening season and the trellis has held up marvelously.

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I foresee a day of pickle making in our near future.

I just discovered a great Pinterest board this morning of other vertical gardening ideas, mostly things that can be easily build with upcycled things one might find easily in curbside free piles, Freecycle,craigslist, or salvage shops.

Grow Up!

Vertical gardening and other ways to save space in the veggie garden.

 

 

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