Monday, 13 May 2013

Innovating and recycling

Maybe it is some sort of brainwashing from my time living here, or maybe it is how I am wired. I seem to be getting more and more excited about reusing things. I built a garbage pad, mostly out of reclaimed 2x4s that someone had discarded in a pile somewhere on the farm. I'm planning to build a rickety dock for our pond using more reclaimed stuff.

I just started mulling over a recent issue that I noticed. Our bags of grain which we use to feed our pigs, get left out in the barn between batches. Normally, with two visits per day, two cats, and a few traps, we have little issue with rodents getting into them. Well, they have been completely unattended for several weeks and now I can see the evidence of little paws and mouths making a mess of them. So the search began...

How do I store bags of grain without using a hopper or silo?

I came across a brilliant solution. Old freezers.

This is all the more brilliant because of the fact that our farm utilizes about 8-10 freezers at any given time. We store frozen blueberries in some. The rest are for pork, beef, and chicken. We get most of our freezers used from online ads by locals. It is inevitable that they will fail sooner than later. We are guaranteed to have a supply of these freezers.

Normally, a failed freezer would mean a trip to the dump. Well, now I have the solution to that. We already breathe new life into these freezers by taking them off the hands of someone who would otherwise have thrown it away. Now we can reuse them as grain storage. We could use them in a few locations and get a much longer (nigh infinite) life out of them. They may not fit all of our feed during a batch, but they would definitely fit the left overs.

This is what I love to discover. Ways to use things longer, reuse the unwanted, and find alternate uses for our throw aways. Feel free to comment and share any other ideas for reusing the old in new ways, farm or otherwise.


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